House Majority Leader Eric Cantor spent part of a speech at a Philadelphia charter school honoring Brazilian education theorist Paulo Freire, a radical Marxist who preached that every society suffers from a contradiction between “oppressors” and the “oppressed,” and that violent revolution must resolve conflict.
The Daily Caller is not joking.
As EAGnews.org reports, the Virginia Republican spoke at Philadelphia’s Freire Charter School on Monday. The speech started well enough. He predicted that school choice “will be a reality for every student in America” 10 years from now.
He also promised to “leave no stone unturned” in the GOP’s fight against Eric Holder’s Justice Department, which is suing the state of Louisiana in federal court to prevent low-income students from using vouchers to attend private schools. (RELATED: Justice Department radicals sue to force poor black kids to attend crappy schools)
Later in his remarks, however, the Republican leader gushed effusively about Paulo Freire, the hardcore Marxist for whom the Freire Charter School is named.
Cantor called Freire a “brilliant educator.” He noted that Freire, who was born into a comfortable middle-class home in Brazil, “earned a law degree and achieved a great deal.”
“Paulo Freire believed that everyone should have the necessary tools to succeed and he dedicated his life to providing those tools to the underserved,” Cantor said.
The House Majority Leader (and former House Whip) left out a number of interesting and important facts about Freire.
Cantor did not mention, for example, that Freire’s book, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” has been revered by a generation of activist, left-wing K-12 educators across the country.
Mary Grabar, a conservative professor and an activist in her own right, noted in an email to EAGnews that “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” has been “probably the most assigned book in Weatherman-turned-education-professor Bill Ayers’s classes at the University of Illinois at Chicago.”
In a nutshell, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” instructs that teachers must inform students that they are oppressed and abused under capitalism. Teachers must also tell students who is responsible for this oppression. Once students learn how oppressed they are, the theory goes, they will rise up and join a revolution that will implement a classless society.
In a 2009 essay in City Journal, Sol Stern, another education reformer, provides a dissection of the book and the politics of its adherents. As Stern notes, Freire’s footnotes in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” are filled with citations to academic communists and violent political radicals including Marx, Lenin, Mao, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
The 1968 book is “a utopian political tract calling for the overthrow of capitalist hegemony and the creation of classless societies,” Stern asserts.
“Freire also offers professorial advice to revolutionary leaders, who ‘must perceive the revolution, because of its creative and liberating nature, as an act of love,’” notes Stern.
UPDATE — Cantor’s office emails TheDC:
“Speaking at a school named for Friere, the Congressman merely pointed out that parts of his upbringing, being the son of a single mother living in poverty craving a good education were all too familiar to many families in this nation, and obviously in no way praised his political views.”