Police were called in Idaho recently to contain protesters whose outrage was fueled by their belief that the International Baccalaureate program is linked to the United Nations, which to them is axiomatic with anti-Americanism.
The uprising was in the Hayden Lakes area. That’s a tiny enclave to accommodate such a big conspiracy theory. For thirty years, until they were forced by court order to surrender their 20 acre compound to the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2001 as part of a punitive and compensatory award of damages, the Aryan Nations’ headquarters was in Hayden Lakes.
According to the International Baccalaureate Program’s website, it has students in around 3,000 schools among 139 countries. The program is designed to “help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.”
Drew Deutsch, the director of the program in New York, says that the IBP “approaches education from a global perspective and it reinforces a rigorous curriculum with high standards. The emphasis is on critical-thinking skills.”
The idea that a global outlook is treasonous is not restricted to any geographical unit or camp. Allen Quist, at EdWatch, (a 501(c)(3) organization), argues that “education in America is being used as a tool for preparing our nation for global government, International Baccalaureate (IB) for example.”
He feels that the IB’s aim of creating world citizens is sinister, and its association with UNESCO, a branch of the UN, “means that its purpose is to create individuals who owe their allegiance to global government, not to the United States… If global government becomes a reality, the United States will no longer be a free and independent nation but will rather be under the control of the global government body.”
We must not fool ourselves that Quist and folks like him are mere cranks and buffoons. That kind of dismissive condescension is useless. Quist, for example, served four terms in the Minnesota state legislature, and ran seriously for governor and Congress. (A few months ago, at a Republican event, he reportedly called the health care reform bill “the most insidious, evil piece of legislation I have ever seen in my life.”) He seems to have led a sheltered life.
Indoctrination is always risky business and its definition is slippery. It may prove as impossible to teach history as it is for police to eschew profiling. But one thing is sure: smugness and complacency are the enemies of our national consciousness and security.
We must not look down on purveyors of curious notions lest we forget to watch our backs!
The International Baccalaureate Program is an academic course of study with a panoramic vision of global culture and the evolved values of civilization.Who are these folks who feel threatened by that? And what will be the next target of their menacing focus: Diet Cola?