Washington Post Smears Minnesota’s Katherine Kersten

Washington Post flat-out twisted and lied about Kersten’s position, which allowed the Minnesota education commissioner, Democrat Mary Cathryn Ricker, to label a vague position—that Kersten has never held—to be “racist.” 

Kathy Kersten

The writers at the Washington Post went on full attack mode against conservatives.. Washington Post writer Rebecca Tan, wrote a story titled “Racial gaps prove hard to reduce.” The title seems fair but things go downhill from there.

In the guts of the article, Tan takes a swipe at a Minnesota based The Center of the American Experiment’s (CAE’s) Katherine Kersten, implying that Kersten is a “racist.” 

Kathy Kersten is actually a respected scholar on education issues. One such issue Kersten has spoken out about is the racial quotas in school discipline, which instead of increasing racial equality decrease school safety without coming even close to dealing with the root cause of racial inequality—generational poverty, broken homes and fatherlessness. 

Here’s how Tan’s article read: “Equity efforts have also sparked explicit backlash in some places, including Minnesota, where conservative writer Katherine Kersten wrote that a push to investigate biases in student discipline records will bring ‘increased violence’ to classrooms. The state education commissioner called Kersten’s arguments ‘flat-out racist.’”

It turns out that Tan had already written most of her article, but had reached out to CAE for a statement from Kersten. 

The Center provided Tan with this statement: “In the St. Paul public schools, racial discipline quotas and an anti-suspension behavior modification program led to a dramatic increase in student violence. In 2015, a veteran teacher was hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury after being choked and body-slammed by a student. Teachers told the local newspaper the constant threats and chaos they experience made them fearful for their safety. Administrators must discipline violent students, or they jeopardize the environment that makes learning possible for every other student. Race shouldn’t be a factor at all in those decisions.”

Notice how Tan’s “Kersten wrote that a push to investigate biases in student discipline records will bring ‘increased violence’ to classrooms” is nothing like Kersten’s actual and very specific argument: That imposing a racial quota in school discipline is a bad idea.

But Tan flat-out twisted and lied about Kersten’s position, which allowed the Minnesota education commissioner, Democrat Mary Cathryn Ricker, to label a vague position—that Kersten has never held—to be “racist.” 

After pushback from CAE, Tan and her editors changed a few words, but the article still says that Kersten wrote that a “push to address perceived biases in student discipline would bring ‘increased violence’ to classrooms.” That’s still very different from Kersten’s position, which simply says school discipline shouldn’t consider race. 

Maybe the Washington Post didn’t care about reporting the truth

First off, it is worth noting that Tan is a former Vox.com writer. Vox.com, started by a former Washington Post writer, is a far-left website who’s writers have defended Antifa, and taken many other extremist positions. 

So it is possible that Tan is just another far-lefty bent on smearing conservatives. 

But there’s another possibility. Maybe Tan, and many of her fellow leftwing reporters, have been so indoctrinated by the higher-ed system that they have lost the ability to reason.

Kersten is very intelligent, but understanding her work only requires common sense. Here’s an expert from Kersten’s piece in City Journal, which outlines how St. Paul Public Schools implemented a racial quota for discipline and got mayhem, when a segment of kids soon realized they were “untouchable” and misbehaved even further:

“December 4, 2015, marked a turning point. That day, at Central High School, a 16-year-old student body-slammed and choked a teacher, John Ekblad, who was attempting to defuse a cafeteria fight. Ekblad was hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury. In the same fracas, an assistant principal was punched repeatedly in the chest and left with a grapefruit-size bruise on his neck. At a press conference the next day, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi branded rising student-on-staff violence ‘a public health crisis.’ Assaults on St. Paul school staff reported to his office tripled in 2015, compared with 2014, and were up 36 percent over the previous four-year average. Attacks on teachers continued unabated in the months that followed. In March, for example, a Como Park High teacher was assaulted during a classroom invasion over a drug deal, suffered a concussion, and required staples to close a head wound.”

None of this is driven by racial animus. It is in fact the opposite. A lack of discipline in poor and minority public schools harms the black and brown students who want to learn. Ignoring this chaos, and what it does to the future of American children, is in-of-itself a form of racism.

But for some on the left, the very smart ones at least must perceive that the “education gap” is a result of the left’s failed policies. Billboards around Minnesota, for example, are saying that the state has the worst outcome for minority students in the nation. This is true. The signs don’t mention that the conditions in these schools are almost entirely the result of Democrat Party policies. The sentient left has to be living in terror that the people harmed by these policies will one day wake up. All they can do now is obfuscate and yell “racist!”

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