By Corinne Murdock |
Senate candidate Blake Masters believes that the modern school system is broken, characterized by “twin tower issues,” he told AZ Free News: teaching “junk” instead of what they need to know. Masters delivered that message in his latest campaign video, similar to his last: a monologue on conservative values delivered in a field, hearkening back to the simplicity of Thomas Jefferson’s yeoman farmer.
“Here’s a harsh truth for you. Our schools are making our kids dumber. The 1619 history curriculum teaches kids that America is somehow fundamentally evil, or racist. Critical Race Theory teaches kids to identify with each other in racial terms. You’re either a victim, or an oppressor based on the color of your skin. And even if you wipe away all this left-wing toxic ideology from our schools – the schools are still failing to teach kids the basics. We’re graduating kids that can’t even read or write. I’m Blake Masters. I’m running for the U.S. Senate in Arizona. And I approve this message because we’ve got to fund students, not systems. We’ve gotta make sure that young people are learning to think for themselves.”
“We’re going to stop woke teachers and schools from turning our kids into losers,” tweeted Masters.
In an interview with AZ Free News, Masters explained that his video was a sort of thought experiment to inspire a critical assessment of our modern school system – every type from public to private schools. He remarked that the focus on pushing social justice agendas at the expense of “teaching real history and cultivating actual skills and talents” was both a cause and effect of deep-rooted issues in the school system.
“I think that’s both a driver of the poor performance but also somehow a symptom of it,” said Masters.
Masters believes the problematic school system is why Republican Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin secured victory in a presumptively deep-blue state.
“I think we just saw the Youngkin win in Virginia had a lot to do with the school issue and parents frustration and that one gaffe [by Democratic candidate Terry McCauliffe], but it wasn’t a gaffe it was really what he thought: that parents shouldn’t have a say [in their children’s education,” assessed Masters.
Just over a month before Election Day, McCauliffe declared that parents ought to have no power when it comes to their children’s curriculum.
Masters has firsthand experience of political indoctrination in the school system, all the way back in 1994. He told AZ Free News that his teacher had his second-grade class write letters to the editor of the local paper, The Arizona Daily Star, to object to a housing development that razed desert land next to the school.
“I remember in second grade my dad got really mad because [… the school] had us write letters to the editors. There’s a letter that’s printed from me saying it’s so unfair that the developments would do this and that to the lizards and cacti,” recalled Masters. “That was the beginning of some kind of left-wing environmentalist indoctrination. [Other students said that] people shouldn’t even live in houses, they should live in mud huts. The teachers were pointing us in a certain direction. My dad wrote a very scathing response and it was published [as well].”
AZ Free News found the young Masters’ letter to the editor: in 1994, letters from Canyon View Elementary School second-graders were published in a full-page spread titled “Damaging the Desert” in The Arizona Daily Star. The students all echoed similar messages about how “the animals must find new homes,” and condemned both the developers and homeowners for their greed and “killing Mother Nature.”
“Man is killing Mother Nature just for money,” wrote one second-grader, Brian Benhke.
It appeared that one or more teachers took the students into the desert after it had been razed by developers, where they reportedly found blood-covered rocks and animals’ remains. It is unclear if that was the intent of the educators.
Reproduced below is the letter from a young Blake Masters:
“I am concerned because next to our school they are destroying the environment to build new houses. I think they should make sure all the houses in Tucson are taken up before constructing new ones. Why do the workers listen to the boss? If the boss told them to jump off a cliff, would they do it? For the money, sure, just for the money, they’re destroying other animals’ habitats when they don’t have to. Pretty soon we won’t have enough oxygen to live on. In a few years the Sonoran Desert could be ruined. We should make a Desert Belt like the Green Belt in Boulder, Colo[rado]. Maybe if more people lived together, we would not need to build so many houses. If someone doesn’t do something, the Earth will be gone, and we have only one. Maybe people who have more money should not build a huge house. When workers finally realize what they have done, they will say they’re innocent.” (emphasis added)
A month later, Masters’ father issued a lengthy response criticizing the public school system for prioritizing a social justice agenda over educating the second-graders about American freedoms such as private property. The senior Masters pointed out that the vacant land was the private property of the developer, anyway, and that the children who grieved over losing their playground were actually trespassers on that private property. Masters also pointed out that the developed land was for multi-family housing, His remarks strike a familiar tone with parents’ current grievances with the school system.
“These letters these children authored demonstrates that they are being taught (by intent or default) the antithesis of economic freedom. Inherent in our free enterprise system is the vital concept of private property. Without economic freedom and its private property derivative, all other freedoms are meaningless. Along with other constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms, grade school children can understand the critically important concept of private property. After all, what child by the age of 2 has not mastered the usage of the word ‘mine?’ If the children had been exposed to the importance of private property rights, wouldn’t one expect that at least one of the letters would mention that vacant land was the developer’s private property? Had anyone pointed out to the children that when they played on this vacant land, they were in fact trespassing on the private property of another? My surprise at what they are not being taught is surpassed only by what they are being taught. That they are not being taught the basic American values of the individual over the state, economic freedom, and private property is bad enough. What’s even worse is that these letters reveal that our children are being taught that mankind is subservient to plants and animals. Even more alarming is that they are being taught so with scare tactics.”
After that, Masters attended public school until the fifth grade before switching to a private school from sixth grade through his senior year of high school. He recalled learning that Christoper Columbus was a “murderer” in the fourth grade. It wasn’t all bad, however – Masters said he had some unadulterated history education, such as the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I think that stuff has gotten way way worse since I was a kid,” remarked Masters. “I remember learning about MLK and why that was important. I remember that people used to treat people badly based on the color of their skin. I remember learning about that. Now that seems so old-fashioned. That’s just not what kids learn in K-2 anymore. It’s really shifted since I was a kid.”
Both of letters from the senior and junior Masters are available here.