At the end of the lecture, they proved her point.
Critical race theory is ugly, and it likes a microphone.
Dr. Carol Swain came to Bismarck on March 29 to speak on the dangers of critical race theory (CRT). She shared her personal story, one of coming from poverty, a broken home, and an 8th grade education, up to her current impressive high degrees and career as Ivy League professor and political appointee.
She had a calm, teaching spirit and it was a wonderful evening.
I later learned (via eavesdropping) that a group of three women had been given free tickets to attend because they said they were teachers, or part of a teachers group. The rest of us paid $30 plus fees for our tickets (which I think we all happily paid). Apparently, however, throughout the entire two hours, those three women quietly mocked what Dr. Swain had to say. The people sitting in front of them had to put up with it the entire time.
At the end of the session, it was Q&A time.
I will not lie, I dread Q&A.
There are rarely people who ask a crisp, clean question. Maybe it’s just a North Dakota thing, but every lecture or speaker event I’ve been at, the Q&A is inevitably dominated by a handful of people who have no question, but just want to get ahold of the microphone and ramble on about their own lives and experience, some broad theory, or push their website or product. T
Some tag a weak question at the end to hide what they’ve done, but we all know. “You all paid for a ticket to hear that person speak but imma gonna talk now” is basically what happens in those situations. An expert is present, but we want to tell them about our life instead of pick their brain. It’s weird.
“All questions should be written down and read by a moderator!” my friend hissed in my ear the last time we were at a meeting and a guy was five minutes into his speech while the invited speaker stood awkwardly at the front and the moderator couldn’t get the microphone away.
Some people really like microphones.
When the floor opened for Q&A at the Swain event, one woman in that group of three immediately got up and asked for the first question. She had a piece of paper in her hand, which is a warning sign that there’s a prepared speech coming. The moderator brought her the microphone.
I guess when someone is that eager to get the mic, that’s a hint?
“How does it feel to be a slave?” she asked Dr. Swain.
She then proceeded, reading from those notes, to repeat the slave reference, suggesting Swain was little more than a modern slave scooping out soup to the white audience just so she could sell her books and get the white man’s money by telling them what they wanted to hear.
Or something like that.
I just rolled my eyes and quit listening about 30 seconds in when I realized what she was up to. Same dog and pony dance, different day. If you really disagreed with someone, wouldn’t you relish the chance to ask a tough question that forced them to confront what you believed was the crux of the matter?
Why it is that these kinds of folks simply revert to name-calling and speechmaking, dominating so no one else can talk, is beyond me. It only serves to make their stance seem weaker.
The audience began telling her to be quiet, to sit down. Dr. Swain stopped the audience, however, and said that she wanted her to ask her question.
Problem was, there was no question.
There was grandstanding and emotion, but no question. She was here to put on a show, I guess. I could tell my friend next to me was getting angry, as were others, but I couldn’t even muster up anger. Pity, maybe, in bare flashes.
Sorry. Guess I heard it all before, for over a year, during the pipeline protest. Excuse me if I don’t take you seriously.
Finally, after several minutes of somewhat incoherent rambling with plenty of Uncle Tom inferences and mention of treaty land, the moderator managed to get the microphone away. Because nothing says anti-racism and I’m-educated like an activist going right for “yo still a slave to the white people” whenever you meat a successful minority person who doesn’t go along with CRT.
The woman was ushered out or left on her own; I couldn’t quite see.
“That young lady has been poisoned in the mind,” Dr. Swain said.
And indeed, that woman literally illustrated for us exactly what we’d learned about the previous two hours. She could not have proven Dr. Swain’s points any better.
There were a couple of other questions (and “questions”) from the audience, and then the other women with the gal asked for the microphone. Lo and behold, they were treated with equity and given the mic and a chance to speak. But once again, the same thing happened.
At one point, Dr. Swain tried to get the rather emotional women to clarify what they wanted.
you should show the first speaker more respect she has a doctorate and helps people
“I’m not impressed by a doctorate,” said Dr. Swain. “They hand those out like candy.”
treaty land treaty land north dakota law requires k-12 teach history including native american history treaty land
“Ask your question. Tell me what you want,” Swain said. “Otherwise you’re just monopolizing everyone’s time.”
treaty land dialogue is good but these white people treaty land marginalized group ignored
“Tell me what you want to see happen.”
you’re spreading fear and division treaty land
“I’m asking you to tell me what it is you want.”
stop interrupting me let me finish my question treaty land
“Tell me what you want.”
They could not.
This went on for several minutes, and finally the microphone was again removed from the two of them, just as it had been from the first gal. Dr. Swain was willing to have a discussion with them, but that’s not why they came.
The didn’t come to listen, only to mock. They didn’t come to learn, only to be emotional. They didn’t come to ask questions, they came to complain. For them, dialogue has only one direction, and they are a bullhorn that will never move on from the past.
When given an opportunity to inform us what they wanted as a resolution, they had nothing to offer. In all their preparation, the grand speeches they planned to give, their big moment in the sun, the talking points they’d been fed at the university and online, they presented…nuthin’.
