i. Weekly Newsletter from FAIR


Standing Up for Civil Liberties

And Other News

October 7th, 2021


FAIR Responds to DOJ Memo

On September 29th, the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Biden, asking him to bring in federal law enforcement to deal with threats, harassment, and violence by parents toward school board members regarding COVID policies and “critical race theory.” On October 4th, Attorney General Garland issued a memo directing the FBI to meet with leaders in every district in the nation, and stating he will announce a plan to deal with these parents in the coming days.

FAIR wants to ensure parents do not feel intimidated when peacefully exercising their civil and First Amendment rights. In response, FAIR has issued a letter to the DOJ and will continue to keep a watchful eye on these events as they unfold.


Download and discuss the NSBA and DOJ letters, as well as FAIR’s response, on the FAIR Community forum here.

New York Schools Segregate by Race

A series of incident reports relating to Jamesville-Dewitt School District in New York were recently submitted to FAIRTransparency.org. The reports allege that the district held a policy-shaping forum that excluded parents on the basis of skin color, and required students to declare their pronouns in a questionnaire. FAIR sent a letter to the district, informing them that those actions violated the students’ and parents’ constitutional and civil rights.


Download and discuss the letter on the FAIR Community forum here.

New Lawsuit in Boston Exam Schools Case

FAIR is supporting the case Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence v. Boston School Committee, arising from the Boston school district’s new admission plan for the city’s prestigious “exam schools.” Last year, the district removed the entrance exam requirement for those schools and instead implemented a plan to admit students by zip codes that are closely tied to race.

The district denied any racial animus behind the plan. Parents have requested public records relating to the plan, but the district has refused to produce those records, prompting the parents to file another lawsuit. 


Read the new lawsuit on the FAIR Community forum here.

FAIR Legal Webinar TODAY

TODAY, October 7th, from 8:00pm to 9:30pm EST, FAIR will be hosting a legal webinar titled “Civil Rights in Our K-12 Schools: Challenges and Options in the Era of Intolerance.” For more details scroll down to "Upcoming Events" at the end of this email.


Register for the webinar here.


Other News

For Persuasion, renowned social psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote about the monomania—the “exaggerated and unhealthy obsession with one thing”—that is dominating campus discourse and the wider culture at large. 

While monomania may be detrimental to an individual, the harm that a monomaniac can inflict on others is usually limited in scope. However, collective or group monomania is much more dangerous because it can cause “large numbers of people to behave in ways that are harmful and unjust to others.” 

Haidt believes that collective monomania is particularly concerning when it overtakes educational institutions. He writes:

I think that professors and leaders of educational institutions have a fiduciary duty toward their students that requires them to oppose monomania and lead students out of its stultifying embrace. A liberal arts education should expand minds and prepare students for citizenship in a liberal democracy, particularly in our era when the future of liberal democracy is so much less assured than it was just a decade ago.

Read the full article here.

For Bari Weiss’ Substack, Common Sense, professor Dorian Abbott, a geophysical scientist at the University of Chicago, explains how an outraged Twitter mob managed to cancel his prestigious public science lecture at MIT.

Dr. Abbot began noticing an increasingly illiberal and intolerant ideology gaining popularity on campuses in recent years. Following the summer protests of 2020, Abbot experienced it first-hand when students at the University of Chicago targeted him for publicly supporting merit-based admissions policies. In response, this small yet disproportionately loud and motivated group of students and faculty wrote a letter denouncing him and hounded organizers planning to host his talks. Recently, MIT caved to the mob and cancelled a prestigious lecture he was scheduled to give. Abbot writes:

Do we want a culture of fear and repression in which a small number of ideologues exert their power and cultural dominance to silence anyone who disagrees with them? Or do we want our children to enjoy truth-seeking discourse consisting of good-natured exchanges that are ultimately grounded in a spirit of epistemic humility? If you want the latter, it’s time to stand up and so say. It’s time to say no to the mob, no to the cancellations. And it’s time to be forthright about your true opinions.

Read the full article here.

In The Objective Standard, editor Jon Hersey interviewed Dr. Carrie-Ann Biondi, an associate professor of philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, about her decision to leave academia last year after teaching for over 25 years. 

Biondi explains that she began noticing students showing up to her classes without the capacity to think independently, which she believes is the result of being formerly instructed by teachers who view education as little more than rote learning to prepare students for standardized tests.

In addition to these pedagogical shortcomings, Biondi described how her campus became highly politicized following the 2016 election, and students and faculty began blurring the line between education and activism. Meanwhile, Biondi was trying to “educate, not indoctrinate” her students. However, during the riots following George Floyd’s death, she says the “administration became overtly political,” and that’s when she knew it was time to leave.

Read the full article here.


Additional reading:


For Bari Weiss’ Substack, Common Sense, FAIR Advisor Abigail Shrier reported on her interviews with two world-renowned experts in the field of transgender medicine: Dr. Marci Bowers, a vaginoplasty specialist, and Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist.

In her interview, Bowers raised concerns about gender medicine’s “affirmative care” model that urges “doctors to corroborate their patients’ belief that they are trapped in the wrong body.” This early social transition frequently leads to concrete medical interventions, such as the administering of puberty-blocking drugs followed by cross-sex hormones and surgery. According to Bowers, this protocol had been sold “in a dogmatic fashion” without regard for a patient’s brain development or future fertility and sexual function.

