Tuesday, November 28, 2023

What’s Really Behind the Continued Silly Attacks on Critical Race Theory.

January 24, 2022 by  
Filed under Education, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) They’re at it again. It is the continuing shrill attack by the GOP and the right-wing echo chamber on the strawman issue of critical race theory. This time the assault came from white Mississippi GOP state senators. By a nearly unanimous vote, all except two Senators voted to ban the teaching of critical race theory in the state’s public schools. The bill craftily did not mention race theory. It blandly forbids public schools in the state from forcing students to agree “that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.”. The only reason the vote to pass the bill was near-unanimous was that the Senate’s Black Democratic members boycotted the vote. 

Now keep in mind not a single public school in Mississippi has anything remotely close to a curriculum that compels students to learn about race and racism and its pernicious effects. The vote on the issue was so ludicrous that even the bill’s sponsor stumbled and bumbled in trying to answer why the bill was needed to oppose something that doesn’t even exist. The best he could come up with is that the legislation was a safeguard against the future. Huh? Presumably, this meant that at some unknown distant time and place, some school district in the state might slip something through that required discussions of race into the classroom. 

Critical Race Theory

At first glance, the Mississippi vote is comically ludicrous. Only a tiny handful of school districts, all in major urban areas such as Washington D.C., have anything in their curriculum that encourages students to think about and discuss racial issues in the classroom. Yet beneath the seeming silliness of hysteria over what is a non-issue, there is a cold, cynical, political calculation. It can be summed up in two words intimidation and control. 

First, a quick thumbnail sketch at just what is causing conservatives to raise the roof on a spurious issue. Critical race theory is a dated term that’s a scholarly euphemism for defining, discussing, and combatting racism and its effects. There is nothing particularly new or radical about this.

This all changed with Trump. He demanded a cease and desist to any school district and/or teacher that dared compel students to be subject to” left-wing indoctrination.” He meant any mention of the pernicious history of racial bias in America.

Trump railed that this fanned the very racism that America had supposedly long gotten past. Worse, it scapegoated whites as the perennial bad guys for all of America’s racial sins. Trump followed his rant with an executive order that virtually wiped out any diversity training for federal employees.

A pack of conservative writers, academics, bloggers, politicians, and especially Fox Network then piled in on the issue. They screamed that critical race theory was a new, sneaky, insidious plot to indoctrinate, rearrange, distort, twist history, and malign whites as the fount of all racial evil. GOP-controlled state legislatures quickly took the cue. The backlash has gained furious steam. According to an Education Week survey, two dozen states have introduced bills or taken steps to restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism. Mississippi is the latest.

The conservative attackers’ real concern is not that teaching about America’s past and present history of racial and social injustice will poison the minds of minority students. Their concern is that it could seep into curriculums and presentations to influence a lot of white elementary and high schoolers. This could have a far-reaching political consequence. It could decrease the generational racial polarization that the GOP banks on to maintain political power and control in a nation that is on the verge of becoming an ethnic minority-majority nation.

The counter attackers understand this. The ultra-right Heritage Foundation provides the intellectual, legal, and financial muscle to counter so-called liberal and racial policy issues. It has churned out a set of counter position papers that cite 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, LGBTQ clubs in schools, diversity training in federal agencies and organizations, and California’s ethnic studies model curriculum, to name a few as supposedly the product of activists and teachers instilling Blacks, Hispanics, gays, and young people with the evil white’s brainwash.

Critical race theory opponents have latched onto, shamelessly mangled, the color-blind mythology that any talk of racial bigotry and bias and its continued devastating impact on American society is racism. This deft turn the tables has made legions of school districts wary about touching the forbidden subject in any way.

Mississippi won’t be the last state to look silly passing a bill to ban something that doesn’t exist. Anytime the issue is racism, expect more silly stuff from those who see a threat in any discussion, or worse, action to do something about it.

Written By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

One can find more info about Mr. Hutchinson over at the following site; TheHutchinson Report.

Also feel free to connect with him through twitter; http://twitter.com/earlhutchins

He is also an associate editor of New America Media. His forthcoming book is From King to Obama: Witness to a Turbulent History (Middle Passage Press).


One Response to “What’s Really Behind the Continued Silly Attacks on Critical Race Theory.”
  1. Anirban (Abner) Bhattacharya says:

    With CRT, the problems with it are the extremes that comes with it. While they are right about history, problems are again the extremes. Oklahoma lawyer Brett A. Chapman (1 of the top lawyers in the US on Amerindian or reservation law) who supports CRT is right on the main parts with the fact that wars were used to take Amerind land, Transatlantic slavery etc. A far asstatues, just put them in museums (to answer lawyer Brett A. Chapman’s comments on Columbus statues & comments about Cofederate Statues). If people do not want to celebrate Columbus Day, then I support free will to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. I also support free will to celebrate Columbus Day, if that is what people want to do, as I support free speech.

    Here are the extremes though which comes with CRT. CRT will focus on let’s say los conquistadores & the stealing of Indian land, but they get dishonest by implying life was peaceful before the privileged Whites came. The first conquerers were Indians. Before los conquistadores, etc. American Indians including Aztecs and Incas believed they were the best. American Indians fought eachother for hunting grounds, fishing waters, burial grounds, living grounds & women + sometimes more such as slavery. In an Indian war, 1 Indian tribe would kill another Indian tribes men in a war for land & then take the women as wives.

    When the los conquistadores came from Spain and Portugal, they fought for the same things that the Indigenous people had + more-the metals such as iron, gold, silver and copper. It must be said that los conquistadores were able to conquer Iberoamerica because they had many Indian allies who fought on their side against the Aztecs & Incas. When CRT people such as lawyer Brett A. Chapman critiques los conquistadores, he implies that his complaint is that the Whites were better than the Indians @ being greedy.

    Yes, los conquistadores did what was for Spain & Portugal’s interest against the Native Indians. While los conquistadores incidentally sometimes killed bad people, they did things which was for their nations greed. There was colonization & yes Spain & Portugal like other nations had slaves. That’s why you have independence, as nations in Iberoamerica have been independent since the 1800s except when you have dictators such as Fidel Castro and Nicolas Maduro Moros.

    Another example of CRT extreme is that they’ll use the argument such as Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro Moros & his supporters say that because Venezuela was once a Spanish colony, a Spaniard in 2020s has no right to critique the dictator Nicolas Maduro Moros because of los conquistadores & because Venezuela was once a Spanish colony. That is unfair. A person should be evaluated for their deeds, not their ancestors deeds. Nicolas Maduro Moros is a dictator who doesn’t allow free press, among other things-he should be put out of power and definitely critiqued. Unsure if Juan Gerardo Guaido is the answer, but Nicolas Maduro Moros must be put out of power.

    I don’t care what a person’s race or ethnicity is-people should be evaluated for their deeds, not their ancestors deeds. CRT blames present day Whites for what their ancestors did , which is why CRT is unfair. White people today should be evaluated for what they do, not for what their ancestors did during the 15th Century to 1950s. Just as Germans, Japanese and Italians today must be evaluated for their deeds, not their parents deeds during the 2 World Wars.

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