In late September, an employee of Maryland’s largest school district, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), sat down to review books. Their job was to make recommendations on which books the libraries in their district should get in, and which should be left off the shelves. In front of them was a book that had been donated to the district: a biography of Thomas Sowell, the acclaimed economist and author, who is famous for rejecting redistributive policies.
In a section on the (publicly available) form for filing decisions, in which the employee was asked to compare the books to others like it, they wrote: “There are no other biographies of Thomas Sowell in any MCPS school. This book addresses this need.”
Nonetheless, the book was rejected. Why?
Weakness: The publisher has a stated mission of creating books with "the American values that made this country great."
When asked by Fox News to explain this decision, MCPS responded: "We want to reiterate MCPS’ policy to equity in choosing materials: ‘instructional materials are chosen to reflect the diversity of our global community, the aspirations, issues and achievements of women, persons with disabilities, persons from diverse, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as persons of diverse gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation."
Yet Thomas Sowell is Black. How does a book about Sowell not fit into their equity policy?
"Media specialists look for books that provide objective information on a variety of topics,” MCPS added. “It is important to know if a book is heavily influenced by a singular perspective. This information is provided for guidance for any media specialist looking for books on a particular topic."
In other words, MCPS is not committed to ensuring that a diverse range of viewpoints are presented to their children. Rather, they want books which present America and American values in a positive light to be excluded from our children’s bookshelves, even going so far as to refuse books that have been donated to them.
Schools are also promoting Critical Gender Theory
The decision is all the more outrageous, because at the same time as MCPS was rejecting books on Sowell, it was actively promoting LGBT books for children as young as four. According to Fox News, a PowerPoint presentation by MCPS for teachers listed a number of LGBT books for children, and told teachers: "Use five of the books by the end of December."
Pre-kindergarten teachers were advised to use the book Puppy Pride to teach young children the terms “intersex”, “Drag King” and “Drag Queen”. They were also given a resource guide which included vocabulary like "cisgender," "gender binary," "transgender," "pansexual" and "queer."
For first grade students, MCPS had picked out IntersectionAllies: We Make Room for All, which tells young children that they can decide “what pronouns fit you best.”
It’s clear what’s going on here. MCPS has no interest in presenting students with a fair and balanced view of the world, in which all sides are given equal hearing. Rather, they are actively pushing Critical Race Theory and Critical Gender Theory, both of which are Neo-Marxist academic theories designed to do away with the America we know and love.
Our children are being placed on the front line of their efforts to destroy America.
Critical Theory can be un-taught at home
You may have already guessed that the Thomas Sowell book rejected by MCPS was our very own book, Thomas Sowell; a Self-Made Man. We at Heroes of Liberty chose to publish the sorts of books that aren’t seen in school libraries precisely to help parents counteract the woke teaching their children receive in schools. Buying our books, and reading them with your kids is a great place to start when seeking to undo harmful Critical Theories.
Here are a few others:
To Counter Critical Gender Theory:
Teach categorization: Young children like to categorize things as it helps them make sense of their worlds. With younger children, you can play the boy / girl game when out and about, asking your child: is that person a girl or a boy? How do we know?
You can also ask: are you a girl or a boy? Affirm the correct answer. Young children will often play at being the opposite sex – lots of small boys want to be like mummy, for instance. Don’t shame them for going outside their gender norms (doing that can also cause problems), but gently affirm their correct gender.
Teach critical thinking skills from a young age. The better children are at assessing and questioning information, the more likely they will be to reject nonsensical ideologies. (For more on this, click here)
Have complex conversations around gender. Although it may feel uncomfortable, children are being exposed to these ideas in school and on college campuses; better to tackle them first as a family to help them formulate their responses ahead of time. A great way to do this is to pose a question around the dinner table, and discuss it as a family. Questions might include:
- Are there things that women can do that men can’t? (and vice versa)
- Should men and women play sports together or should they have their own leagues? Why?
- How do you know that you are a boy / girl?
- What does it feel like to be a boy / girl? Are there some feelings that both boys and girls have?
To Counter Critical Race Theory:
Teach the Civil Rights Movement. With your children, watch a recording of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech on YouTube (a subtitled version can be found at ).
Hold family discussions on race relations. Dr King’s speech references a lot events in American history regarding slavery, freedom, discrimination, and equality. Use the speech as a starting point to discuss some of these ideas. Example questions you may wish to research and discuss together include:
- What is the Emancipation Proclamation? When and why was it written?
- Slavery was abolished long before Dr King made his speech. Why did he believe that people were still not free?
- In which founding document do the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men were created equal” appear? Why was it written? What do these words mean? Were all people equal at the time? Are they now?
- What does Dr King mean by the “Table of Brotherhood” and the “Symphony of Brotherhood”? Why are these ideas important?
- Why does Dr King want his children to “not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character”? What does that mean? Why is it important?
Encourage children to be colorblind. Critical Race Theory teaches children to be hyper-aware of the color of people’s skin. Encourage your children to interact with people in accordance with their character, not their color.