Join Jim and Greg as they react to the Minneapolis City Council announcing an end to the police department but only after a year of community discussions. They also react to school officials in three major cities deciding to stop having resource officers in the schools. And they unload on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio yet again for his personal and professional approaches to the coronavirus.
On Thursday, President Trump issued nine rules designed to protect religious organizations from discrimination by the federal government. He’s also taking steps to protect free religious expression in the public schools.
What is the current law concerning religious expression in government-funded schools? How closely are those laws currently being followed? What are Trump’s orders designed to do? And what leverage does the government have against schools that refuse to accommodate that expression?
Family Research Council Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Travis Weber joins Greg Corombos to address those questions and more.
Black Americans can escape the cycle of failed schools, rampant poverty, and government dependence if America as a whole embraces the proven values that made our nation the envy of the world, according to a new report from the conservative Project 21 Black Leadership Network.
Entitled “Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America,” the report offers 57 proposals in ten different policy areas that Project 21 believes would lead to a thriving U.S. and a resurgent black community.
The proposals range from taxes to criminal justice reform to relations between police and local communities, but education is central to the goal of lifting black families to stability and prosperity.
Statistics show just 38 percent of blacks earn a four-year college degree in six years, compared to 62 percent for whites, 63 percent for Asians and almost 46 percent for Hispanics.
Project 21 Co-Chair Horace Cooper says failing schools are not preparing many black students for college.
“What you’re seeing is a disproportionate number of graduates at these places can barely read the diploma that they’re given. In 2017, six percent of black high school students who took the American College Testing exam (ACT) met the four benchmarks that were necessary for college readiness,” said Horace.
He points out only 35 percent of white students met those benchmarks, along with just under 50 percent of Asians. Cooper that is an indictment of our public schools across the board.
“In Europe and much of Asia, they are insisting that their education system deliver for their young people. In America, we’ve been much more interested in letting bureaucrats get cushy jobs and make sure that unions get the support that they need, rather than insisting we absolutely need our kids to be able to read the diploma that we hand them when we graduate,” said Cooper.
He says this is a crisis that must be addressed now.
“The main thing we’re trying to emphasize with this report is that there are certain strategies and policies that have the effect of hurting people who are working class and poor. Minorities tend to be more disproportionately poor,” said Cooper.
“Our public school systems in too many inner cities are simply failing. Black Americans are disproportionately enrolled in these failing schools,” he added.
Cooper says nothing has changed despite decades of poor results.
“Many of these cities refuse to incorporate ideas like competition, school choice, opportunities to let the faith community play a role. And they often have a very hostile attitude about even parental involvement,” said Cooper.
And, in a toxic pattern, inner city students with a poor education see few options when they become adults.
“If you are not equipped to compete in the 21st century marketplace, you are going to suffer dramatically and you may end up feeling forced to pursue non-legal means of providing for yourself,” said Cooper, who says the other common alternative is to live off government assistance programs.
Cooper says local governments need to start threatening to decrease funding unless results improve, instead of throwing good money after bad in failing schools.
He also says America must again embrace the principles that made us the envy of the world.
“It started with the building blocks, family. It started with faith, free markets, personal responsibility, limited government. These attitudes, these strategies led to America’s success and they will lead to any group’s success,” said Cooper.
He says liberal intellectuals started gutting those principles and convincing millions of people to follow a different course.
“A bunch of seemingly smart people said we don’t need those things. ‘Family? That’s so yesterday. We need Washington, D.C., bureaucrats to come in and dictate. We need massive government. Free markets can’t be trusted,'” said Cooper.
Cooper says Ronald Reagan proved twenty years later that the ethos of the 1960’s was wrong but the fight still goes on to return to the formula for American success. Cooper is confident it’s not too late.
“If we do it again with intentionality, we can do it in America and end a lot of the poverty that we see,” said Cooper.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are not all surprised by President Trump firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson given their distant relationship and they hope Mike Pompeo can be effective as America’s top diplomat. They also unload on Hillary Clinton after her ugly overseas explanations that Trump won the red states by appealing to people who don’t want blacks to have rights or women to have jobs and that white married women backed Trump because they did what their husbands or bosses told them to do. And they slam liberal school administrators for actively supporting Wednesday’s National School Walkout to push for gun control.
Social conservatives and proponents of federalism are cheering the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Obama policy requiring public schools to accommodate transgender students and personnel according to their gender identity, but the fight is far from over.
The battle now shifts to the a Supreme Court case, state supreme courts and countless school districts around the country, but Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver says this week’s Justice Department ruling is critical.
“Removing this lawless directive from the Obama administration will do a lot to get the federal government off the backs of these local schools,” said Staver, who says the Obama order put girls at great risk by placing them in vulnerable situations with biological males.
He says the backlash by liberals and the media is
“There’s such a big backlash about this in the liberal media, like there’s something horrible that he did. Frankly, he’s just following the law. The law does not include gender identity, or sexual orientation, or gender expression – or whatever you want to say – to the non-discrimination categories,” said Staver.
Staver notes that Congress has rejected such efforts to amend Title IX to expand the application of non-discrimination policies. He further states that the authors of Title IX and the 1964 Civil Rights Act had no intention of extending such protections.
Despite the Trump administration’s move, the Supreme Court may soon weigh in the issue. On March 28, the eight justices will hear arguments in in a high profile case out of Virginia. Gavin Grimm, a biological male who identifies as male, is in a legal battle with the Gloucester County Schools.
However, Staver now believes the high court may defer on the issue as a result of Trump’s actions.
