For Immediate Release
January 11, 2021
SAN DIEGO, CA – January 11, 2021- Californians for Equal Rights (CFER) is pleased to announce our participation in an emerging coalition of civil society organizations regarding the incursion of divisive critical ethnic studies (CES) in California’s public education. Under this dynamic coalition, CFER is partnering up with the Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies (ACES), the AMCHA Initiative, and Educators for Excellence in Ethnic Studies for a shared purpose of educating the public about the harms of critical ethnic studies on our fundamental principles of equality and merit through strategic collaboration, community organizing and public education.
Not only is critical ethnic studies or critical pedagogy problematic by dividing individuals into rival groups of victims vis-à-vis oppressors, but it also contravenes California’s constitutional principle of equal treatment by advocating for race- and sex-based treatment of our fellow Californians. Sadly, this formerly niche school of thought has been thrusted into public spotlight with the help of organized interests behind racial spoils and political indoctrination. Although California’s political machinery and its elitist supporters failed to reinstitute race preferences on the November 2020 ballot, this powerful bandwagon is now carrying out a scaled-up operation to promote the institutionalization of critical ethnic studies in our everyday life. In the face of such a formidable opponent, CFER recognizes the urgent need for a broad-based alliance to expose such a divisive plan and its grave consequences on our social solidarity, racial harmony and most importantly, the balanced development of our next generation.
Notably, the much-anticipated final draft of Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum was followed closely by the introduction of AB101 in the California state assembly. These two parallel developments respond affirmatively to a national movement to champion critical social justice and critical ethnic studies. Both would embolden proponents’ hijacking of California’s K-12 education to promote political propaganda at the expense of academic instruction. Bringing their in-depth understanding and valuable experience on this issue, our partner organizations are each uniquely equipped with the extensive knowhow necessary for an effective coalition against varied attacks on merit, excellence, and societal cohesion.
Frank Xu, CFER’s President commented: “Ethnic studies should reflect a holistic understanding of our proud cultural heritage and promote multicultural understanding and respect for the very values that make us American. Only by building bridges and recognizing our past success can we meaningfully address racism and bigotry. Unfortunately, the critical ethnic studies framework is just the opposite.”
“Political activists are attempting to covertly hijack and exploit California’s legislative and educational systems to indoctrinate our students – both on the K-12 and state university levels – to be foot soldiers for their political agenda. This is wrong, reprehensible and dangerous. Students interested in political activism should be encouraged to join clubs or take an elective of their choice, however, we cannot allow politics to be disguised as education, and students to be forced by the state to take divisive courses that can’t help but incite bigotry and harm,” said AMCHA Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin.
About Californians for Equal Rights (CFER): CFER is a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and advance the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment.
About Our Partners:
AMCHA Initiative is a non-partisan organization whose sole mission is to document, investigate, and combat antisemitism on U.S. college campuses.
Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies is a diverse grassroots coalition working to remove political agendas from Ethnic Studies, enabling curricula that inspire mutual respect, fight racism, and foster balanced analysis.
Educators for Excellence in Ethnic Studies is a grassroots group of educators committed to ensuring that we have school curricula that confront racism, develop civic responsibility, and build the 21st century skills that our students need to succeed in school, work, and life.