Intentional or Ignorant? Edison Middle School Sells T-Shirt That Quotes Communist
Updated: Feb 15
For Black History Month (Feb. 1 - Mar. 1), the devotees of critical race theory at Wheaton, Illinois’ Edison Middle School are offering a new divisive t-shirt for kids to buy for $20 that features a quote from lesbian feminist, the notorious Communist Angela Davis, supporter of cult leader Jim Jones and of brutally repressive Communist regimes in the 1960’s and beyond.
The quote, long-attributed to Davis, is a variation on the Serenity Prayer. Revolutionary Davis’s revision emblazoned on t-shirts along with a black panther paw print is this: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
It’s not the message that is objectionable. It’s the messenger.
Davis was also a member of the revolutionary Black Panther Party that demanded “all Black men to be exempt from military service” and “all Black men held in federal, state, county, and city prisons and jails” to be freed. And she was a disciple of Herbert Marcuse of the Frankfort School, following him from Germany to California to drink deeply from his well of Critical Theory, which birthed Critical Legal Theory, and then Critical Race Theory.
Davis spent a year in prison because her guns were used in a Marin County courthouse crime in which a judge was murdered. Once freed from prison, Davis traveled to that haven of freedom: the Soviet Union. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about her visit in his book Warning to the West, published in 1986:
In our country, literally for an entire year, we heard nothing at all except Angela Davis. We had our ears stuffed with Angela Davis. Little children in school were told to sign petitions in defence of Angela Davis. Although she didn't have too difficult a time in this country's jails, she came to recuperate in Soviet resorts. Some Soviet dissidents–but more important, a group of Czech dissidents–addressed an appeal to her: 'Comrade Davis, you were in prison. You know how unpleasant it is to sit in prison, especially when you consider yourself innocent. You have such great authority now. Could you help our Czech prisoners? Could you stand up for those people in Czechoslovakia who are being persecuted by the state?' Angela Davis answered: 'They deserve what they get. Let them remain in prison.' That is the face of Communism. That is the heart of Communism for you.
In a speech at a Black Panther rally in 1969, Davis fretted that “brothers in Connecticut are still in jail.” She was referring to Black Panthers Warren Kimbro and George W. Sams Jr. who were in prison for the murder of 19-year-old Panther Alex Rackley whom they wrongly suspected of being an FBI informant. Before being shot in the head and chest, Rackley had been tortured for three days, including having bucket after bucket of boiling water poured over his naked body.
No one who has supported the people and causes Angela Davis has supported should ever be quoted on a t-shirt sold in a public school. Either Edison Middle School administrators are ignorant of history or they are so in thrall to wokism that they are unfit to lead any public school.
Here are some alternative quotes for Edison Middle School students during Black History Month from more worthy Americans who have the skin color du mois:
Thomas Sowell, black economist: “People who talk incessantly about ‘change’ are often dogmatically set in their ways. They want to change other people.”
Marian Anderson, black opera singer: “None of us is responsible for the complexion of his skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath.”
Walter Williams, black economist: “[R]ace might be an achievement worthy of considerable celebration only if a person was born white and through his effort and diligence became black.”
Mahalia Jackson, black gospel singer: “Baby, black promoters oppressed me before white promoters even got hold of me. Don’t talk skin to me.”
Okay, maybe as enlightening as that last quote is it’s probably not suitable for a middle school t-shirt. Here’s another pithy quote from the incomparable Mahalia Jackson—one that expresses an excellent message for middle-schoolers:
You’re blessed if you have the strength to work.
The Angela Davis t-shirt is not the first indication that Edison’s well-paid administrators embrace leftist ideologies. Just two months ago, the administration allowed a homosexual “pride” Christmas tree to be placed alongside a traditional Christmas tree in a prominent space in the school.
I wrote the following about that offensive act:
In a brazen act of anti-Christian disrespect and cultural appropriation, Edison Middle School (CUSD 200) … has chosen to mock a Christian symbol that celebrates the birth of Christ.
Edison Middle School—an arm of the government—has given its stamp of approval to the cultural appropriation of not one, but two Christian symbols: the Christian symbol of the rainbow and the Christian symbol of the Christmas tree.
And this insult to Christians was not the first symbol of the administration’s embrace of leftism.
In March 2022, I wrote the following about a lecture given at Edison by a racially exclusionary club to which all students were required to attend without parental knowledge or consent:
[A]dministrators at Edison Middle School in Wheaton, Illinois allowed student members of the blacks-only “Panthers in Black” school club to lecture peers on the intricacies of using various forms of the “n”-word. Students learned who is permitted to use the “n”-word and which “n”-word suffix is appropriate in what context. …
The Panthers in Black advocate for “recognizing” and “promoting” appreciation of African American “achievement, culture, heritage, sacrifices, and accomplishments, including past and current events.” Several things are unclear. …
For example, will greater achievements by non-blacks be jettisoned for lesser achievement by blacks?
When discussing the past history of blacks, will the sordid history of the involvement of Africans in enslaving other Africans be shared?
The Panthers in Black moved on to establishing joke rules for all their middle school peers: “‘joking around’ about race is not a joke and it’s not okay.”
The black Panthers say this means no jokes about “past events,” Black Lives Matter, slavery, skin tone differences, and George Floyd. Imagine if someone had issued this diktat to Richard Pryor. And imagine if Key and Peele, Chris Rock, and Eddie Murphy were prohibited by the censors among us from “joking around about race.”
Are blacks allowed to joke about race? Are they allowed to joke about whites or Asians?
The second to last slide was an invitation to African American students only to join the exclusive Panthers in Black club, but assuring non-blacks that they are willing to talk to them.
How very tolerant of the panthers to condescend to talk to colorless peers.
Edison Middle School and many other public schools in Illinois and around the country are promoting this insidious form of racism that masquerades as anti-racism, dividing the country while puffing up white “progressives” with a fictitious sense of their own virtue.