Elon Musk may be the richest man in the world, but he is dealing with a problem common to families all across America: woke schools.
In an excerpt from his forthcoming Musk biography published in The Wall Street Journal Thursday, Walter Isaacson revealed a bombshell.
Not only does Musk blame his transgender daughter’s progressive Los Angeles school for their estrangement, but her experiences being infected by the “woke mind virus” at the school led to his purchase of Twitter (now X), which Musk believed “had become infected by a similar mindset that suppressed right-wing and anti-establishment voices.”
Isaacson reported Musk was “generally sanguine” when he found out his oldest child, Xavier, was transgender and wanted to be called Jenna. But then Jenna became a fervent Marxist and broke off all relations.
Musk’s diagnosis is correct. Our nation’s K-12 schools, and especially its elite private schools, have in recent years utterly changed their missions. They have abandoned academic excellence and classical liberalism, become hostile to free speech and open discourse and adopted a political education of training progressive activists.
Here’s a quotation from the website of Musk’s daughter’s school: “Social justice is woven throughout every student’s experience at Crossroads, informing the lens through which they see the world. The K-12 curriculum provides students with a progressively nuanced exploration of historical and current-day inequities: locally, nationally and internationally.”
My own daughter experienced the same kind of progressive indoctrination at her former school in New York City, the Brearley School, which I exposed in a letter I mailed to every Brearley family in the spring of 2021 — a letter that unexpectedly went viral and helped ignite what became the national parent’s movement.
The foundation of every school’s woke indoctrination program is its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion — words that have completely different meanings to what schools claim.
Diversity is not a celebration of our differences but how schools segregate society into victims and oppressors by race, gender and identity. Today, the identity group receiving the most attention is transgender children. Here we see the roots of the social contagion of transgenderism that indoctrinated Musk’s oldest child.
For a school to be “inclusive” everyone must feel a sense of belonging. Children must see their own identity in every book, every project, every homework assignment. Even more important, school must be a “safe space,” totally free from harm. These are code words for shutting down free speech, as Musk correctly intimated.
Finally, there is equity. The left’s Orwellian co-option of words has made equity, equality, justice, democracy and human rights all mean the same thing — a world of equal outcomes. Or in other words, a world hostile to capitalism and freedom and embracing of Marxism, as Musk intuits.
I disagree with Musk on only one point. Woke is not simply a “mind virus.” It is more accurately an “institutional virus.” Although many young people have indeed been infected and indoctrinated through their schools and social media, most Americans have not. Instead they have been bullied into silence by our country’s institutions. This is how woke has taken over our society. Not by taking over minds but by taking over institutions.
I write this op-ed not in my former home of New York City or my new home in Florida but out of a hotel room in England. Why? Because Sunday we drop our daughter off at a British boarding school. I wish I could have found a suitable school in the United States, but I couldn’t.
I don’t believe there is a single strong academic school in America unaffected by the woke virus — a terrifying thought. Truth be told, I’m not certain there is one anywhere in the English-speaking world as elite British schools are heading down the same woke path as American schools. But at least some UK schools still value free speech and teach Shakespeare.
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter was one of the few optimistic moments in the fight against illiberal wokeness and the fight to preserve free speech. I am cheering him on. But Musk has identified a much more dangerous threat to society — our nation’s schools. If we don’t quickly find a way to stop the Marxist indoctrination of our children, I fear we will lose not just America but all of Western civilization.
Andrew Gutmann is a Republican congressional candidate for Florida’s 22nd district. https://andrewgutmann.com/