Elina Kaplan should be exactly the kind of person the left would assume would get behind a critical race theory curriculum.
She’s a registered Democrat from California. Politico describes her as “the kind of suburban mom who made Joe Biden president.” And that’s what makes her opposition to the Golden State’s Ethnic Studies curriculum stand out.
In an appearance on Fox News last week, Kaplan — an immigrant from the former Soviet Union who co-founded the Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies to fight the radical curriculum — said the language in the controversial package reminded her of the kind of schooling she got before she left the USSR at age 11.
Kaplan said she got involved a few years back when she received a “stream of emails” about the craziness in the curriculum.
“So I started reading, and I got this really weird feeling sense of something about this feels familiar,” she told “America’s Newsroom.”
That’s because, before she left the Soviet Union, she said “the Marxist-Leninist indoctrination had already begun.”
“All of a sudden, I was reading the same concepts and language, in English this time, in the guiding principles of the California Ethnic Studies model curriculum,” she said.
Kaplan said she reached out to other Soviet immigrants who confirmed to her that “yes, indeed, this is that same stuff being reflected in a different iteration.”
The Ethnic Studies model curriculum has been a political football for years in California. According to The Wall Street Journal, state lawmakers commissioned it as part of a 2016 bill. When the first draft was released in August of 2019, however, there was a hefty dose of anti-Semitism baked into it, including a poem stating the Jews controlled the media.
A revision got rid of that ugly stuff but introduced what the Journal said were “explicit references to critical race theory and neo-Marxism.” Critical race theory, a subjective Marxist concept that grew out of a school of legal thought from the 1960s, holds that Western society is built on systemic racism and that issues of race must be viewed as a conflict between the oppressed and the oppressor.
To Kaplan, however, there were other dog whistles in the Ethnic Studies curriculum aside from just the critical race theory framework.
For instance, Kaplan said, one of the aims of the curriculum is to “connecting ourselves to past and contemporary resistance movements that struggle for social justice on the global and local levels to ensure a truer democracy.”
To those who aren’t familiar with Marxist thought, that might just sound like a word salad of leftist platitudes. To Kaplan, however, the term “true democracy” stuck out — because it’s a key tenet of Marxist thought.
“True democracy is a Marxist term that refers to the abolition of private property,” she said. “What is this doing in an ethnic studies curriculum?”
That kind of language prompted other Soviet immigrants to put together a petition against the curriculum. “Never could we have imagined that decades later the same ideology and concepts that we escaped would show up in all places,” it read.
Kaplan has launched a campaign to raise awareness of what’s in the curriculum. According to Politico, she’s met with state legislators and put together an email list calling other individuals to action. She’s gotten others to talk to their local school boards about what’s in the curriculum.
Perhaps most importantly, however, Politico noted that Kaplan “is representative of Democrat-leaning or politically moderate suburbanites interviewed by Politico in six states, all but one of which were won by Biden.”
“They are up in arms over their school systems’ new equity initiatives, which they argue are costly and divisive, encouraging students to group themselves by race and take pro-activist stances,” Politico’s Maggie Severns wrote.
In other words, this isn’t just conservative culture warriors upset over critical race theory, which is how the media likes to frame it. These are people who realize a Trojan horse when they see one.
“I firmly believe that if the vast majority of Californians and Americans knew about this, and about the content of this type of curriculum, this would not be happening. We would not be having this conversation,” Kaplan told Politico.
One only hopes Americans know about this state-sponsored indoctrination before it’s too late.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.