Across the country, Republican lawmakers, along with conservative activists and media, are hard at work demanding that critical race theory not be taught in schools. What is critical race theory? Republicans certainly donít seem to know, even as they profess to be terrified of it, and deploy it as a convenient catch-all phrase to scare conservatives who donít want their kids learning about racism in the classroom.
Beyond being a Republican talking point, critical race theory as a framework for education was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlť Crenshaw, Patricia Williams, and Richard Delgado, among many others. The framework is used to analyze the relationship between racism and the legal system, and the institutions that uphold it. As Crenshaw told CNN last year, "Critical race theory is a practice. Itís an approach to grappling with a history of white supremacy that rejects the belief that whatís in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it."
The sociologist and author Eve Ewing also shared her own brief explainer on the subject via Instagram last month. Critical race theory is "not a specific topic or area of study, but it's a way of looking at anything," said Ewing. "Itís not the same as just studying Black history, which is a specific area of focus. You could use critical race theory to study Black history, you can use critical race theory to study lots of other things," she added.
The growing movement to oppose the concept claims that critical race theory "teaches kids to hate America," that all white people are racist, and that it advocates discrimination against white people. Some say the framework is a Marxist concept, another term conservatives have used in recent years to treat Black liberation and Leftist activism as a Communist boogeyman that they say will ruin America.
Republicans like the clueless Ron DeSantis use moral panic over critical race theory to push legislation that seeks to ban educators from teaching students how to think critically about American history and racism.
Some of the legislation came in response to an announcement from President Joe Biden's administration of a grant program for history and civics curriculum to prioritize teaching concepts like systemic racism and discriminatory policies in the United States. The Biden administration cited the 1619 Project, published by The New York Times as inspiration for the program. Last year, the Trump administration created the 1776 commission in response to the 1619 Project in an effort to push a whitewashed version of U.S. history in K-12 classrooms that would focus on what Trump referred to as "patriotic education."
On Capitol Hill, at least 39 Republican senators said history education that focuses on systemic racism is "activist indoctrination," according to The New York Times. Lawmakers in nearly half the country have used this moment as an opportunity to introduce legislation that seeks to ban schools from teaching that racism is endemic to this country's institutions.
A representative for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been particularly vocal in the "culture wars" regarding critical race theory, defined the concept as "an ideology rooted in identity-based Marxism." They added, "No one should be stereotyped based on the color of their skin. Itís appalling that children are being divided into 'oppressor' and 'oppressed' categories anywhere, and it won't happen in Florida." Sure.
Kentucky State Rep. Joe Fischer, along with 5 other state representatives, pre-filed a bill that would bar Kentucky schools from teaching such concepts as: ďAn individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.Ē The legislation also bans discussions that suggest that "values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs can be assigned to a race or sex," and doesnít allow ďadvocating the violent overthrow of the United States government." Got it.
The bottom line is the insurrection failed and resistence to republian-based idiocy is growing by the minute.
Next: We should never underestimate the the power of knowledge.