Truth Plays Havoc with Critical Race Theory
By Deborah Lambert
These days it is becoming increasingly difficult for the American public to see or hear a sustained positive commentary about the underlying concepts of Critical Race Theory, even from some of its strongest supporters. Case in point: During a recent interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten not only under-estimated some of the CRT’s unpleasant aspects, but quickly sidestepped some of her previous comments and moseyed into a more comfortable discussion about the recent 2020 election instead.
Fortunately, more and more critics are publicizing the facts about CRT.
Christopher Rufo, filmmaker, writer, and policy researcher, noted in the March 2021 issue of the City Journal that while critical race theorists on the Left have denounced “a war on woke,” they are afraid to defend CRT principles in a public debate. Rufo predicts that the increasing backlash against CRT will likely come as a surprise to many supporters of the intellectual Left, who have become accustomed to dominating public perception of our public institutions for decades, adding that “they perceive any challenge to the dominant ideology as an affront, then search to backfill their preferences with high-minded concerns about ‘free speech and academic freedom.’”
In the May 18th issue of the American Thinker, Christopher Paslay, a longtime Philadelphia public school teacher and education writer, listed Ten Questions on Critical Race Theory. Each one of them outlined unusual approaches to uncovering how bad this concept really is, even though that was NOT the purpose of the question.
For example, Question 2 asks the following: “Should we be teaching children that America is a systematically racist country based on white supremacy?” These days, the Oregon Department of Education is examining this exact question in their program called “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction,” which apparently tries to “deconstruct racism in mathematics” while simultaneously focusing on “the toxic characteristics of White supremacy culture in math.”
According to the explanation in the program’s toolkit, “White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions,” adding that this tends to “perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.”
But wait, there’s more, and perhaps some interested parties believe this had to happen. Ibram X Kendi, who presides over the Center for Anti-Racist Research at Boston University, has proposed “an anti-racist constitutional amendment” to “fix the original sin of racism” in America. Moreover, these days Kendi’s bestselling book How to be an Antiracist presents his reader/educators with a natural choice: “You either accept the concepts of his ideology – or take the risk of being labeled as a racist.”
Meanwhile, the Seattle public school system recently decided during a teacher training session that some educators were guilty of “spirit murder.” According to Bettina Love, an education prof at the U. of Georgia, this is apparently based on a concept which claims that our country’s schools “murder the souls of Black children every day through systemic, institutionalized, anti-Black, state-sanctioned violence.”
One more thing: Amid the growing belief that the term “whiteness” may become an even more serious problem, a group of English teachers called “Disrupt Texts” has decided that the study of white authors such as William Shakespeare should be eliminated from future English classes.
However, on the flip side of the CRT debate, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has publicly stated that he wants to get rid of it altogether. During his Florida International University press conference on May 24th, the governor announced that he planned to defund Critical Race Theory in order to “prevent tax dollars from being spent to promote the divisive and controversial philosophy in Florida.”
DeSantis, who recently described CRT as a “hate-driven and identity politics version of Marxism,” restated his opposition to the “woke” education initiative by noting that the “Black race-based education philosophy is not appropriate for schools, because it is based on historical falsehoods.”
Deborah Lambert, Editor, MCGOP Newsletter