Ethnic Studies: The Bait and Switch

Stop the bait and switch on Ethnic Studies!

BAIT: Ethnic Studies teaches kids about different cultures

SWITCH: Ethnic Studies divides kids by race and forces a radical political agenda on our schools.

A top goal of Gov. Tim Walz and his allies in the Minnesota legislature is to politicize our schools through the insertion of a radical form of ethnic studies into the curriculum from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

But you wouldn’t know it listening to them.

Their sales pitch for this radical agenda is a classic bait and switch.

Poll: Minnesotans don’t support ethnic studies once they understand the bait and switch

While a slight majority of Minnesotans favor the concept of ethnic studies 51%-37%, when given more information about the real agenda behind this innocuous sounding topic, opinions change to 39%-52%.

We characterized ethnic studies as less about teaching students about different cultures and more about a divisive agenda to disrupt and dismantle America’s fundamental institutions. Almost all age/gender subgroups flipped their views once they were given this description.

Anti-Ethnic-Studies Voices at the Capitol

Mother Testifies Against Ethnic Studies Bill: “Not Everything That Sounds Good IS Good”

Kofi Montzka, a Minnesotan attorney and mother of three, testified against H.F. 1269 on March 21, 2023. “We used to have a race-based system. We got rid of it, and now you all are trying to bring it back.”

Testimony Against Ethnic Studies Bill: “I Am What It Means To Be Black In America.”

Lifelong Minnesotan Hillary Swanson testified against H.F. 1269 on March 21, 2023. “I will not allow anyone to tell me that they have privilege over me because of my skin.”

Ethnic Studies Bill: A “Hateful,” “Cynical And Demoralizing” Message

Take Charge MN board chair Alfrieda Baldwin testified against H.F. 1502 on March 23, 2023. “This isn’t an ethnic studies bill. It is a critical social justice bill that will strip students of their individuality and slot them into the role of either victim or victimizer depending on their skin color.”

The (white) committee chair’s response: “Let’s just tone the rhetoric down and tone the name-calling down otherwise we’ll have to do a course correction.”

Ethnic Studies Bill: “Illiberal and Un-Minnesotan”

American Experiment Senior Policy Fellow and activist Katherine Kersten testified against HF 1269 on March 29, 2023. She quoted directly from the Minnesota activists and organizations pushing for ethnic studies, revealing their true agenda.

“If this… becomes law, students and teachers will flood out of our public schools, which will—over time—be transformed beyond recognition. I urge you to find the moral courage to stop that from happening.”

“We Have To Stop Giving Parents Reasons To Go Elsewhere” (Ethnic Studies Bill)

Sen. Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville) read bill S.F. 1476 before the committee on March 6, 2023.

“We have to stop giving parents reasons to go elsewhere. And bills like this don’t help that cause. It only seeks to further polarize and divide us.”

“We Have To Stop Giving Parents Reasons To Go Elsewhere” (Ethnic Studies Bill)

Minnesota parent Will Johnson testified against HF 1502 on March 23, 2023.

“Training kids to stereotype and discouraging the belief that they’re individuals with agency? How is that inclusive? How is that progressive?”

More Resources

Legislature is planning an ‘antiracist’ revolution in Minnesota schools

What ‘critical’ ethnic studies looks like in action

Intentionally ideological: How familiar terms are being hijacked to advance an illiberal worldview

House DFL Chair Cheryl Youakim should check her White privilege

Verifying with Primary Sources: What Critical Ethnic Studies Teaches St. Paul Schools’ Kids

Minnesota should not require a highly ideological course in K-12 education

Divisive ethnic studies bill advancing at Capitol

Who’s driving the push for ethnic studies?