What do we now see? The Last Stages of Cultural Marxism
The American common sense public, that is the majority of non ideological citizens that just want to raise a family and/or live constructive lives, looks with astonishment at the so called left and what they perceive as their peculiar and or absurd ideas, including political correctness and a bevy of artificial grievances.
Instinctively they reject them and wonder how they came to gain such prominence. If you are doing your job you are not interested in terms such as Cultural Marxism and you can’t be blamed. It’s not a theme for common sense people but it has infected the American universities and found its way into societal mores and public policy. That is why you should know something about it. We will try to give you a succinct review of several decades of the history of this movement because one of its tenets is to go slow and unnoticed until the proper time arrives.
It started with Antonio Gramsci an Italian communist who in the 1920s returned from a visit to Stalin’s Russia convinced of two things. The proletarian revolution had never taken hold in the west or in Russia for that matter, and that soviet methods were not going to succeed in Italy.
Why? Because the proletarian class believed in patriotism, religion and the family. Patriotism defended the concept of nation state while communism wanted a world without frontiers united under one idea and one rule. Religion posited the concept of an after life and opposed communism’s atheistic earthly paradise. The family was the cradle where children learned patriotism, religion and respect for paternal authority. Communism wanted control of the children’s minds. They were the future new men and women.
For Gramsci these institutions produce “hegemony”. It is in this way, said Gramsci, that the ruling class maintains societal control. Marxist success requires a radical change of ideas and values.
Mussolini put Gramsci in jail where he died in 1937 but not before he had written 3,000 pages of essays and developed his theory of cultural hegemony. To turn the culture around he proposed several things the most important being:
a) The organic intellectual who would grow and work with the neighborhood and indoctrinate it. The community organizer of Saul Alinsky is simply its American version.
b) University intellectuals were to be recruited.
c) Figures of influence such as sportsmen, artists, scientists were to be gained for the cause even if they did not fully comprehend the doctrine and its political ramifications. A simple spousal of some of the ideas would be sufficient. That is why you see so many Hollywood figures and the like talking with great pomposity about topics way beyond their sphere of competence.
d) Infiltrate the churches and get them to support selected causes.
e) Infiltrate the judiciary through ideas planted at the university level and through peer review papers. Eventually some of the professionals so formed would gain access to judgeships.
All of this must be done with patience and as subtly as possible because otherwise a counter revolution would be provoked. When the time comes and power centers fall under Marxist control then the clenched fist can be shown.
By Dr. Michelle Cretella – President American College of Pediatricians
Transgender politics have taken Americans by surprise, and caught some lawmakers off guard.
Just a few short years ago, not many could have imagined a high-profile showdown over transgender men and women’s access to single-sex bathrooms in North Carolina.
But transgender ideology is not just infecting our laws. It is intruding into the lives of the most innocent among us—children—and with the apparent growing support of the professional medical community.
I speak as someone intimately familiar with the pediatric and behavioral health communities and their practices. I am a mother of four who served 17 years as a board certified general pediatrician with a focus in child behavioral health prior to leaving clinical practice in 2012.
For the last 12 years, I have been a board member and researcher for the American College of Pediatricians, and for the last three years I have served as its president.
I also sat on the board of directors for the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity from 2010 to 2015. This organization of physicians and mental health professionals defends the right of patients to receive psychotherapy for sexual identity conflicts that is in line with their deeply held values based upon science and medical ethics.
I have witnessed an upending of the medical consensus on the nature of gender identity. What doctors once treated as a mental illness, the medical community now largely affirms and even promotes as normal.
Here’s a look at some of the changes.
The New Normal
Pediatric “gender clinics” are considered elite centers for affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex. This distressful condition, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed “gender dysphoria” in 2013.
In 2014, there were 24 of these gender clinics, clustered chiefly along the east coast and in California. One year later, there were 40 across the nation.
