Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Surveilling One Another

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A school district is encouraging its community to report anyone who violates the district’s anti-racism policy.

The “Anti-racism, Anti-Discrimination, and Anti-Harassment Policy” at South Kingstown school district in Rhode Island says anyone in the educational community is “personally responsible” and must “immediately report” different kinds of racism including, “cyber racism,” “interpersonal racism” and “institutional racism,” according to the district policy. 

Public education is now leading a community effort to indoctrinate not only the community's children but now the adults to surveil one another.

So what? I don't live in Rhode Island.

Be informed, not misled.

The policy states that “any member of South Kingstown is encouraged to report incidents or allegations of incidents” that break anti-racism policy guidelines.

What adult citizens should do if they see "incidents" that break anti-racism guidelines. 

Adults are instructed to immediately file a report explaining the incident---or why the one reporting feels there may be some form of racism being displayed in the other person. 

Once the report is filed the school district will then administer "No Contact Orders" prohibiting any verbal or physical contact between the alleged offender and the victim.

The goal is to create a  school district that is "actively anti-racist and anti-discriminatory."

“The South Kingstown School District Anti-Racism policy creates a paranoid, stasi-style online reporting system for any member of the Town of South Kingstown to report not only incidents of racism, but also cyber racism and interpersonal racism as defined by the district,” Nicole Solas, South Kingstown resident, and Independent Women’s Forum senior fellow says.

How will we be able to spot racism violations among our friends and neighbors?

Violations of the policy include racism, defined as “systemic oppression of a racial group,” and cyber racism, which is racism on websites and blogs, as well as text messages, emails, images, and videos, the policy stated. Interpersonal racism, defined as pre-judgment or bias in “privately held beliefs, conscious and unconscious and external behaviors and actions towards others,” and institutional racism, which is “inequitable outcomes for students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in institutions,” are both included in the policy.

Microaggressions, which the school district defines as any intentional or unintentional “slights, snubs and insults” that are hostile, derogatory, negative and target a person, are subject to punishment, according to the policy. Reporting forms are available online and educators are advised to keep students who report violations “safe.”

Any “employee, student or third party” can file a report and if they are against students or any school staff, the complaints will be investigated by the school, the policy stated.

Who decides if a person is guilty of some form of racism?

“Determinations on whether the policy was violated are made by either the superintendent, principal, or director and there are both formal and informal reporting procedures--- students, teachers, staff, and apparently anyone in the town of South Kingstown will be formally deemed racist or not racist by whomever an accuser chooses to process his Orwellian report.”

Orwellian indeed.

George Orwell's book "1984" accurately predicted these kinds of things.

John Whitehead, an old friend, and frequent guest on my television show in the 1970s and 1980s  has written an interesting article about Orwell and his predictions.

He begins with this:

The Omnipresent Surveillance State: Orwell’s 1984 Is No Longer Fiction

By John W Whitehead

“You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” — George Orwell, 1984

Tread cautiously: the fiction of George Orwell has become an operation manual for the omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state.   It’s been 70 years since Orwell — dying, beset by fever and bloody coughing fits, and driven to warn against the rise of a society in which rampant abuse of power and mass manipulation are the norm — depicted the ominous rise of ubiquitous technology, fascism and totalitarianism in 1984.   Who could have predicted that 70 years after Orwell typed the final words to his dystopian novel, “He loved Big Brother,” we would fail to heed his warning and come to love Big Brother.

“To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings!” — George Orwell

1984 portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state. There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society. Snitches and cameras are everywhere. People are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought-crimes. The government, or "Party," is headed by Big Brother, who appears on posters everywhere with the words: "Big Brother is watching you."   We have arrived, way ahead of schedule, into the dystopian future dreamed up by not only Orwell but also such fiction writers as Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood, and Philip K Dick.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ― George Orwell

Much like Orwell’s Big Brother in 1984, the government and its corporate spies now watch our every move. Much like Huxley’s A Brave New World, we are churning out a society of watchers who “have their liberties taken away from them, but … rather enjoy it, because they [are] distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing.” 

Much like Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the populace is now taught to “know their place and their duties, to understand that they have no real rights but will be protected up to a point if they conform, and to think so poorly of themselves that they will accept their assigned fate and not rebel or run away.”   

What once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction.   Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike — facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on — are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts, and controlling our behavior, the dystopian visions of past writers is fast becoming our reality.   Our world is characterized by widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining, fusion centers, driverless cars, voice-controlled homes, facial recognition systems, cybugs and drones, and predictive policing (pre-crime) aimed at capturing would-be criminals before they can do any damage.   Surveillance cameras are everywhere. Government agents listen in on our telephone calls and read our e-mails. Political correctness — a philosophy that discourages diversity — has become a guiding principle of modern society.


Indeed it has.

Long before Orwell, our Founding Fathers warned of such things. Benjamin Franklin said, "Those who give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

John Adams said, "Let us dare to read, think, speak and write."

And Lincoln said, "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.