Our attention has been increasingly drawn to the growth of classical Christian schools, and so we sent a reporter with National Proletariat Radio to interview Douglas Wilson in Moscow, Idaho to get some background on this important movement.
NPR: Thank you so much for granting this interview.
DW: Glad to do it. Thanks for the opportunity.
NPR: I was surprised to read that you, as a religious conservative, are opposed to prayer in the public schools. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
DW: Well, of course I support prayer in schools as a general rule, and so my opposition to prayer in the government schools has to be taken in a more nuanced way. I am opposed to prayer in the government schools for the same reason that I am opposed to lockers in the public schools, drinking fountains in the public schools, classrooms in the public schools, teachers in the public schools, and pupils in the public schools. If I don’t want an institution to exist in the first place, then of course I wouldn’t want it to be sanctified with prayer.
NPR: Isn’t that position somewhat . . . extreme?
DW: No, an extreme position would be that of H.L. Mencken, who said there was nothing wrong with the public schools that couldn’t be solved by burning all the schools and hanging all the teachers. That is, I will acknowledge, a bit extreme. My position is decidedly moderate.
DW: Yes. I see no reason why the old school buildings could not be repurposed.
NPR: Let us move on then. Do you not think that your emphasis on the “classics” is too white? Too Eurocentric? The hegemony of dead white males . . . that sort of thing?
DW: No, I don’t think that.
NPR: Because . . .?
DW: Because there is nothing wrong with teaching children to appreciate and to be grateful for their own heritage.
NPR: Won’t this encourage them to despise those who come from a different heritage, a different legacy?
DW: Not at all. You don’t teach children to respect how other children honor their mothers by teaching them to despise their own mothers.
NPR: But your school here, Logos School, is hardly a model of diversity . . .
DW: How do you mean?
NPR: Well, before this interview I looked up all your board members. All of them are men. How would you respond to that?
DW: I would respond with incredulity.
DW: Yes. This is 2016 . . . and you asked a question like that?
NPR: Like what? I simply wanted to know why your board is made up of nothing but men. And it seems to me to be a fair question.
DW: I see. And why did you assume that they were all men?
NPR: Well, the names . . . Joe, Ben, you know.
DW: You mean to tell me that this is what you call evidence? Have you talked to any of them? Do you know what pronouns they use for themselves? Do you know how they identify at home?
NPR: Umm , . . no.
DW: And so you come in here and insult me, and our board, and our school, by simply assuming that our board members were men, and you did this on the basis of . . . stereotypical names? I am afraid that I am going to have to ask for the name of your supervisor.
NPR: Umm . . . Bruno Milchilczveski
DW: Now, see? This should be an object lesson. How bad would it be if I were simply to assume that Bruno was a man with no more to go on that what you have given me?
NPR: Look, I am very sorry. There is no need to call him . . . he is a him . . . my apologies. I am very sorry.
DW: Okay. I’ll let it go this time. We are all still getting used to it.
NPR: Let me frame this as a question then. A most respectful question. How many of your board members are men?
DW: Well, currently all of them are.
NPR: Currently? You mean that because you have elected seats that the composition varies?
DW: No, it has nothing to do with our elections. We switch it around from meeting to meeting. Paper, rock, scissors.
NPR: You switch around?
DW: Depending on the need. But the only time we are all girls is when we have gotten behind on the fundraising quilting project.
NPR: Are you pulling my leg?
DW: No farther than it has already been pulled.
[Sound of scuffling. Recording ends.]