This little true anecdote — based on firsthand knowledge — is terribly sad. A pre-teenage boy, living in the United States with his affluent family from South America, attends an American public school in the eastern part of the country. They are not immigrants. He speaks English without an accent and is not physically identifiable as belonging to any particular ethnic group.
Recently, he was raising money for the homeless with a friend at a school fair. At the first of the tables he passed, the salesman invited him to take a look at his merchandise — soccer balls and shirts. The boy became very upset.
“That’s racist,” he complained to his friend.
“Why?” asked the schoolmate.
“That’s what they think of us Mexicans. All we are interested in is soccer and tacos.”
In other words, he innocently had turned a simple situation — a guy wanted to sell merchandise, for charity, to boys of a soccer-crazy age — into a racist incident.
The boy didn’t do anything or say anything to anyone other than his friend. That’s just the way he reacted to it. And this is happening in America — not to mention Canada and Europe — tens of thousands of times each day. We just don’t hear about it.
To take a small incident as proof of a much wider phenomenon is always open to question. Yet I can’t help but think — especially since I know what he’s been taught in the classroom — that this boy’s paranoia and quickness to anger is a result of the indoctrination he is getting in public school.
He lacks an interest in politics. He enjoys a very calm personality. He isn’t prone to exaggeration or anger, which makes this incident all the more shocking. Oh, and one other thing: he does love soccer.
Tell people over and over again that America is mostly or even mainly characterized by racism, and you are teaching people to hate America. Or, as one eleven-year-old girl from another South American family told her classmates: “We hate America, but our parents are making us live here.”
Kids in the class constantly use the word “racist,” even when colors completely unassociated with human beings are mentioned — a black cat, for example, or automobile.
What happens when you tell young people over and over again that the most important fact of American history is the internment of Japanese during World War Two? In a single year, I watched as fourth graders were assigned four different readings on that topic while spending ten minutes on George Washington and zero on Abraham Lincoln. Their sole reading on September 11 was a story on how Kenyans reacted to the event — with no identification of who had carried out the attack.
I could supply four score and seven more very specific first-hand examples, based on a close observation of my son’s almost two years in an American public school. Whether he is being subjected to one of the school plans developed by unrepentant anti-American terrorist Bill Ayers, who has had a certain influence on contemporary American leadership, I cannot say.
Yet this is what’s really going on in the America experienced by our eleven-year-olds, and, no doubt, by their older and younger siblings as well. This daily experience isn’t covered in the media. Parents hardly ever hear about it.