With 215 pediatric residency programs now training future pediatricians in a transition-affirming protocol and treating gender-dysphoric children accordingly, gender clinics are bound to proliferate further.
Last summer, the federal government stated that it would not require Medicare and Medicaid to cover transition-affirming procedures for children or adults because medical experts at the Department of Health and Human Services found the risks were often too high, and the benefits too unclear.
Undeterred by these findings, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has pressed ahead, claiming—without any evidence—that these procedures are “safe.”
Two leading pediatric associations—the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society—have followed in lockstep, endorsing the transition affirmation approach even as the latter organization concedes within its own guidelines that the transition-affirming protocol is based on low evidence.
They even admit that the only strong evidence regarding this approach is its potential health risks to children.
The transition-affirming view holds that children who “consistently and persistently insist” that they are not the gender associated with their biological sex are innately transgender.
(The fact that in normal life and in psychiatry, anyone who “consistently and persistently insists” on anything else contrary to physical reality is considered either confused or delusional is conveniently ignored.)
The transition-affirming protocol tells parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers around age 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric.
If by age 16, the children still insist that they are trapped in the wrong body, they are placed on cross-sex hormones, and biological girls may obtain a double mastectomy.
So-called “bottom surgeries,” or genital reassignment surgeries, are not recommended before age 18, though some surgeons have recently argued against this restriction.
The transition-affirming approach has been embraced by public institutions in media, education, and our legal system, and is now recommended by most national medical organizations.
There are exceptions to this movement, however, in addition to the American College of Pediatricians and the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice. These include the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, the Catholic Medical Association, and the LGBT-affirming Youth Gender Professionals.
The transgender movement has gained legs in the medical community and in our culture by offering a deeply flawed narrative. The scientific research and facts tell a different story.
Here are some of those basic facts.
Twin studies prove no one is born “trapped in the body of the wrong sex.”
Some brain studies have suggested that some are born with a transgendered brain. But these studies are seriously flawed and prove no such thing.
Virtually everything about human beings is influenced by our DNA, but very few traits are hardwired from birth. All human behavior is a composite of varying degrees for nature and nurture.
Researchers routinely conduct twin studies to discern which factors (biological or nonbiological) contribute more to the expression of a particular trait. The best designed twin studies are those with the greatest number of subjects.
Identical twins contain 100 percent of the same DNA from conception and are exposed to the same prenatal hormones. So if genes and/or prenatal hormones contributed significantly to transgenderism, we should expect both twins to identify as transgender close to 100 percent of the time.
Skin color, for example, is determined by genes alone. Therefore, identical twins have the same skin color 100 percent of the time.
But in the largest study of twin transgender adults, published by Dr. Milton Diamond in 2013, only 28 percent of the identical twins both identified as transgender. Seventy-two percent of the time, they differed. (Diamond’s study reported 20 percent identifying as transgender, but his actual data demonstrate a 28 percent figure, as I note here in footnote 19.)
That 28 percent of identical twins both identified as transgender suggests a minimal biological predisposition, which means transgenderism will not manifest itself without outside nonbiological factors also impacting the individual during his lifetime.
The fact that the identical twins differed 72 percent of the time is highly significant because it means that at least 72 percent of what contributes to transgenderism in one twin consists of nonshared experiences after birth—that is, factors not rooted in biology.
Studies like this one prove that the belief in “innate gender identity”—the idea that “feminized” or “masculinized” brains can be trapped in the wrong body from before birth—is a myth that has no basis in science.
Gender identity is malleable, especially in young children.
Even the American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology admits that prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of pre-pubertal children who were distressed by their biological sex eventually outgrew that distress. The vast majority came to accept their biological sex by late adolescence after passing naturally through puberty.
But with transition affirmation now increasing in Western society, the number of children claiming distress over their gender—and their persistence over time—has dramatically increased. For example, the Gender Identity Development Service in the United Kingdom alone has seen a 2,000 percent increase in referrals since 2009.