“It’s possible that the court may simply punt on this and dismiss the case because of this new development. One of the questions before the Supreme Court is should they give deference to the administrative agencies for interpreting the statute. That administrative agency has gone back to the original intent of the statute,” said Staver.
The Trump administration’s decision also impacts Staver directly.
“This comes at a good time for a case that I’m arguing next week before the Virginia Supreme Court. In the next few days, I’ll argue before the Virginia Supreme Court on the Fairfax County case,” said Staver.
“That’s a school board in northern Virginia that, on its own, included gender identity, sexual orientation and gender expression to its policies. Virginia doesn’t allow that. It has to be set at the state level,” said Staver.
“Our case deals with something that many states have and that is that these non-discrimination categories have to be set at the state level, not at the local level. You don’t want to have different policies at the state, county, and local level all conflicting with one another,” said Staver.
He says this battle is playing out around the United States.
“Just a few days ago, the Arkansas Supreme Court came down with the same thing. Fayettevile added gender identity to its non-discrimination policy. The Arkansas Supreme Court said no, you can’t do that. It has to be set at the state level. That’s exactly what I’m arguing at the Virginia Supreme Court,” said Staver.
Even more battles on this and other key issues will play out at school board meetings around the country. Staver urges people to get active at the local level.
“It’s very important to get involved with the local school board because you can stop these policies before they occur. That’s the first line of defense. You need good people at the school board, not just for these policies but for other things as well. We need good Christians and people of moral values to be on these school boards all across the country,” said Staver.
The effort to blur and even erase gender distinctions is a decades-long effort by liberal activists to achieve equality but the effort is only serving to endanger the very women the movement supposedly champions.
That’s the premise of “Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female” by journalist and Catholic Association Senior Fellow Ashley McGuire.
She says the movement has far larger goals than winning restroom and locker room accommodation for people who believe they are a different sex than their anatomy would indicate.
“The endgame is being pushed by an elite segment of society that thinks that equality only will come when we all seem truly identical or when we ‘liberate’ ourselves from this idea of sex and gender,” said McGuire. “Women are the ones who lose in a world where it’s scandalous to even use the word ‘woman’ as a category.”
While many social conservatives see the transgender movement bursting onto the scene in just the past few years, McGuire says the larger effort has been unfolding for decades.
“Radical left-wing feminists pushed this idea that we’re very gendered, that we’ve been socialized to be a certain way, that these are superficial things and that sex is something very random and we just need to get ourselves out of these male and female boxes for women to be equal like men. We’re just starting to see some of the most extreme manifestations of it now, a few decades later,” said McGuire.
In her book, McGuire highlights stories such as a schoolteacher removing Legos from her classroom because boys were far more likely to play with them than girls and high schools removing Homecoming king and queen from the lexicon in favor of ‘royalty.’
Target stores have stopped labeling toys for boys and girls and there is even a push to stop dividing boys and girls clothes into different sections of the stores.
“What we’re seeing now is society actually actively encouraging confusion. That’s the kind of things parents have to resist, whether they’re getting it in their consumer choices or whether it’s actually being taught in their schools,” said McGuire. “This idea that toys and clothes have to be gender neutral or else you’re doing some sort of harm to your children is completely false,” said McGuire.
But it’s not just kids who deal with the consequences of the effort to eradicate gender and sex. McGuire says adult women are paying the price, including those serving in the military. She says women in the service can now be forced to the front lines of combat if they meet the physical requirements.
In 2016, the issue took on a greater dimension, when Congress very nearly required all women to register with Selective Service, which could one day make them eligible for non-voluntary service, possibly even in combat.
“It’s ironic to me that we’re suddenly talking about taking away choice for women, a choice as to whether they’re going to be put into some of the most dangerous situations possible,” said McGuire.
“The Marines just had their boot camp go co-ed and now they’re going to be putting men and women into the same sleeping quarters. That raises all sorts of risk for sexual assault, lawsuits, rape and things like that,” said McGuire.
College campuses also continue to pursue policies that are marketed as progressive but that McGuire believes puts women at great risk, especially in residential housing.
“Something like 80 percent of rapes (on campus) happen in college dorms. A lot smaller percentage than you think happen in fraternities and sororities or off-campus housing. That shouldn’t surprise us because most of these dorms are co-ed,” said McGuire.
“The idea being that men and women are no different. We can put them in the same building where they’re going to sleep and shower. Often they’re showering and bathing in the same bathroom. Some (colleges) are already implementing co-ed dorm rooms but at the same time wondering why women are being raped left and right,” aid McGuire.
So what do feminists have to say in response to this effort endangering women? McGuire says the left is very good at silencing opposing views.
“They’re trying to stifle any sort of dissent on the issue. I think there are very few people speaking out against it,” said McGuire.
She also says it took awhile for many people to see how the movement could impact them and their children.
“This all seemed like something that didn’t affect people in a very personal way. Increasingly, I think people are starting to see, whether it’s someone like me – a mother to a couple of young children – faced with the prospect that my kids might be taught in their school curriculum as young as kindergarten about gender being a malleable construct,” said McGuire.
McGuire says there are some groups on the left that believe ending gender and sex distinction is harmful to women so the fight against the cultural tide will lead to “strange bedfellows.”
She also says studies show that equality for women is being achieved without blowing up our cultural foundation. Citing research showing that CEO’s with daughters are likely to offer better salaries and opportunities to women, McGuire says things are moving in the right direction and a radical redefinition of humanity is not needed.
“That’s the direction we should be going. We should be exploring what our differences are, how our differences contribute in mutually beneficial ways, and trying to establish an equality based on that, not on this fake and unrealistic idea that if we make everything identical that’s when we’ll have achieved equality,” said McGuire.