Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Critical Race Theory where you don't expect it--the county extension agent

CRT by any other name is still CRT. And it's in places I didn't expect. This blog essay is about County Extension (your tax dollars flowing from Washington DC to Ohio State to Extension). This is Marion County, Ohio, population ca. 65,000. 90% white, 6% black.
"Since 2017, Marion County has redefined what it means to be a Family and Consumer Sciences Educator. Traditionally focused on building healthy people, residents have called on FCS in Marion County to respond to the conditions that underpin health inequity: racism, ableism, sexism and other forms of injustice that presently and historically exist in the community. The most significant part of my job is to redistribute material and financial resources from the university to support community-led initiatives and programs. For example, most recently I mobilized activists, community residents, artists and community-accountable scholars to participate in collaborative and emergent dreaming, writing and drafting of a new program, Marion Dreamkeepers. The program and research study elevated youth of color as leaders for racial justice and exemplified community responsive, collaborative, creative work in Extension. I (Whitney Gherman) offered a critical and reflexive understanding of theory and young people led the way of implementation, providing insight to their lived realities and perceptions as well as new ways of facilitating Extension programs."
 There's more of this DIE--diversity, inclusion and equity at the OSU extension website, but let's look a bit further.

This grant and proposal is based on a program and theory of Gloria Ladson Billings. I looked her up and . . . "Gloria Ladson-Billings is a Jewish-American teacher and pedagogical theorist who is known for her teachings of diversity and critical race theory."
There are 15x more poor whites in that county than poor blacks. I wonder just how inclusive Ms. Whitney Gherman is or if she only sees skin color. Before Whitney worked as an anti-racist and intersectionality specialist (she uses the pronouns she/her/hers), she worked for University of Michigan. In her OSU bio she is identified as a critical race theorist.

What concerns me is, "health equity" is the new buzz word. Public health and behavioral health are related. Smoking, drug use, obesity, lack of exercise and sexual behavior are the big issues in health care costs. They are also related to poverty, and most poor US citizens are white. Who is ever reminded of that when told of "racial and ethnic health disparities?" These problems show up as early as age 2 according to CDC. But with government bureaucrats and racialists chasing racism, where is the concern for the economically disadvantaged white rural or city child? Also, due to the epidemic of drugs (aggravated by our border policies), I believe that is now a bigger problem for whites than blacks. If Extension is looking for problems to solve, perhaps they could do better than telling blacks they are victims, and whites they are oppressors. "Mobilizing activists," unless they are snatching alcohol and cigs out of the hands of obese children, really won't do much for Marion, Ohio, or your city.

All universities engage in research and teaching, and our more than 100 land-grant colleges and universities have a third mission — extension. It was created by the USDA in 1914.

There are thousands, maybe millions, of Whitneys in our education system from kindergarten up. What's in your county system?

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