Protecting Democracy

Nikole Hannah-Jones appeared on “Meet the Press” on Sunday and said that she “…did not understand this idea that parents should decide what’s being taught” in schools. She then went on to say “I’m not a professional educator. I don’t have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have an expertise in the subject area.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones

About a month before she dismissed the idea of parents having a say over their children’s education she was interviewed by the Associated Press, during the course of which she had this to say. “I think we have to ask ourselves … the narrators, the storytellers, the journalists: Are we ringing the alarm in the right way? Are we doing our jobs to try to uphold our democracy?”

So let’s make sure we are clear about the bait-and-switch that is going on here. Hannah-Jones, currently a tenured professor at Howard University, claims she is not a professional educator. The reasonable question to ask then is: what is she doing as as tenured faculty member of Howard University? After all she recently accepted an appointment to the newly created Knight Chair in Race and Journalism. Her duties include founding the Center for Journalism and Democracy, which according the the New York Times will “…train and support aspiring reporters in investigative skills and analytical expertise.”

So with a straight face Hannah-Jones pretends to lack expertise in academia, even though she is a tenured professor and her responsibilities include developing curricula. Just as she marketed curricula based on her 1619 Project. And, as it turns out she will be instructing journalism students in investigative skills and analytical expertise. And as the founder of the Center for Journalism and Democracy she will presumably be training students on how journalism and democracy intersect. 

The funny thing about all this is that in Hannah-Jones’s version of Democracy the parents who fund the public schools, vote in school board elections, go to the PTA meetings and volunteer their time aren’t suppose to have a say in their children’s education. It should be left to the “experts”. Those are the same experts whose achievements include getting almost 25% of inner city students to be able to read proficeintly at their grade level. 

Democracy in the world of Hannah-Jones and like-minded progressives works just fine if you vote the right way. On the other hand, choice and true accountability are to be avoided at all costs. Which is to say it is not democracy at all. It is the soft totalitarianism of the administrative state. Which gets harder as time goes on, if left unopposed. 

But of course, they have the best of intentions. It’s just that the results never seem to pan out right. 

JFB