by Christopher Paslay
The education website has produced a BLM video that forwards identity politics and misinformation.
BrainPOP is an educational website that provides teachers and parents with videos and curriculum resources that, “provide children with the tools and skills needed to thrive in tomorrow’s world.”
The name BrainPOP is used to describe students having sudden moments of understanding, or what the creators call a brain “POP.”
After reviewing the antiracist curriculum on their website, a better word for the site might be “BrainPROP” — as in propaganda. Instead of promoting a mutual accountability model to end injustice and bring diversity and inclusion — an approach that holds all people equally accountable for positive change — it becomes clear that some of BrainPOP’s videos aim to indoctrinate school children with misinformation and promote identity politics, blaming only certain races for society’s problems.
One such video is called “Helping Kids Understand the Black Lives Matter Movement.” The purpose of the video and the accompanying blog (which comes with a disclaimer that kids should watch and discuss with an adult), is to teach school children that Martin Luther King’s dream of judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin is wrong.
The video focusses on race and skin color as a means of judging and interacting with people. The video and blog encourages children to take a racialized view of society, and teaches that using the universal phrase All Lives Matter is inappropriate and wrong.
“Even if the intention is sincere, help your child understand that the phrase ‘All Lives Matter’ implies that the BLM movement’s critique of systemic racism and its effects on Black people is invalid,” the website states. It even recommends reading an article titled, “6 Reasons ‘All Lives Matter’ Doesn’t Work—in Terms Simple Enough for a Child.”
The video, which is nine minutes long, puts forward four basic points of propaganda. First, that America is systemically racist, and oppresses blacks and gives whites unearned privileges.
The video insists society has a “built-in system of bias,” which teaches kids that America has intentionally stacked the deck for whites and against people of color. It not only divides whites and blacks into polarizing identity groups, but also implies that people are not ultimately responsible for their own lives.
A second point of propaganda is that a white supremacist America is committing a pattern of violence against black people.
This is a misleading, one-sided statement. FBI crime statistics from the past 25 years — dating back to 1995 — shows that black-on-white killings are actually double that of white-on-black killings. In short, blacks kills whites twice as much as whites kill blacks. In 2019, for example, there were 566 black-on-white murders, as opposed to 246 white-on-black killings. In 2018 it was much of the same thing: 514 black-on-white murders, as opposed to 234 white-on-black killings.
Focusing on such data is indeed tribal and polarizing, and a more positive, holistic approach should be used with children; antiracism’s constant drumbeat of white systemic violence against people of color is not only biased, but misguided and counterproductive.
A third point of propaganda and misinformation being purported in BrainPOP’s BLM video are the supposed murders of innocent black youth like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
The video portrays Martin as an innocent victim of a racial-profile killing, and insinuates that his killer — George Zimmerman — was unjustly acquitted of murder; in effect, the video is implying Martin’s life didn’t matter, and was not given proper justice.
But as the nationally televised trial of George Zimmerman showed — as well as the Federal investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Justice Department —Trayvon Martin was not an innocent victim.
When the 17-year-old Martin came home from the store, he chose not to return to his father’s girlfriend’s house, but instead confronted George Zimmerman, who had initially followed Martin and then called 9-1-1 on him because he was wandering around suspiciously in the rain. According to the testimony of witnesses at the trail, Trayvon Martin attacked Zimmerman, sucker-punching him in the face, got on top of him, and then began slamming his head off the concrete. In short, Zimmerman feared for his life and shot Martin in self-defense.
So the actual facts surrounding Martin’s death are much different from the propaganda being pushed on school children in the BrainPOP video.
The same holds true for the story of Michael Brown. The video leaves out important contextual information, and portrays Brown as an innocent victim who had been shot for no good reason by a racist white cop. But the truth, as reported by Officer Darren Wilson and witnesses at the scene, was much different. After Brown punched Officer Wilson in the face and tried to take his gun, he charged at the officer and was tragically killed. (Click here for a more balanced version of the Michael Brown tragedy.)
The fourth point of propaganda in the BrainPOP BLM video is that we must “remake” a systemically racist police department. The video goes on to tout the “remaking” of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Despite the media’s narrative claiming otherwise, there is no epidemic of racist police shootings. In 2019, for example, police shot and killed twice as many unarmed whites as blacks; in total, they killed 55 unarmed suspects, 25 white, and 14 black. For the last five years, the police have fatally shot about 1,000 civilians annually, the vast majority of whom were armed and dangerous. Black people account for about 23% of those shot and killed by police, while whites account for nearly 60%.
And as for Minneapolis “remaking” their police force, data shows this was a colossal mistake.
According to MPR News:
The number of reported violent crimes, like assaults, robberies and homicides are up compared to 2019, according to MPD crime data. More people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of 2020 than were slain in all of last year. Property crimes, like burglaries and auto thefts, are also up. Incidents of arson have increased 55 percent over the total at this point in 2019.
In fact, many residents are asking, “Where are the police?” Studies show people of color want more police, not less. But these facts don’t seem to matter to websites like BrainPOP, which aim to indoctrinate school children with identity politics in order to make them future activists.
Ironically, BrainPOP’s BLM video is telling children to “trust” their conscience and give it a voice. The only problem is: how can children trust anything websites like BrainPOP tell them, especially when they are being exposed to such polarizing, biased information?