At its core, critical race theory is the false idea that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and that all of our nation’s institutions – the law, culture, business, economy, education – are designed to maintain white supremacy.
Critical race theory curriculum tells students that they fall into one of two categories – the oppressed or the oppressor – based solely on the color of their skin. It tells students that if they are white then they are privileged and racist, and makes them affirm this ideology through classroom discussion and assignments. Some school districts take it even a step further and physically segregate students based on their race for lessons, reducing them to nothing more than a set of racial stereotypes. (Kimberly Hermann)
(by Ellie Bufkin, SBG at ABC local NewsChannel12) — Several states are considering legislation to ban controversial Critical Race Theory (CRT) education in public schools. Lawmakers are debating and voting on legislation aimed at CRT in states including Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Arizona [as well as Idaho, Oklahoma and Florida].
Many Republican lawmakers and parent advocates describe CRT as racially divisive, teaching children to judge differences in skin color above the content of character. They say adding curriculum rooted in CRT also teaches children to search for racism in all aspects of life over teaching civics and history education.
The federal government has proposed plans to include teachings from The New York Times “1619 Project,” an essay panned by some historians as an inaccurate portrayal of the origin of the United States. The project [wrongly] suggests one of the primary motivations for the Revolutionary War was to preserve slavery.
Republicans on Capitol Hill sent a letter to [President Biden’s] Education Secretary Miguel Cardona asking him to remove the 1619 project from the proposed education plan.
Many Republican lawmakers view CRT and the 1619 project as political in nature – ideals embraced by many progressive [very liberal] Democrats. Republican Texas State Sen. Brandon Creighton introduced a bill against the teachings, which passed in the Senate.
“To prepare the next generation, Texas public schools should inspire a love of learning, foster students’ natural curiosity, and provide a strong foundation to understand history from a balanced approach and navigate current events, not require educators push a political agenda,” Creighton said. He said the bill “will hold the line in Texas to ensure civics courses teach traditional history, focusing on the ideas that make our country great and the story of how our country has risen to meet those ideals, not that any race is inherently superior or place political requirements on students.”
Some who oppose legislation [banning CRT] say there is a lack of evidence CRT is being taught in the schools. But one parent in Loudoun County, Virginia, Ian Prior, told Sinclair News schools may refer to many teachings of CRT as “equity” or “inclusion” training.
“Loudoun County Public Schools keep saying, ‘well, we don’t take teach Critical Race Theory. Okay, well… it’s not like physics or chemistry. It’s a theory, right? It’s a philosophy of looking at the world and, and equity-based education is the execution of that philosophy.”
Liberal scholar Kyiarah Bridges says CRT is an “[a]cknowledgement that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, that replicate racial inequality. This dismisses the idea that racist incidents are aberrations but instead are manifestations of structural and systemic racism.”
The Tennessee legislature passed the bill banning CRT with a list of amendments to include a list of teachings [that have] a similar philosophy. Those prohibitions include education that teaches one race or sex is superior, any individuals are ‘inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive” because of their race or sex, or that any person bears responsibility for past actions by other members of their race or sex. Any school engaged in teachings banned by the legislature will be denied public funding.
Republican candidate for Georgia governor Vernon Jones [who is African American] vowed to ban the training in his state if elected.
Parent advocates against CRT and similar teachings have also targeted school board members for election defeat. Two vocal opponents of CRT won with nearly 70% of the vote in a Dallas-area school district.
“By a landslide vote, they don’t want racially divisive Critical Race Theory taught to their children or forced on their teachers,” electee Hanna Smith [said]. That election came after the area saw a surge of controversy when the school board called for a “Cultural Competency Action Plan,” after an incident caught on video of two students chanting a racial slur.
Prior, [the Virginia parent], who founded FightForSchools.com, says equity and equality should not be conflated.
“If you were somebody that’s for equality, you certainly appreciate diversity,” he said. “You appreciate the equal opportunity for people to succeed in a colorblind meritocracy.”
Published at ABC local NewsChannel12 .com from a Sinclair Broadcast Group report. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission.
1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)
2. List the states currently debating and voting on legislation to ban Critical Race Theory.
3. Why do many Republican lawmakers and parents oppose the teaching of Critical Race Theory to students?
4. How does Virginia parent Ian Prior refute the claim that there is no evidence that Critical Race Theory is being taught in public schools?
5. a) List the teachings/theories the Tennessee legislature included in its bill banning Critical Race Theory.
b) What penalty would a school/district receive for teaching these banned theories?
6. Read the explanation of Critical Race Theory above paragraph one at the top of the article. Ask a parent his/her opinion of this theory.
7. Watch the videos under “Resources” below. Do you think if the specific points/ideas of Critical Race Theory were explained to parents/students, the majority would support or oppose this theory? Explain your answer.
In an April 22 commentary “Biden Issues Public School Critical Race Theory Order,” attorney Kimberly Hermann writes:
Under Biden, a far more aggressive level of federal control over our nation’s K-12 classrooms will replace history (and objective truth) with identity politics and a warped view of American civics and institutions. In many cases, teachers are told to hide the racially divisive curriculum from parents. In others, students are encouraged to report the words and views of their parents and caretakers as examples of institutional racism. The initial goal is the indoctrination of young minds, but the long view is to aggregate power behind an alien political worldview that fed the dehumanizing machines of the Soviet Union and communist China.
Students: don’t buy the lie. Kimberly Hermann also wrote in her commentary:
[The teaching of Critical Race Theory] is not healthy. It erases decades of progress. And it pits our children against each other, teaching them to hate one another. Parents [and students] must stay alert because [April’s] proposed rule is just the beginning. Senate and House Democrats have already introduced bills, including the Civics Secures Democracy Act, which would require schools to promote critical race theory in exchange for more federal money.
(Kimberly Hermann is General Counsel for Southeastern Legal Foundation, an Atlanta-based constitutional public interest law firm and policy center.)
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