Puberty blockers for gender dysphoria have not been proven safe.
Puberty blockers have been studied and found safe for the treatment of a medical disorder in children called precocious puberty (caused by the abnormal and unhealthy early secretion of a child’s pubertal hormones).
The authors note that there is some evidence for decreased bone mineralization, meaning an increased risk of bone fractures as young adults, potential increased risk of obesity and testicular cancer in boys, and an unknown impact upon psychological and cognitive development.
With regard to the latter, while we currently don’t have any extensive, long-term studies of children placed on blockers for gender dysphoria, studies conducted on adults from the past decade give cause for concern.
For example, in 2006 and 2007, the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reported brain abnormalities in the area of memory and executive functioning among adult women who received blockers for gynecologic reasons. Similarly, many studies of men treated for prostate cancer with blockers also suggest the possibility of significant cognitive decline.
There are no cases in the scientific literature of gender-dysphoric children discontinuing blockers.
Most, if not all, children on puberty blockers go on to take cross-sex hormones (estrogen for biological boys, testosterone for biological girls). The only study to date to have followed pre-pubertal children who were socially affirmed and placed on blockers at a young age found that 100 percent of them claimed a transgender identity and chose cross-sex hormones.
This suggests that the medical protocol itself may lead children to identify as transgender.
There is an obvious self-fulfilling effect in helping children impersonate the opposite sex both biologically and socially. This is far from benign, since taking puberty blockers at age 12 or younger, followed by cross-sex hormones, sterilizes a child.
Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks.
From studies of adults we know that the risks of cross-sex hormones include, but are not limited to, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, diabetes, and cancers.
Neuroscience shows that adolescents lack the adult capacity needed for risk assessment.
Scientific data show that people under the age of 21 have less capacity to assess risks. There is a serious ethical problem in allowing irreversible, life-changing procedures to be performed on minors who are too young themselves to give valid consent.
There is no proof that affirmation prevents suicide in children.
Advocates of the transition-affirming protocol allege that suicide is the direct and inevitable consequence of withholding social affirmation and biological alterations from a gender-dysphoric child. In other words, those who do not endorse the transition-affirming protocol are essentially condemning gender-dysphoric children to suicide.
Yet as noted earlier, prior to the widespread promotion of transition affirmation, 75 to 95 percent of gender-dysphoric youth ended up happy with their biological sex after simply passing through puberty.
In addition, contrary to the claim of activists, there is no evidence that harassment and discrimination, let alone lack of affirmation, are the primary cause of suicide among any minority group. In fact, at least one study from 2008 found perceived discrimination by LGBT-identified individuals not to be causative.
Over 90 percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosed mental disorder, and there is no evidence that gender-dysphoric children who commit suicide are any different. Many gender dysphoric children simply need therapy to get to the root of their depression, which very well may be the same problem triggering the gender dysphoria.
Transition-affirming protocol has not solved the problem of transgender suicide.
Adults who undergo sex reassignment—even in Sweden, which is among the most LGBT-affirming countries—have a suicide rate nearly 20 times greater than that of the general population. Clearly, sex reassignment is not the solution to gender dysphoria.
Bottom Line: Transition-Affirming Protocol Is Child Abuse
The crux of the matter is that while the transition-affirming movement purports to help children, it is inflicting a grave injustice on them and their nondysphoric peers.
These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases.
Today’s institutions that promote transition affirmation are pushing children to impersonate the opposite sex, sending many of them down the path of puberty blockers, sterilization, the removal of healthy body parts, and untold psychological damage.
These harms constitute nothing less than institutionalized child abuse. Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.
It is time for our nation’s leaders and the silent majority of health professionals to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action.
Not content to simply allow children to be, well, children, a hardcore sex toy manufacturer has introduced “TransKids,” a website and shop designed to provide burgeoning transgender children with the “supplies” they need to experiment with the opposite gender.
