It is a truism to say that Marxist thought has done much to undermine the quality of today’s college experience. But few people realize just how deeply Marxist thought has penetrated education in America. Its influence is not restricted to the realm of higher education. Nor is it restricted to the realm of economics. Marxism also affects our moral reasoning and it begins to do so in grammar school. The case of Mrs. White is illustrative.
Mrs. White was a first grade teacher in the 1960s. She taught in a small school in Alabama just a few years after the schools integrated along the lines of race. She was rather blunt in her teaching methods. But she was effective. In fact, no one ever questioned her efficacy in the classroom.
One day, Mrs. White was teaching a young black boy to read. He was pronouncing the word “this” as “dis” and the word “that” as “dat.” Mrs. White told him he needed to learn to speak English properly. She said that integration was a right accompanied by responsibilities. She went so far as to tell him that he wasn’t a “nigger” and shouldn’t speak like one. She told him he was an intelligent young man and needed to act like it.
Her methods were unorthodox but hardly controversial in that day. Years later, after the young black boy became a young black man with a college degree, he stayed in touch with Mrs. White. She was the best teacher he ever had. She taught him how to read – something neither of his parents learned to do.
In 1968, just five years into her teaching career, Mrs. White went through a very public divorce. She had an affair with another man and subsequently decided to leave her husband and three children. When she left her family, she was forthcoming about the reasons. In an unusual move, she decided to give her husband full custody without any legal challenge.
The response to Mrs. White’s divorce was uniform. Parents called for her dismissal, which was effected at the end of the school year. She never taught again – although it was a moot point given the substantial wealth of her second husband.
Mrs. White had only one daughter, named Gina. When Gina graduated from college in 1983, she became a schoolteacher. Her choice of career surprised many given that her mother had walked out on her when she was a child. No one expected her to want to grow up to be like her mother - but she did so in many ways.