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What "New Math," Transgender "Bathroom" Laws, and Affirmative Action All Have in Common

by John Spritzler

October 14, 2018

What all the things in the title have in common is this: they are ways that the ruling class turns good and decent people against other good and decent people, to divide-and-rule us. Let's see how this is so.

This "New Math" (a.k.a. Common Core Math) question above is (I would say deliberately) so ridiculously ambiguous and weird and (to many very intelligent adults, never mind children) incomprehensible that it is perfectly predicable that many people (children and their parents) will react to it along the lines of, "This is just BS!" That's how I reacted to it myself, and I have a doctoral degree in biostatistics from Harvard University.

People who think "This is just BS!" then get told by other people (the fans of the "New Math," some of whom are very well-meaning teachers and others, such as Bill Gates who funded and steam-rolled the Common Core, less so.*) that, "No, it is not BS. It is about understanding how numbers work and what they mean and not just memorizing rote number facts, so that one can advance to greater mathematical understanding and skill in the future."

Here's the thing. There is a good way to teach children to understand how numbers work and what they mean, and a bad way to do that.

The good way involves making the ideas so clear and easy to grasp that the child gains great self-confidence about his/her ability to master the concepts, enjoys mastering them, and learns to think of him/herself as a smart person.

The bad way involves making the concepts so unclear, difficult to grasp and just weird that the child ends up thinking that math is simply too difficult a subject for him/herself to master because he/she must not be smart enough.

One way to do it the bad way is to ignore the fact that what might make good sense to an older child will make no sense whatsoever to a younger, less mentally developed, child. Here is a video of a good teacher discussing this exact same Common Core question (abut 8+5=13) and explaining why the Common Core approach is inappropriate for second graders.

Even when the students are of an age to understand the Common Core approach, there is a right and wrong way of doing it. Consider the New Math question above. It could have been written this good way:

"If you didn't remember that 8 + 5 = 13, how could you arrive at that answer by turning the problem into two easier ones by first adding just a part of the 5 to 8 to get 10, and then adding the remaining part of the 5 to 10 to get 13?"

If the problem had been written in this sensible, clear, and non-weird manner and given to students of an appropriate age, most children and most adults would not have reacted by saying, "That's just BS!" They would have seen that the problem was about how to use knowledge and understanding of numbers and their parts to break a harder problem down into easier ones, a general skill that has obvious uses for future applications down the road.

So, how come the problem was written in the totally weird and confusing way that it was by the Common Core professionals?

The answer has something to do with the fact that Bill Gates, one of three individuals in the United States whose combined net worth is more than the combined net worth of the entire bottom half of the U.S. population, was the person mainly responsible for making the Common Core curriculum dominate U.S. public education. (To read about this, see the "Education" section of my article here.) The billionaires who actually rule the United States need to prevent the have-nots from uniting against the haves to make our society be far more equal and democratic--the way almost all ordinary people want it to be. The billionaire class stays in power by using a variety of schemes to keep the have-nots divided against themselves: divide-and-rule.

The Common Core/New Math is one such scheme. It works like this. It takes a good and noble idea (teaching children to really understand numbers and not just memorize facts) and implements it in deliberately bad way that angers many good and decent people. Then the scheme entails having the part of the population that is focused on how the idea is a good and noble one tell the other part of the population (those who see that its implementation is BS) that they are, in some sense, bad people (stupid, backward, etc.) This naturally results in great mutual hostility (contempt, even sometimes fear) between the two parts of the population. Presto! Divide-and-rule.

Transgender "Bathroom" Laws

Which leads to what transgender "bathroom" laws (and, later on) Affirmative Action have to do with the New Math.

Transgender "bathroom" laws--the ones that liberal politicians wrote--are another divide-and-rule scheme. The good and noble idea that these laws purport to be about is the idea that transgender people should not be oppressed by being denied their right to use appropriate public-access bath/shower facilities. The liberal mass media tell everybody that the new liberal "bathroom" laws are simply about making it illegal to oppress transgender people and that if one opposes such a law it means one is a nasty "transphobic" bigot. Many people--to their credit--support these new laws simply because they don't want to be a bigot. Fine. But many other people take a closer look at these laws and see that the laws are not REALLY protecting transgender people from any oppression but instead take away the right of privacy that people deserve to have. To see this, please read my letter to the editor about the referendum on the "bathroom" law in Massachusetts where I live, below**.