As Mindy Robinson reports, TransKids is designed to serve parents of children as young as two or three years of age, and sells everything from prosthetic penises — circumcised and uncircumcised — to special “tucking trunks” to help kids who don’t identify with their birth gender more accurately portray themselves as the opposite.
Of course, at age two or three, you probably don’t identify with any gender, but “progressive” parents must be appeased.
The products themselves are actually smaller versions of items made for older transitioning individuals who want to look “authentic” to their chosen gender. But TransKids says they’re looking to solve the “problem” of finding fake penises for kids who aren’t looking to go “full size.” The anatomically correct models run around $50.
Since these fake members won’t hold themselves in place, the site also offers a variety of “packing” options, including pouches and special underwear that will hold your child’s false genitalia in place. If your child is worried their new physique doesn’t operate quite like the other boys’, the site also offers a special funnel she can use to pee in a urinal.
If your child is anatomically male but wants to transition to female, the site also has you covered, quite literally. TransKids offers several underwear options, based on designs used by drag queens, to help your young transgender son “tuck” his penis between his legs. It’s much cheaper to transition from male to female, apparently; those “trunks” will only run you around $15.
If these “supplies” look suspiciously like sex toys, you’re not far off the mark. TransKids is run by a gender non-binary individual named Searah (who also has a “gender non-binary” child!), who also runs a site that provides “high quality gender expression” gear to adults. In her spare time, Searah also runs a hardcore sex toy shop that sells more “functional” items, and “erotic delights” for individuals across the gender “spectrum.”
Both TransKids and Searah’s other websites use the same hand models.
“And then they turn it around and say: I was attacked, I was surprised, I was dragged into the room.”
Spacey and Weinstein have each been accused of sexual harassment by more than a dozen men and women. The Hollywood heavyweights are scrambling to find supporters as more and more people come to the defense of their alleged victims.
Morrissey, however, is apparently in both men’s corner — calling the claims against Spacey “ridiculous” and blasting the countless women who’ve come forward and publicly named Weinstein as their abuser.
“People know exactly what’s going on,” Morrissey reportedly said after being asked about the movie producer. “And they play along…But if everything went well, and if it had given them a great career, they would not talk about it.”
The former Smiths frontman added, “I hate rape. I hate attacks. I hate sexual situations that are forced on someone. But in many cases one looks at the circumstances and thinks that the person who is considered a victim is merely disappointed.”
The 58-year-old appeared to do most of his victim blaming while discussing the allegations against Spacey.
“As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26, boy 14. One wonders where the boy’s parents were,” he said. “One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen. I do not know about you, but in my youth I have never been in situations like this. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That’s why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me that Spacey has been attacked unnecessarily.”
Morrissey, nicknamed Moz, has not responded to media requests for comment.
He was getting eviscerated by social media users over the weekend as word spread about his comments.
“A Morrissey fan for 26 years, I’ve stood by him through bad records, frivolously canceled shows, ignored his dalliances w/ fascism…but sex abuse victim blaming? Defending a pedophile like Kevin Spacey? No. Just no,” another person said. “I’m going to eat a f–king cheeseburger. F–k you @officialmoz.”
On Saturday, The New York Times ran yet another execrable op-ed, this time from Professor Ekow Yankah of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. This op-ed argued that black children should not be friends with white children, and that their parents ought to warn them off of such relationships. This assuredly makes things awkward at Yeshiva University, a Jewish school.
The piece begins with Yankah’s oldest son, who is 4, talking about his friends:
My oldest son, wrestling with a 4-year-old’s happy struggles, is trying to clarify how many people can be his best friend. “My best friends are you and Mama and my brother and …” But even a child’s joy is not immune to this ominous political period. This summer’s images of violence in Charlottesville, Va., prompted an array of questions. “Some people hate others because they are different,” I offer, lamely. A childish but distinct panic enters his voice. “But I’m not different.” It is impossible to convey the mixture of heartbreak and fear I feel for him. Donald Trump’s election has made it clear that I will teach my boys the lesson generations old, one that I for the most part nearly escaped. I will teach them to be cautious, I will teach them suspicion, and I will teach them distrust. Much sooner than I thought I would, I will have to discuss with my boys whether they can truly be friends with white people.
