As mayor of Victoria, I questioned the meaning of the word “equity” we see permeating government after attending GARE (Government Alliance on Race and Equity) training put on by the League of Minnesota Cities (summer 2019). I, along with other community leaders and staff, attended this training hosted by Eastern Carver County School District 112.
I was stunned when instructors told us that Thomas Jefferson’s famous words from our Declaration of Independence, “All Men Are Created Equal,” actually mean that only white male property owners can vote. They said the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is an example of our “Christian Privilege.” They similarly twisted Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” Their basic message was that our society operates on white and Christian privilege, and we must accept and “own” that fact.
As a retired veteran, I’ve served 16 years in Army intelligence in Asia and Central America. In comparing these places to America, I know just how great our country is. I took issue with these “equity” views that delegitimize the meaning of our Founding Fathers. They are directly attacking America by perverting our history. I left the training early, upset with the anti-American indoctrination.
The training spurred my interest in GARE. Why would District 112 host such rhetoric? I wondered if this nonsense made its way into district classrooms. I discovered that GARE is not a government agency, but a nonprofit funded by progressive organizations. I discovered GARE had made its way into the dialogue of the District 112 Equity Advisory Council (EAC), a council hand-selected to facilitate an equity agenda into our schools According to their June meeting minutes, attendees suggested that the district adopt the tenets of GARE.
A few weeks later, District 112 hosted the GARE training session, which I briefly attended. Clearly, its goal is to indoctrinate our youth about our “white and Christian privilege.” I reject this divisive ideology. As Americans, we should seek unity amongst all races and religions just as Martin Luther King, Jr. espoused.
Concerned about the direction of District 112, I wrote to them asking to attend an EAC meeting. As mayor of Victoria, I assumed I’m a stakeholder. Surprisingly, I was told the meetings are closed to the public, and I could not attend. Yet the EAC meeting minutes show that Minneapolis community activists along with other outside community members, attended EAC meetings (summer 2019). Wow — what are they trying to hide? Where is the transparency?
Interestingly, 16 of 19 members of the hand-selected EAC are progressives based upon their social media. I can only conclude that this EAC was assembled to promote a progressive equity agenda. Is this representative of our community?
I’d be happy to discuss this issue with any citizen who is interested in learning more about GARE, the lack of transparency in District 112, and the damage, I believe, is being done to our children and our community.
We, the people, have a right to transparency in government and a right to know how District 112 is spending taxpayers’ money.
Tom Funk is Mayor of Victory and Republican Candidate for State Senate