by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The media gives us the impression that critical race theory is a harmless idea helping us understand power in the U.S. A CNN columnist describes the theory as merely a perspective that “seeks to understand and address inequality and racism.” Responding to criticism of critical ideas, a law professor said recently, “We just want racial justice and equality.”
If critical race theory’s ideas are so simple and righteous, then why would they make parents so frustrated that they would switch schools. …
… And if the ideas are harmless, then why are some teachers and school officials hiding the content from parents? In Missouri, a teacher encouraged other teachers to take classroom material that promotes ideas such as “white privilege” off of school websites that parents can access.
According to materials obtained by Parents Defending Education, the teacher told other educators to “Keep teaching! Just don’t make everything available on Canvas [the school website].” District officials later said the email was not “approved” by school leaders. Yet the internet has a hard time forgetting.
Likewise, in North Carolina, a teacher training program advised teachers to ignore parent input on the subject. One handout from the session attended by educators in Wake County, North Carolina’s largest school system, read, “You can’t let parents deter you from the work.”
For these reasons and more, state lawmakers in Randall’s home state of Texas and elsewhere have been considering proposals to protect children from prejudice in schools.
There is no shortage of cultural questions Americans need to navigate regularly without the problems caused by activists’ obsession with ethnic identities. It is not a sign of cultural progress for parents and policymakers to feel an urgent need to issue reminders that discrimination is not neutral.
Children should not have to spend their days considering how racial bias can be found in every lesson.