The result--the intended result!--is that the population of good and decent people--the have-nots--is split into two opposing camps, for and against the "bathroom" law. One camp views the other as a bunch of "transphobic" bigots, and the other camp views the former as idiots who think it should be illegal for a woman in a public-access shower room to tell a person with male genitalia in that shower room to leave. Presto! Divide-and-rule.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action is yet another divide-and-rule scheme, as I discuss more fully in my article, "We Need THIS, Not Affirmative Action." Briefly, here's how it works (this might sound very familiar by now.) Affirmative Action purports to be about a very good and noble idea: ending racial discrimination in job hiring and school admission. Many good and decent people, to their credit, support Affirmative Action simply because they have been told by the liberal media that it is racist not to, and they don't want to be racist. Fine. But many other people think that being against racism means wanting the required minimum score on a test to get a job or school admission to be the SAME, not different, for people whose race is different. The old Civil Rights Movement was against racial discrimination, and for people being treated the same regardless of their race. But that was the old Civil Rights Movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. whom the government killed. (Yes, read about that here and here and here.) After MLK, Jr. was gone, President Nixon pressured the Civil Rights leaders to do a 180 turnaround and demand government-imposed racial discrimination--lower test scores required for non-whites than whites to get a job or school admission. The result--the intended result!--was that many good and decent people defended Affirmative Action thinking it was against racism, and many other good and decent people opposed Affirmative Action because they saw it as being all about wrongful racial discrimination. Presto! Divide-and-rule.

But Wait, There's More!

School busing "for integration"

The ruling billionaire plutocracy has gained great skill in these kinds of divide-and-rule schemes. Here's an example from the 1970s in Boston. As you may recall, there was a huge, and sometimes even violent, conflict--a little race war--in Bosotn in 1974 over the issue of "forced school busing for integration of the schools." Briefly, here's what happened. A liberal judge--Arthur Garrity--declared that the Boston City schools were racially segregated and needed to be integrated with a busing plan. The specific busing plan that the judge demanded was one that was obviously designed to be absurd, logistically nightmarish, with maximally long bus rides for little elementary school children across the entire city. Some black and white parents presented to the judge a sensible plan to integrate the schools. It entailed taking advantage of the fact that Boston's neighborhoods were a bit like a chess board with black and white neighborhoods near each other even though distinct. Their sensible plan was to build schools at or near the borders between black and white neighborhoods so that children could go to nearby neighborhood schools that would also be integrated schools. But--as readers of this article now probably can guess--the judge absolutely refused to even consider the sensible plan and insisted on the outrageous one--all in the name of "integration" of course. So what happened?

The overtly racist Boston Schools Committeewoman, Louise Day Hicks (no doubt secretly thanking Judge Garrity for handing her a gift on a silver platter) organized a movement against the busing plan (exceedingly easy, since it was designed to be objectionable for reasons having nothing to do with racism) and declared that it was blacks who were the enemy, since the busing plan was (supposedly) "for the blacks." Presto! Divide-and-rule.

Same-sex Marriage, Abortion

I have explained in some detail here how the ruling class has used the same-sex marriage issue to divide-and-rule us. I have also explained in detail here how the ruling class uses the abortion issue to divide-and-rule us. When you read these articles you will see that the same pattern repeats: the rulers, in the name of a good and noble idea, do something that is actually bad and designed to be viewed as bad by about half the population, but thought to be good by the other half. Presto! Divide-and-rule.

Anti-communism to protect our freedom

I'm not sure when the United States ruling class first learned this trick of doing something bad in the name of something good. Maybe it began with Cold War anti-Communism. Communism is indeed very anti-democratic, as I discuss in detail here. But the United States ruling class is also very anti-democratic; in fact we have a fake democracy that is really a dictatorship of the rich, as I discuss here. When U.S. rulers during the Cold War waxed eloquent about the evils of Communism and about how they (our rulers) were fighting Communism to protect us and other people from totalitarian oppression, that was how they tried to make sure that everybody would perceive U.S. foreign policy (making the world more profitable for U.S. corporations by overthrowing liberal elected governments in Guatemala and Iran, for example) as being for a good and noble cause. Our rulers were just using the Soviet Union's anti-democratic government to frighten ordinary Americans into obedience of the billionaire ruling plutocracy. In truth, the U.S. rulers were arming the Soviet Union all during the Cold War (as I describe in detail here) to ensure that it would remain a strong enough power to play the role of bogeyman enemy.

