The racist endeavors of the Tea Party

Okay, I’ll admit it. Not every Teabagger is racist. Some of them honestly just want a balanced budget during economic hard times. So did Herbert Hoover, but I digress.

But then there is the majority that always seems to back the racist bullshit like we see in Wake County, North Carolina.

The sprawling Wake County School District has long been a rarity. Some of its best, most diverse schools are in the poorest sections of this capital city. And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents cannot afford a house in the neighborhood.

But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national Tea Party movement conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to “say no to the social engineers!’’ it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation’s most celebrated integration efforts.

As the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits — logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.

Ah, the ol’ “social engineering” refrain. We’ve always known it was racist, but now we really get to see it in a blatantly racist context. “Send black children to black schools and white children to white schools…and have them all run by whites! It’s the only way to be fair! Uh, uh. We mean, uh, no social engineering…? Yeah, that last one is what we meant.”

I don’t pretend to be a Malcolm X expert, but I do know one of his biggest points was that institutions run by a group that has less than a full interest in the well being of another group will not be the best of possible institutions. Laws and government policies have corrected that in some places, Wake County being one of the best examples. Still in other places, we’re churning out kids with awful educations, kids who are destined to fail. So when we get schools that feature both poor kids and wealthy kids – and come on, we all know that largely is just code for minority kids and white kids – it isn’t surprising that we start to see some pretty great results. We’re taking all sorts of bright kids from all sorts of places and giving them all sorts of opportunities. This is an excellent example of government doing its job. It is this sort of policy which has forced the wealthy group to interact with the poorer group, thereby raising the standards for education on a broad basis. Or to put it another way, we have no one group running an institution for another group in which it has less than a full interest.

But I don’t think anyone ever thought the Tea Party was a pragmatic organization. Actual results aren’t what matter for that racist endeavor. It’s all about an agenda that is very loosely defined by libertarianism, but is driven by division and bigotry and, probably above it all, outright and unashamed greed.

Texas gets it right

Texas actually managed to get something right.

The final proposal for the state’s science curriculum pleases scientists and watch groups, who say it will help protect Texas public school classrooms over the next decade from what they call “watered-down science” — specifically during the instruction of evolution.

Much of the concern over earlier versions of the proposed curriculum centered on a requirement that students be able to analyze the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, a phrase which some say is being used by creationists — including some members of the State Board of Education — to subvert the teaching of evolution.

It’s high time this was settled. Creationists compose the most dishonest bunch of crazies we have running around in the world. They’ve never added anything of worth to the world that comes directly from creationism. Everything they believe is worthless garbage that deserves nothing but ridicule and derision. They explain nothing while taking the beauty out of the world. They want us to be satisfied with not understanding the Universe because doing so allows them to continue in their delusion. The fact that this group had a voice at all in a worthy process such as the creation of science standards for children shows a pathetic lack of education among those involved in the process.

The third and final draft says students should be able to analyze and evaluate scientific explanations. There is also a new requirement that students should be able “to evaluate models according to their limitations in representing biological objects or events,” but it would take a mind-boggling leap for anyone to interpret that as applying to evolution, Quinn said, particularly when viewed through the plan’s new definition of science.

The old definition — which included phrases like “a way of learning about nature” and “may not answer all questions” — has been replaced with a definition from the National Academy of Sciences. It states that science involves using evidence to form explanations and make predictions that can be measured and tested. It also warns that questions on subjects that cannot be scientifically tested do not belong in science.

Bam. Peace out, creationism. Magic cannot be used to make predictions, cannot be tested, and is unfalsifiable. Fail, fail, fail. There is no point where supernatural beliefs have any relation with science. Well, to be fair, that isn’t entirely true. I can imagine an SAT question that says “False is to true as creationism is to ____” with the correct answer being “science”. That relation works quite well, actually.

Don McLeroy, the state board’s chairman, has said that science should admit the possibly of the supernatural when natural explanations fail. But he has also said that he is not trying to put creationism in public schools.

There’s a pretty good explanation of some more creationist dishonesty. McLeroy (who is a dentist) wants nothing more than to sneak magic into public schools. It is his raison d’être. All he wants to do is find a point where science has yet to explain something and then institute something which can absolutely never explain anything. That is creationism. He may as well have said “I want creationism in our public schools, but I don’t want creationism in our public schools.” Jackass.