by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Thousands of teachers are pledging to teach critical race theory in the face of state laws seeking to ban it from classrooms.
More than 5,000 educators have signed the Zinn Education Project’s “Pledge to Teach the Truth” since June 21. In the letter, the leftist education group claims the United States was founded on “structural racism and oppression”—tenets of the Marxist-based ideology called critical race theory.
“We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events—regardless of the law,” the pledge reads.
Legislatures in several states have passed bills to restrict educators from teaching critical race theory to students. Florida’s education board outright banned teachers from using material from the New York Times’s 1619 Project. Teachers in Idaho are banned from teaching that any race or sex is inherently inferior or superior to another. And Rep. Glenn Grothman (R., Wis.) introduced a bill in the House that would prohibit teachers and students in the District of Columbia from making confessions about inherent racism based on skin color.
Racism is integral to the founding of the United States, the pledge states, and failing to educate students on “the roots of U.S. racism” is deceptive.
“From police violence, to the prison system to the wealth gap, to maternal mortality rates, to housing, to education and beyond, the major institutions and systems of our country are deeply infected with anti-Blackness and its intersection with other forms of oppression,” the pledge states. “To not acknowledge this and help students understand the roots of U.S. racism is to deceive them—not educate them.”
In addition to listing the names, cities, and states of the pledge’s signatories, the Zinn Education Project posted personalized statements from the teachers.