This is insanity. Because Donald Trump was elected, all white people are suspect? Because there were 1,000 evil people marching for an evil cause in Charlottesville, some 200 million white people across America are suspect? This is racism of the highest order. And teaching your children not to be friends with people based on their race is the essence of racism.
But Yankah continues:
Meaningful friendship is not just a feeling. It is not simply being able to share a beer. Real friendship is impossible without the ability to trust others, without knowing that your well-being is important to them. The desire to create, maintain or wield power over others destroys the possibility of friendship. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous dream of black and white children holding hands was a dream precisely because he realized that in Alabama, conditions of dominance made real friendship between white and black people impossible.
Well, no. MLK’s dream was a dream because he wanted to see it fulfilled and believed that it could be. If he didn’t, he would have gone home and joined Malcolm X. But he should have, says Yankah, since “History has provided little reason for people of color to trust white people in this way, and these recent months have put in the starkest relief the contempt with which the country measures the value of racial minorities.”
The piece continues in this vein, citing differential treatment of the opioid epidemic (largely white) vs. the crack cocaine epidemic (largely black), and ignoring the income levels of those affected by the epidemics, which is a serious confound; black underemployment, which Yankah attributes to “robust evidence of continuing racism,” without showing any evidence; policing, which has not been shown to be systemically racist by statistics. Yankah’s conclusion:
As against our gauzy national hopes, I will teach my boys to have profound doubts that friendship with white people is possible. When they ask, I will teach my sons that their beautiful hue is a fault line. Spare me platitudes of how we are all the same on the inside. I first have to keep my boys safe, and so I will teach them before the world shows them this particular brand of rending, violent, often fatal betrayal.
So we are not all the same on the inside. Which is an idea that John C. Calhoun or Richard Spencer might be comfortable with. But Yankah couches his vitriol in the guise of safety preparations for his children:
Of course, the rise of this president has broken bonds on all sides. But for people of color the stakes are different. Imagining we can now be friends across this political line is asking us to ignore our safety and that of our children, to abandon personal regard and self-worth. Only white people can cordon off Mr. Trump’s political meaning, ignore the “unpleasantness” from a position of safety. His election and the year that has followed have fixed the awful thought in my mind too familiar to black Americans: “You can’t trust these people.”…I do not write this with liberal condescension or glee. My heart is unbearably heavy when I assure you we cannot be friends.
The condescension is real, and the glee is palpable. To teach your children not to hope for a day when black and white can be friends – in fact, to teach your children now that such a day isn’t here – is asinine. And to pretend that every Trump voter is replete with hatred is just as asinine. But racism and bigotry are fine so long as they come from the Left, apparently.
Drag queens are being brought into nursery schools for storytelling sessions to teach children from the age of two about issues such as gender fluidity.
Bristol-based organisation Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) runs reading sessions with ‘queer role models’ for young children in schools, libraries and hospitals.
Launched by Bristol University Law graduate Thomas Canham, the project aims to teach children about transgender issues through storytelling, in addition to misogyny, homophobia and racism.
The 26-year-old was inspired to set up the project after learning about a similar scheme in the US named Drag Queen Story Hour.
Nursery bosses said the sessions are needed so that children encounter people “who defy rigid gender restrictions”, according to the Mail on Sunday.
They reportedly want to target two and three-year-olds in order to influence them early against hate crime.
Children this age have not yet developed any discriminatory ‘isms’, it was suggested.
But critics told the Mail that the sessions could “blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence”.
Child psychotherapist Dilys Daws, co-author of the book Finding Your Way With Your Baby, feared the sessions could confuse young children about their own sexual identity.