Beware of Schemes Pushed by Politicians that Purport to Be for a Good and Noble Cause

I hope that this little article of mine helps you, dear reader, to be on the lookout for the newest and latest (whatever it may turn out to be) divide-and-rule scheme. The key is to trust your gut; if something just seems wrong or bad even though it is touted as being for a good and noble idea, look at it very closely with a great deal of skepticism. If you notice that good and decent people--the have-nots--are in sharp disagreement with each other, take a close look to see if this is because of a divide-and-rule scheme and not because there really is a fundamental conflict of values among the have-nots. The rulers work very hard, and cleverly, to divide-and-rule us. We need to be aware of this, and always on the lookout for it. We need to think about how to overthrow the divide-and-rule schemes by saying what we really want, in a clear way that will (usually) get the support of the vast majority of have-nots, or at least gain the respect (if not agreement from) the vast majority of have-nots. My book, DIVIDE AND RULE: The "Left vs. Right" Trap is about how to do this.

Some people say that we should just ignore issues such as New Math and transgender bathroom laws, etc. because they just divert us from the real issue, which is how to overcome the oppression of the billionaire ruling plutocracy and corporations. The problem with this viewpoint is that these "hot button" issues are divide-and-rule WEAPONS that the rich use against the have-nots. We cannot win against the ruling class by ignoring the weapons it uses against us; we must neutralize those weapons. I discuss this further here.

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* See my article, "Bill Gates Is Not a Benign Philanthropist, Quite the Contrary" about Mr. Gates.

** My letter to the editor about the Massachusetts "bathroom" law:

Dear editor,

Here's why I urge people to vote NO on Question 3, to repeal the "Bathroom Bill" law--a law that falsely purports to protect transgender people.

For as long as people can remember it had been the non-controversial custom that when it comes to the use of public- access bath rooms, shower rooms and similar gender-specific areas, that people with male genitalia use the rooms designated for males and people with female genitalia use the rooms designated for females. This custom is perfectly acceptable to the vast majority of transgender people who have genitalia different from what they were born with. It is perfectly acceptable to virtually everybody else also. It is an extremely rare transgender person indeed who even wants to use, say, a shower room with people whose genitalia are different from his/her own, and most transgender people would oppose such bizarre behavior as "ideological exhibitionism."

The "Bathroom Bill" law, however, absurdly says that a person with male genitalia who claims to be a woman has a legal right to enter a public-access women's shower room, and that if a woman tells him to leave then that woman is in violation of the law. (Vice versa for a person with female genitalia entering the men's shower room.)

The main, and obvious, reason this is absurd is that people have an understandable desire not to be naked in front of a stranger with the opposite kind of genitalia.

The liberal politicians ignore the obvious absurdity of the "Bathroom Bill" law and use a straw man argument to divert attention away from its absurdity. They act as if the main reason people object to the law is that they have an irrational fear of transgender people committing a crime in the bath or shower room. The liberal politicians then argue that since transgender people are no more criminal than anybody else (and that, besides, there are laws against crimes), that therefore it is irrational for anybody to oppose the "Bathroom Bill" law; as if people's desire not to be naked in front of a stranger with the opposite kind of genitalia were not the main concern here of people opposed to this absurd law!

I think the liberal politicians are using the absurd "Bathroom Bill" law to demonize good and decent people as irrational "transphobic" bigots. This in turn enables Big Money to divide-and-rule us by pitting people who mistakenly think transgender people need the "Bathroom Bill" law to be safe and who think anybody who disagrees with them must be a bigot, against people who see that the law doesn't protect anybody from anything and only ends the privacy that the long-standing and perfectly sensible custom had ensured for many years. I believe that the "vote yes on 3" organizations that purport to represent transgender people don't really do so; they are funded by Big Money and act to help it divide-and-rule us this way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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READ THE BOOKS IN THE "NO RICH AND NO POOR" SERIES

 

Articles by Dave Stratman

Articles by John Spritzler

Turn the World Upside Down (John Spritzler's blog #1)

End Class Inequality (John Spritzler's blog #2)

 

Books

We Can Change the World: The Real Meaning of Everyday Life by Dave Stratman

The People as Enemy: The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II by John Spritzler

NO RICH AND NOPOOR: The Populist Goal We CAN and Must Win

DIVIDE AND RULE: The "Left vs. Right" Trap