The Kids Will Not Be Alright: Students Shouldn’t Learn CRT
Ph.d Seminars, masters degree programs, and K-12 Schools— while these halls of education and debate are the subject of heated discussion over race in America, one of these things is not like the other. The K-12 halls of learning divide politicians, parents, and educators greatly. The problem is K-12 schools have no business being infiltrated with the complex, ideologically motivated, notions of implicit racism, unconscious bias or any other term on the list of jargon that is Critical Race Theory. It's one thing to argue these concepts are real. After all, freedom of speech exists, and debate is the cornerstone of education and a foundational pillar of democracy. However, it is something wholly different to teach them to children. Kids in the grades should not be taught ideas of critical race theory. Critical Race Theory is not the careful examination concerning the idea that racism is wrong. It is not that slavery had far-reaching impacts that obviously went beyond the time it was abolished in America. It is a leftist ideology that seeks to paint a false narrative of a modern-day racist and irrevocably broken America.
CRT: The Basics
A quick Brookings definition as proof of this: “CRT does not attribute racism to white people as individuals or even to entire groups of people. Simply put, critical race theory states that social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race.” No matter where it comes from, the core central thesis is that racism is an integral part of American society. The debate here is not to what extent racism plays a role in racial inequities, as claimed by CRT. That’s not the main focal point of this article. Rather, the question is whether such an ideology should be taught in our nation’s state-mandated, and often state-run, K-12 schools.
There is no, “I’m not a racist in this debate,” CRT/anti-racism abolishes neutrality in this debate, and labels all based on their race at the same time implying its critics are racist. Ibram X. Kendi himself argues that “one either endorses the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist or racial equality as an antiracist,” adding that it isn’t possible to be simply “not racist.” This anti-racist idea means that people, and more importantly children, would be called to be anti-racist. Otherwise, if they don’t conform to this radical and racist notion, they are racist and the majority of people/children who are easily influenced won’t want to be considered as such. The anti-racist idea is in direct conflict with colorblindness and the ability to simply not be racist.
Well, It’s Fringe?
Before anyone calls this a fringe interpretation, first recall this is by Kendi. A man who made millions of dollars off literally writing “the” book on anti-racism: “How To Be An Antiracist” a book that made multiple bestseller lists. Yet, this goes further into the very roots of society, attacking the economy and foundational notions of the U.S. system. What’s an example of something that could be considered racist because it has resulted in inequality? What’s something at the heart of the U.S. that must fit under this definition? In a tweet by Kendi: “Historically capitalism + racism are interlinked, which is why I call them the conjoined twins + historians like me call them “racial capitalism” in the singular. But some self-described forms of “antiracism” are not anti-capitalist, which in my book means they’re not antiracism.” This goes to a level beyond that which should be propagated in schools. The idea that capitalism is inherently racist is often repeated in higher-level academic discussions and left-wing circles and should remain that way.
Whether or not you agree with these definitions is not the main point of this article. While I certainly don’t, and while CRT seems to be an easy way for Kendi to make millions of dollars pitching 20,000 dollar courses to “woke” companies scared of alienating a consumer base, and placating people of all races with lies about why racism inequality, and supposed inequity exists in the US. It certainly should NOT be taught in schools to children.
But Still, It’s not being taught in Schools…or Is It?
For those who would criticize this idea and argue that critical race theory isn’t being taught in schools and that it’s a non-issue. That’s just false. The 1619 project which is tied to this idea of systemic racism and slavery’s evolution as outright legal oppression to covert systemic injustice against black Americans is often cited as a foundational explanation of where that legal oppression began.” Nikole Hannah Jones herself admits “profound hope that we will reframe for our readers the way we understand our nation, the legacy of slavery.”
This debate sprung up in renewed vigor with the publication of that project. With not an only disagreement over whether it was true, but disagreement over high school teacher and below including it with discussions of slavery and “history.” This fact was evidenced by the 1619 project not only having the Pulitzer Center create a curriculum for teachers of all grade levels but with many educators arguing it was completely necessary to discuss many of the aspects that the 1619 project focuses on specifically in the 1619 projects way of black/brown bodies so children in schools had a better understanding of slavery so they might better be able to “understand or invest in black lives matter.” To many ideological supporters of this movement, the history component is a must in convincing kids to believe in other ideas such as reparations and other elements of CRT.
The issue with this is the 1619 project’s revisionist history. New York Times authors and Historians not only didn’t get history right with the blatant misrepresentation that the foundational reason the American revolution happened was to”in order to ensure slavery would continue.” Weeks later, after bashing in the news media and a large number of historians coming out to slam what was revisionist history being churned out of the New York Times.
The editor admitted, “this is not true. If supportable, the allegation would be astounding — yet every statement offered by the project to validate it is false. Some of the other material in the project is distorted, including the claim that “for the most part,” black Americans have fought their freedom struggles “alone.” These false and baseless claims may have fallen by the wayside in some circles, but there are those who would still propagate the message of the 1619 project. A wrong message that ties capitalism to slavery, tells people they are either anti-racist and activists, or they perpetuate the status quo, that they have subconscious biases that make them racist that they must overcome, etc.
These divisive, wrong, and negative ideals must not be allowed to spread to the youth. Once again, regardless of whether or not you believe in these ideals. Children do not have the mentals faculties to combat what’s tantamount to indoctrination, it would be an atrocity to let publicly funded schools specifically pedal this as fact, and parents have a right to determine what their kids learn. School boards exist, for this reason, parents are meant to be on school boards and be consulted on curricula. This is not a debate over whether children should learn what racism is, or what slavery was, it’s about how you would explain modern American to children.
This is an ongoing debate with good reason, a debate that now rages in the school board with yelling parents and frustrated educators. The many school board debates, parents getting on the board, to stop this from ever being allowed into a classroom. I frankly hope this movement succeeds. Legislation or not, through a democratic vote or not. Whether it’s happening in all schools or just one out of millions, we need to end forever and block critical race theory in K-12 schools in all its forms. Whether cloaked in the guise of “history” or “equality” or “furthering equity” stopping CRT from being taught to children will determine what the future of American thought in regards to race looks like. Keep this out of schools before it goes any further. As overused and played out as these sentiments are: the children are our future, and we do live in a society. A society these kids will one day govern.
Author: Jacoby Sypher
The views expressed are the author's alone and do not represent the official position of the GWCRs