What did they want?
I guess it’s too crass to just say they want money.
Get into the event free, and monopolize the Q&A while griping about privilege. As my parents would say when we were caught up in fits of emotion and were unwilling to get down to brass tacks, “quit your belly-aching.”
The emotional response is a key component, I think.
One of the videos Dr. Swain showed during her presentation was of a high school coach or phy ed teacher who had his kids line up for a race and a chance to win $100. But then he started dividing them out.
“If you have both parents at home, take two steps forward. If you had a father figure in the home, take two steps forward. If you had access to a free tutor, take two steps forward. If you had access to a private education, take two steps forward.”
On and on it went. Ironically, about the only thing I’d have been able to step forward on was having two parents and a father figure, and I’m guessing the CRT folks wouldn’t be to pleased if I said that a home built on the Christian faith, and that rejecting welfare, sexual promiscuity, and whole lot of rules and restrictions at home played a part in that. You don’t get the benefit of a two-parent home if, as a political and social movement, you trash and redefine the family structure at every opportunity; calling out two parents as privilege after you’ve done such a thing is a bit disingenuous.
“Now turn around,” the coach in the video said, drawing attention to the somewhat humiliated kids back at the start line, many of whom (but not all) were black. The coach went on to say that all the advantages and privileges the kids at the front had were because of nothing they’d done. “Some of those black guys back there could easily win, if they had an equal chance.”
Then he started the race, and nearly all of the kids ran full speed to get the $100.
All the while, dramatically sad music was playing and then, at the end of the video, some very-out-of-context Bible verse from John was stuck on the screen.
I say nearly all the kids ran to win, no matter where they started across the race, except one group. The group back on the starting line didn’t run.
What I saw in that video wasn’t what they were manipulating people to see, something about unfairness and the impossibility of winning in an uneven playing field. What I saw was that before that idiotic coach had started mucking about with the kids due to his own white guilt, they were all lined up and eager to win that race. And if he’d not forced division and established victims at staggered places in the race, those kids who decided not to even bother running once the scenario was set up would have run the race and got the prize.
In other words, you tell kids they don’t have a chance, and they don’t bother trying. Talk about your self-fulfilling prophecies.
I’m especially disgusted by the inclusion of a Bible verse at the end. The Bible tells us to press forward and run the race before you, not look around and see what is and isn’t fair. Help your brother and sister, but run your race the best you can, for God.
Dr. Swain’s own story is proof positive that you can win no matter where someone tells you your starting line is. As she pointed out, the civil rights laws of the 1960s established equality under the law. We all have different circumstances in life, but under the law of the land, there is equal opportunity. Not equity (equality in outcome, because outcome depends on whether you decide to run the race or not), but equal opportunity (you can choose to run the race or not, because you are allowed to run).
I’d seen that video of the faux race before, mind you.
The church I’d worked at back in 2020 had replaced the older children’s pastor (who’d “resigned” i.e. been fired) with a young couple right out of college. On the new children’s pastor’s wife’s Facebook page, she’d shared that video pointing out how true and powerful it was.
The lack of discernment was disheartening; Dr. Swain had pointed out how CRT has infiltrated the church in incredible amounts, packaged as social justice, and she’s right. And at this point, most people aren’t even going to be able to see it for what it is, so tightly have these unbiblical ideas been meshed with poorly used scriptures.
I’m guessing lots of Christians have shared that video online, unaware of the poison in it.
The video was emotional and powerful, as deception generally is.
You hammer a person’s emotions, you can control them and get them to do or believe anything. We certainly learned that during the pandemic, and we see it with CRT. It’s an appeal to emotion, and it’s everywhere. Online, in school, in our entertainment, in church, wrapped in dramatic music and story and Bible verses. As Dr. Swain pointed out, with CRT personal story and experience trump fact and reality. All the logic, data, and verifiable facts in the world can’t stand before someone sharing their emotional personal story, in the world we now live.
This kind of thing taps into our nature of wanting the underdog to win. It taps into people who feel guilty they have had an easier life than others (a kind of survivor’s guilt). It creates false dichotomies and excludes any other considerations by so narrowly corralling how you feel that you can go in no other direction than the one you’re led in.
It appeals to emotion, and it is emotionally spread.
The only reaction I had to those women who dominated the Q&A last night was a thank you for illustrating so well exactly what was described as happening in our education system and what the end result looks like in person. It is pure poison, and once a mind is infected—barring a miracle—it’s too late.
And while being emotional may be a valid tool in their tool box—since “lived experience” is the great truth for these cultural Marxists—that toolbox leaves them poorly equipped, apparently, when they are asked a simple question: what do you want?
“I have a doctorate so you should respect me and listen to me,” implies the minority woman in the audience to the minority woman on the stage with the doctorate. We do, indeed, live in a world where the last two generations got a participation ribbon for showing up.
*Quotes aren’t exact verbatim.