by Guy Page
At the May 31 hearing of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate, Sen. MarkWayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) read a quote from a children’s book blaming white people for inventing the concept of race.
A lively exchange with chairman Bernie Sanders and witnesses ensued.
“We’re trying to federalize our education system. To me it sounds like more socialism,” Mullin said. “It still baffles me that our chairman…is a self-proclaimed socialist…that [as subcommittee chair] is over our education system.”
Mullin, who said he is of Cherokee ancestry, then read from “Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race,” by Megan Madison, described in her Penguin Random House bio as “a lifelong student of radical Black feminism and an early childhood educator.” The book was endorsed by one of the five expert witnesses addressing the subcommittee and is read to very young children in federally-funded preschools.
Mullin read this excerpt:
“A long time ago, way before you were born, a group of white people made up an idea called race. They sorted people by skin color, and said that white people were better, smarter, prettier and they deserved more than everybody else.”
The senator from Oklahoma then commented: “this would be taught if we socialize our pre-K system.”
“Do you disagree with that finding, Senator?” Sanders asked.
“A thousand percent,” Mullin shot back. “How about we teach [the Christian children’s song] Jesus Loves Me…. Jesus loves Loves the Little Children. The lyrics go, ‘red and yellow, black and white, they’re all precious in our sight.’….It says that everybody’s skin doesn’t matter, they’re all precious in his sight.”
When Mullin polled the panelists on which message they prefer to communicate to three-year-olds – either white people invented race as a tool of oppression, or that all children are precious in God’s eyes regardless of skin color – Sanders interrupted several more times, apparently trying to control the flow of the conversation.
“I’m going to close with two quotes,” Mullin said. “John Adams says morality and virtue are the foundation of a republic and necessary for society to be free. The second one is from our Socialist Communist Joseph Stalin: ‘Education is a weapon whose effect depends on whose hands it is in and whom it is aimed.'”