Black Americans and White Americans: Critical Race Theory Yet another Strawman Issue.



( An unnamed, unidentified Black man at the raucous Temecula School Board mid-March meeting was the latest to feel the wrath of the countless number of livid, dyed in the wool opponents of anything that smacks of teaching critical race theory in the schools. The man had the temerity to oppose the Boards ban on teaching CRT in the schools. He then got the boot for objecting to a racial slur hurled at  him for opposing the Board’s decision.

At last count nearly two hundred right-wing think tanks, advocacy groups, and parent groups have railed against CRT teaching in the schools. Fox News predictably has been on a virtual nonstop crusade against anything that remotely smacks of CRT in the schools.

It’s a strawman issue concocted by the right since almost no  school district in the nation mandates that CRT be taught in the  schools. The  strawman issue was created as yet another hammer to browbeat, cow, and  intimidate school boards, whip up fury  among the GOP  conservative base, and most importantly piledrive Democrats  with the usual falsehood that they are trying to shove racial guilt down white throats.

Let’s be clear. There’s nothing new about the term critical race theory. The term goes back almost four decades. Then, a handful of Black scholars and writers came up with the term to name what for decades had simply been called battling racism. The reaction at first was, well really, no reaction. It seemed a puzzling, overloaded, and very academic term that was subject to just about any meaning and interpretation. Trump’s White House grab in 2016 changed that. He publicly demanded a cease and desist to any school district and/or teacher that dared stuff students with what he branded” left wing indoctrination.” In plain English, he meant any mention of the pernicious history of racial bias in America.

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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 diatribe with an executive order that virtually wiped out any diversity training for federal employees.

The great fear of the conservative attackers, though, is not that teaching about America’s past and present history of racial and social injustice will poison the minds of minority students but that that it could seep into curriculums and presentations to influence a lot of white elementary and highs schoolers. This could have a far-reaching political consequence. In that 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 study of race and racism is not just a mere academic exercise. It’s a crucial body of scholarly work that has established a direct connection between political power, social organization, and language. It has influenced wide fields within education, and been the basis of countless court decisions, state and federal laws, and local ordinances that have attacked and provided remedies for racial inequities. The 1954 Brown versus Board of Education decision is a classic example of how studies on the damaging impact of racial segregation on school children can play a huge role in law. The studies helped sway a few doubting and reluctant SCOTUS justices on the need to outlaw school segregation.  The wide body of race studies has been a staple in fields such as the humanities, the social sciences, and teacher education.

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The counter attackers understand this. The Heritage Foundation is always on the point in providing 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.


Finish story here; Black Americans and White Americans: Critical Race Theory Yet another Strawman Issue.