Arts & Entertainment
Charles Van Zant
By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 5/22/2014 (Issue 2221 - Between The Lines News)
It used to be if you wanted to make a right-wing conservative freak out all you had to do was show them a photo of two dudes kissing. Granted, that still does the trick, but for the past few years, a new boogeyman has been getting a bigger and bigger share of attention. I am speaking, of course, about Common Core.
What is Common Core you ask? Put simply, it's a set of standards for math and English education in Kindergarten through 12th grade. It establishes what students should know in these two subjects at each grade level so that, ideally, by the time each student graduates, he or she is ready to, say, go to college and not be a total failure.
Conservatives don't like this at all. They hate Common Core to the, well, core. Their outrage is mystifying to the casual observer. I mean, sure there are legitimate concerns about Common Core that have been raised by people who are not raving lunatics. Education expert Diane Ravitch, for example, is concerned about how quickly the standards have been adopted and says, "I wish we knew more about how they will affect our most vulnerable students." Which is something that anybody who cares about education should probably be wondering.
But so many of the arguments against Common Core are neither reasoned nor based in reality. Many of these arguments are based in a fundamental mistrust of public education. After all, it's a socialist institution, so it must be terrible and it must be killed (and preferably replaced by Christian charter schools paid for with tax money.)
Glenn Beck, one of the loudest mouths against Common Core, claims that the goal of "this insidious menace to our children and to our families," is to indoctrinate "our kids ... with extreme leftist ideology."
In fact, this portrayal of the standards as some kind of leftist brainwashing propaganda is a common complaint. But why?
All you have to do is Google "Common Core" and "evolution" and it becomes pretty clear. Much of the opposition to Common Core comes from folks who are also opposed to facts.
But it turns out there's another reason that Common Core is so horrifying. One that Florida State Rep. Charles Van Zant exposed at a recent anti-Common Core event.
According to Van Zant, the people behind Common Core "are promoting as hard as they can any youth that is interested in the LGBT agenda."
Granted, his wording is a little confusing. Is Common Core promoting the LGBT agenda, or is Common Core, like, putting students who list "LGBT agenda" as an extracurricular on a fast track to graduate? Either way, Van Zant no want.
He then laments that Common Core will cost the state of Florida money. "These people, that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped, will ... attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can."
That's right. As homosexual as possible. The homosexualist homos who have ever homo'd. Like, Johnny Weir homosexual.
"I'm sorry to report that to you," Van Zant continues. "I really hate to bring you that news. But you need to know."
Damn right, we need to know! If schools are going to start cranking out the homos, then we need to start planning now because homecoming, excuse me, homocoming, is going to be absolutely fabulous!
No wonder the right is freaking out. And I'm inclined to agree. I don't think that schools should be trying to force homosexuality on children any more than they should force heterosexuality. Though I suspect that is where Van Zant and I part ways on this issue.