Instruction & Curriculum

Why The Fight Against Critical Race Theory is Rooted In America History

Rann Miller
The masses of teachers aren’t teaching Critical Race Theory. Roughly 80% of teachers in the United States are white – I can almost guarantee you that they’re not teaching Critical Race Theory.
Many of them are uncomfortable teaching about enslavement, do you think they’d be comfortable, let alone knowledgeable, enough to teach Critical Race Theory? The masses of individuals against the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools are largely white and conservative politically and more than likely cannot articulate, let alone define, what Critical Race Theory is.
Of the twelve states who either have policies in place or have proposed policies, that ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory, 9 of the 12 are below the national average for bachelor’s degree attainment or higher (9 of the 12 are below the national average for bachelor’s degree attainment or higher among white people) according to the U.S. Census website.
Figure 1. Percent Bachelor’s Degree or Above Attainment

State Bachelor’s Degree +

Territory
White Bachelor’s Degree +
33%
United States
37%
30%
Arizona
36%
23%
Arkansas
25%
31%
Florida
35%
28%
Idaho
30%
30%
Missouri
31%
32%
North Carolina
36%
26%
Oklahoma
29%
35%
Oregon
36%
35%
Rhode Island
39%
29%
Tennessee
30%

31%

Texas
39%
35%
Utah

38%

*Source: www.census.gov**Red Percentages Are Below the National Average
The majority of those against Critical Race Theory are Republicans and according to 2020 exit polls, the majority of whites without a college degree voted for Donald Trump, as opposed to whites with a college degree and Black people in general.
These folks don’t know what Critical Race Theory is; they don’t like higher education as it is. Click To Tweet
But it doesn’t matter because the term is used to blanket all things that make white people feel guilty about systemic racism, white supremacy, white privilege, and enslavement. To that end, they’re storming school board meetings, legislative offices, and statehouses as conservative politicians rush to ban all things Critical Race Theory.
It’s a reaction to the 1619 Project, curated by award-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. It’s a reaction, just like the 1776 Commission and the 1836 Project.
Critical Race Theory argues that historical patterns of racism are ingrained in law and other modern institutions and that the legacies of slavery, segregation, and Jim Crow still create an uneven playing field for Black people and other people of color.
Further, Critical Race Theory says that racism is a normal and/or regular aspect of American society, using storytelling to critique liberalism and legislation, specifically civil rights legislation whereby whites were made the primary beneficiaries.  Even President Biden, when speaking on the commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre, said that systemic racism is “embedded systematically and systemically in our laws and our culture,” and that our nation can’t pretend “it doesn’t impact us today.”
Rather than wrestle with the history that largely informs that theory, politicians are ramming through censorship legislation and parents are packing out school board meetings. Sadly, the school board meetings sound more like a circus. For example, in Washington, according to the AP:
“Opponents of Washoe County’s curriculum proposal camped on the eastern side of the entrance to a packed local school board meeting on Tuesday, wearing MAGA hats and carrying signs that read ‘No CRT,’ ‘CRT teaches racism,’ and ‘The School Board works for the people!’ To combat concerns about ideological indoctrination, the Nevada Family Alliance has proposed outfitting teachers with body cameras to ensure they aren’t indoctrinating students in classrooms.”
Body cameras on teachers??? Clearly, this is getting out of hand.
The obvious danger here is that banning Critical Race Theory will be a blanket ban on teaching Black history in schools. For all the talk amongst educators and policymakers who claim to want historical events such as the Tulsa Race Massacre to be taught in schools, these efforts will likely thwart efforts to unearth the often-untold history of our country.
Ultimately, educators, as well as the Biden Administration have a decision to make. Either we fight or flee and if we flee then we lose. There is no compromising here. If we compromise, we lose. There is no compromising with a law that outlaw the acknowledging of the “founders” as white supremacists and racists in the truest sense. Because they were racists. They were white supremacists. Many enslaved Africans and the impetus for our nation’s independence had to do with maintaining enslavement.
But there is something… it’s something we do when we learn all this history. Learning will demand reconciliation and reconciliation demands atonement. Click To Tweet
Conservatives and Liberals alike aren’t ready to atone. A reparations bill to explore the notion of providing African Americans reparations for enslavement can’t pass in Congress. So, if we as a nation aren’t ready and willing to atone for the sins of the past, and we aren’t, you can expect more antagonist behavior to Black history’s calling out of white supremacy. Because it starts with our learning.
America is indoctrinated to believe that we’re past enslavement, Jim Crow and that we’re post-racial because we elected a Black president and currently have a Black vice president. Americans are told that learning the truth is actual indoctrination. But those who fight against the truth know the truth and to know truth requires that we live the truth and to live truth would radically change the United States.
We must understand that this fight is to ensure that doesn’t happen.

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