She said: “There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an ‘ordinary situation’.
“It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender, when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them.
“But it’s perfectly normal for most young children to think about being the opposite sex. It’s probably because they are identifying with a parent or sibling.”
DQST will hold sessions at seven nurseries run by the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) over the winter, the newspaper reported.
If successful they are apparently due to be rolled out across the nursery’s 37 sites.
Sessions for the project, which started in May, include drag queens reading books on a wide range of issues, in addition to activities such as face painting or ‘drag discos’.
Drag queens available include Donna La Mode, who is described as “the Fairy Queen of the drag world”.
June O’Sullivan, chief executive of LEYF, told the Mail: “By providing spaces in which children are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions, it allows them to imagine the world in which people can present [themselves] as they wish.”
She told BBC London radio it was good to expose very young children to men who dress as women, “because children are very open until about three”.
“At three they begin to absorb all the “isms” that adults have developed very effectively,” she explained.
Is Yale Really Elite If Its English Majors Never Read Shakespeare?
Yale’s English department decided it will no longer require English majors to study literary luminaries such as William Shakespeare and John Donne.
For years, U.S. News and World Report‘s influential college rankings have kept Yale University at the top, often reaching no. 1. For 2018, it’s tied for third. U.S. Newsclaims its top ranking factor is academic excellence, but recent news out of Yale questions that ranking’s legitimacy. A year and a half after students charged it’s racist to require them to study influential British authors because those authors happen to be white, Yale’s English department decided it will no longer require English majors study literary luminaries such as William Shakespeare and John Donne.
Last year, some 160 Yale students signed a petition demanding such curricula changes, based entirely on the color of the authors’ skin and content of their gonads rather than the quality of their literary works.
“A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity,” students wrote in the petition. “The Major English Poets sequences creates a culture that is especially hostile to students of color. When students are made to feel so alienated that they get up and leave the room, or get up and leave the major, something is wrong.”
Yes, something is definitely wrong when students are so racist that they will not listen to the ideas of someone who had the misfortune to be born with a currently non-politically favored skin color. It’s also prima facie preposterous to assert that someone can be considered well-educated if he has actively shunned reading Shakespeare. Instead of rebuking their students for this shocking display of ignorance, however, Yale administrators and faculty encouraged it and complied with their demands.
I have taught law students for more than thirty years. In recent years I have noticed that many students have little or no familiarity with the political, intellectual and cultural history that shaped the American legal tradition. I’ve encountered students who have never heard of Hobbes and Locke, do not know the causes of the American Revolution, are unfamiliar with the Lincoln-Douglas debates, haven’t a clue about Progressivism or the New Deal, don’t know what separates Protestants and Catholics, and have only the vaguest sense what race relations were like before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Recently, Camille Paglia, no conservative nor traditionalist, reported the same about her students at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, noting that this kind of brain rot has trickled down into K-12 schools courtesy of teachers’ university mal-educations:
What has happened is these young people now getting to college have no sense of history of any kind. No sense of history. No world geography. No sense of the violence and the barbarities of history. So, they think that the whole world has always been like this, a kind of nice, comfortable world where you can go to the store and get orange juice and milk, and you can turn on the water and the hot water comes out. They have no sense whatever of destruction, of the great civilizations that rose and fell, and so on, and how arrogant people get when they’re in a comfortable civilization, etc. So they now are being taught to look around them to see defects in America – which is the freest country in the history of the world – and to feel that somehow America is the source of all evil in the universe, and it’s because they’ve never been exposed to the actual evil of the history of humanity. They know nothing!