Additionally, Erica Anderson voiced her concerns about “sloppy” healthcare work in the field, claiming that some specialists are rushing people through the medicalization process and failing “to evaluate the mental health of someone historically in current time, and to prepare them for making such a life-changing decision.”

Read the full article here.


For Education Next, FAIR Advisor Ian V. Rowe, and six other scholars, wrote responses to the prompt, “How should K–12 schools teach about slavery in America? What pitfalls should teachers and textbooks avoid? What facts and concepts should they stress?” and “Are schools generally doing a good or bad job of this now?”

In his response, Rowe argued that slavery was not a uniquely American practice, but rather “an accepted, grotesque feature at the center of a world ordered around the normalcy of human bondage.” So while it is necessary to accurately portray America’s shameful participation in this act, it is also important to stress how uncommon “America’s post-abolition march toward becoming a multiethnic society” truly was.

Rowe explains that the challenge educators face today is figuring out how to “portray slavery in America as an example of state-sanctioned oppression that is central to our history...while also celebrating how our nation’s enduring principles have provided the world an indispensable model of how formerly enslaved people came to regularly produce some of the country’s most influential leaders in virtually every facet of American life.”

Read Rowe’s and the other contributors' full responses here.


For The New York Times, FAIR Advisor John McWhorter discussed “semantic narrowing,” a phenomenon where the meaning of a term shifts from the general to the specific. McWhorter believes that discussions surrounding race are currently—and to our detriment—undergoing such a process, and uses examples of historic versus contemporary usage of common terms like “diversity,” “equity,” “inclusion,” “discrimination,” and “cultural appropriation” to illustrate. McWhorter states: 

Our discussion of race is especially distorted by this problem because we are having conversations with words that mean different things to different people — and we don’t even realize it. Not to be continually aware that semantic narrowing is common and constant — “a thing,” as we say — is to find modern discussions of race more confusing than they need be. To be more conscious of it might also lead people to be clearer about what they mean.

Read the full article here.


In Persuasion, FAIR Advisor Zaid Jilani discussed a recent controversial blog post made by Urban Institute policy analyst Lauren Farrell, where she called for abandoning the research practices of  “objectivity” and “rigor” in favor of what she calls “equitable research” methods that center “identity,” “power,” and “ensures data are contextualized and grounded in the community’s experience.”

Jilani worries that such “equitable” research practices prioritize agenda-driven goals like social justice over honest truth-seeking. He states: 

​​But the point of research is not to promote a particular ideology or agenda. The point of research is to tell us what is true. Objectivity lets us see the world as it is, rather than what we might wish it were. It’s important to acknowledge reality and settle on a good set of facts before we do anything else.

Read the full article here.


FAIR Spotlight

FAIR Spotlight is where we share the reasons our members give for supporting FAIR’s pro-human mission. If you would like to share your reasons for supporting FAIR, please do so by emailing [email protected].


A Call for "Pro-Human" Materials

FAIR would like members to submit recommendations of books, videos, essays, and other materials that align with FAIR's pro-human messaging so that we may highlight it and share it with the FAIR Community. Please send your suggestions to [email protected].


Upcoming Events


TODAY, October 7th, from 8:00pm to 9:30pm EST, FAIR is hosting a Legal Webinar titled “Civil Rights in Our K-12 Schools: Challenges and Options in the Era of Intolerance.”

The webinar will include FAIR Advisors and a panel of legal experts who will discuss the legal avenues available for civil rights violations in schools, including Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, the First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment. They will also discuss pending litigation, including Deemar v. Evanston, and other options available to parents and guardians, both to learn what schools are teaching their children and to advocate for civil liberties and tolerance. 

Panelists will include FAIR’s Legal Network Managing Director Letitia Kim, FAIR Advisor Maud Maron, and litigator and trial lawyer Daniel Cragg. The panel will be moderated by FAIR Advisor Ian Rowe. 


Register for the webinar here.


NEW: We are pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative for K-12 teachers: the FAIR Educator Alliance.

Teachers often feel isolated and alone in their schools, but FAIR is here for you! We will be holding weekly informal “happy hours” to share experiences and concerns and work on developing resources just for teachers. We’ll also be holding more formal monthly meetings to address issues based on your needs and interests.

Our introductory meeting is Thursday, October 14th, at 8:00pm EST. We hope to see you! For more information, contact [email protected]


Every two weeks, FAIR will be hosting several Grassroots Advocacy Training Workshops for members. Go here learn about each session and how to register.

TODAY, October 7th at 6:00pm, FAIR's Indiana chapter will be hosting an in-person evening discussion with FAIR Advisor and best-selling author Wilfred Reilly.


Register for the event here.


Join the FAIR Community

Click here to become a FAIR volunteer, or to either lead or join a FAIR chapter:

Join a Welcome to FAIR Zoom information session to learn more about our mission by clicking here. Or, watch a previously recorded session click here to visit the Member section of www.fairforall.org.

Sign the FAIR Pledge for a common culture of fairness, understanding and humanity.

Join the FAIR community to connect and share information with other members.

Join or start a FAIR chapter in your state, to help launch the pro-human movement.

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