Winter Institute talks tolerance but practices intolerance

Published 10:10 am Friday, February 17, 2017

By Lee Habeeb

It’s a simple thing. If you teach “tolerance” and “inclusiveness,” you should practice it. And be who you say you are. If you say you’re non-partisan, be non-partisan. Especially if you’re planning to enter K-12 public schools as trainers of teachers, as the Winter Institute is already doing in Oxford.

At the Oxford School District’s most recent school board meeting, the Winter Institute was asked if they were a partisan organization. They answered, “no.” They were asked because there’s an agreement pending between the Winter Institute and OSD to work together promoting racial tolerance.

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Why should parents care? Because the Winter Institute is a left wing partisan group seeking to gain access to our schools. And legitimacy doing so.

Who are they? What do they believe? Why are they training our teachers, and not someone else?

We started with academic director Jennifer Stollman’s resume, which reads like she’s auditioning for a left wing activist achievement award. Her research interests include “the development and deployment of collective and individual identities” and “anti-oppression activism and techniques.” Not exactly non-partisan, that kind of resume.

Stollman’s Facebook page was equally revealing. On January 20, this was one of her posts: “Resistance 101: A lesson for Inauguration Day Teach-Ins and Beyond – Teaching for Change.”

It was from the Summer Youth Institute of the Winter Institute. Did they arrange “teach for change teach-ins” when President Obama won in 2012, I wondered? Did they “resist” Obamacare, and the government takeover of our health care? Of course not! They don’t want to resist government. They want more of it. And more wealth redistribution.

On November 8, Stollman shared this post on her Facebook page:

Here’s my plan: 1) Weep for the visible operation of white supremacist heteropatriarchy on display in our election tonight. 2) Not get out of bed for a couple of days. 3) Get back up and get back at the hard work of critical education, critical praxis and transforming our racist, misogynistic, heterosexist, xenophobic, violent culture.”

Is that what Stollman and the Winter Institute think of their fellow Americans?

She had this to say that same day:

Angry rural white voters-hating women, people of color, immigrants, lgbtquia. Our lack of courage has sown the seeds of fear and anxiety. We surely have taken down a magnificent oak tree nourished by a brilliant sun, crystal clear water and rich dirt. In its place we have a salt water soaked dead limb. We are the tillers of this soil so we should not be surprised.

Does Stollman know that 62% of white women without college degrees voted for Donald Trump? Are they sexist? Or stupid?  62% of rural voters chose Donald Trump? Are they racists? Or stupid, too?

And there was Stollman’s most revealing post, a picture of a man’s back with the word “deplorable” taped on it, along with an article from the Atlantic, a left wing web site. It’s subtitle: “Why calling people racist might actually be a good idea.”

Underneath the picture were these chilling words: “Sometimes there are more important goals than civility.”

Another post attacked “liberal white racist male privilege,” the white males who supported Hillary rather than Bernie Sanders. Talk about inclusiveness!

If you get a chance, take a look at Stollman’s Facebook page, and her peers at the Winter Institute. Words like tolerance, inclusiveness and non-partisan won’t come to mind.

What wasn’t on the Winter Institute Facebook pages was equally revealing. There were no posts about marriage being the best antidote to poverty. Only 7% of kids live below the poverty line when there’s a mother and father in the home. The rate is nearly six times higher for single mothers.

There was not a single post about how government stifles economic growth, and when the economy is stagnant, poor people suffer the most. Not a word about how entrenched interests in big city school systems fail poor kids, while serving the people who work there.  Not a mention of the role faith plays in straightening out addicts, and how faith based programs are working in prisons across America. Not a peep about those kind of poverty programs.

The ideas the Winter Institute peddles are equally troubling. “Implicit bias” theory essentially states that all white people are racists – and don’t know it. That’s rubbish.

“Microagressions” and “safe zones”  are two more Winter Institute gems, and what those words amount to is simple: leftists like them will determine what’s offensive, and enforce their beliefs with speech codes. Or worse They’re Orwellian and dangerous, these ideas of the radical left.

Here’s the bottom line. Any organization that allows the kind of hatred Stollman felt comfortable posting on her Facebook page – and is as overtly partisan as the Winter Institute – shouldn’t be granted access to OSD. Or any other public school in this state.

Here’s why, if you want a simple standard. If you claim to teach inclusiveness, you should be inclusive. If you claim to teach tolerance, you shouldn’t be intolerant.

That’s something any child would understand.

Lee Habeeb is a conservative talk show host in Oxford and has written columns for National Review and Lifezette.