After chanting students shut down the core humanities class of Reed College assistant professor Lucia Martinez Valdivia this fall because it’s “too white, too male and too Eurocentric,” Martinez Valdivia wrote in a blog post, “I am scared to teach courses on race, gender or sexuality or even texts that bring these issues up in any way…I’m at a loss as to how to begin to address it, especially since many of these students don’t believe in historicity or objective facts (they denounce the latter as being a tool of the white cisheteropatriarchy)” (emphasis added). She finds studying white, heterosexual males refreshing because she’s “female, mixed race, American and Peruvian, gay, atheist and relatively young. I study poetry that is basically the opposite of me: male, white, British, straight, God-fearing, 500 years old. And I love it.”
The fact that a core curriculum of any real substance no longer exists at the United States’ so-called prestige universities, and is neither desired by many so-called elite students nor professors, suggests it’s time we stop venerating and sending our kids and tax dollars to these institutions whose main function seems to be rotting students’ brains and American society from its leadership down. It’s no wonder that Pew Research found a remarkable loss in Republican confidence in U.S. higher education: It ain’t higher, and it ain’t education.
Joy Pullmann is managing editor of The Federalist and author of “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” out from Encounter Books this spring.
Great news out of violence-plagued Chicago’s South Side: A growing number of black women are buying guns, getting trained in their proper use and receiving concealed-carry licenses. So far this year, 1,368 carry licenses have been issued to black women in Cook County, surpassing the total number of 1,358 issued for all of 2016—which was up substantially from the year before.
What is responsible for this rise? The crucial first step was a federal appeals court decision nullifying Illinois’ unconstitutional refusal to issue concealed-carry licenses.
In December 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a statewide ban on private citizens legally carrying concealed weapons. At the time, Illinois was the only state in the country to still have such a prohibition. The Illinois State Police, who now issue the licenses and maintain demographic data on licensees, proudly proclaim on their website, “On July 9, 2013, Public Act 98-63, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, became state law (430 ILCS 66). This law requires an Illinois Concealed Carry License to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois.”
Two years after the ruling, the state began to issue licenses for concealed carry—and black women have taken the new freedom to heart. In 2014, the inaugural year of concealed-carry permit licensing, 800 permits were issued to black women. Since then, the number of CCLs issued to black women has risen dramatically, with more than 4,000 issued in Cook County alone. While licenses to men and women of other races still outpace the number issued to black women, the consistent year-over-year rise for black women is remarkable.
Black women aren’t unique in wanting to feel safe outside the home. Getting properly trained to handle firearms and then carrying concealed is an excellent way to do that. Being prepared can promote confidence and even be exhilarating!
One source of carry permit applicants is JMD Defense and Investigations and its Ladies of Steel Gun Club. While the business opened just this year, members report seeking out safety through gun ownership because of an increase in crime in their neighborhoods. Upon receiving their permits, women in the club reported feeling a new sense of confidence as they go about their daily commitments.
Black women in Chicago are getting carry licenses to defend themselves in a violence-plagued city
The Chicago Tribune interviewed the owner of JMD Defense, Javondlynn Dunagan, and her enthusiasm is contagious. She started the venture out of a desire to see more women trained to use guns for self-defense. Dunagan, who was previously married to a police officer, said that after her divorce she “felt kind of naked in a house without a firearm.” In her desire to acquire a gun and get the training to use it safely, she created an environment in her community for others to do the same.
Dunagan saw a need, as there is little firearm training available on the South Side of Chicago. Her story of desiring a greater sense of public safety for herself and her community—then doing something substantial to provide it—isn’t unique, but it is worth celebrating.
At a time when the media deceptively portray gun ownership as a sign of racial animus, seeing more black women getting licensed to carry concealed firearms, practicing regularly and joining gun clubs provides a dose of reality to the narrative and shows what’s really going on in the gun community. What will the media say if crime in Chicago begins to decline? They surely won’t give any credit to the presence of more legally armed women, or to the change in the demeanor of potential victims from a state of fear to one of empowerment.
No, it will likely go unnoticed by them. But at this point, what difference does it make? More firearms freedom is great, regardless of the media’s interpretation. To the women of Chicago who now carry concealed firearms, we say: “Welcome to our tribe. We salute you.”