Two contradictory falsehoods about Critical Race Theory (CRT) pop up again and again: that it’s just teaching about racism, and that it’s not even in our schools.
CRT defenders from MSNBC host Joy Reid to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar insist it’s just an esoteric theory discussed in law schools, and that conservatives are complaining about a phantom.
The Los Angeles Unified School District Office of Human Relations, Diversity & Equity prepared a presentation that told students critical race theory isn’t being taught in schools while the district made presentations that did precisely that.
The district also mandated that teachers take an “antiracism” course taught by a known critical race theorist who told them to “challenge whiteness.”
The NEA will, with guidance on implementation from the NEA president and chairs of the Ethnic Minority Affairs Caucuses:
A. Share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory (CRT) -- what it is and what it is not; have a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members as well as their community members.
-New Business Item 39 - 2021 NEA Annual Meeting
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There was a time not so long ago when people actually tried to defend the use of CRT, like Marc Lamont Hill during his interview with Christopher Rufo.
But now the playbook has changed. CRT is simply too toxic even to try to defend. This is why the National Education Association scrubbed Business Item #39 — which supported the use of CRT in K–12 schools across America — from its website in July.
Defenders of CRT who deny that the discipline is being taught to young children are correct in a narrow sense: few, if any, public schools are teaching scholars like Crenshaw, Delgado, or Freire in K-12 curricula.
But the ideology’s core concepts are an influential force in public education and underlie the design of course material from inception to evaluation.
To claim otherwise is like saying a dinner includes no salt because there isn’t a salt course.
We were — and still are! — being told by most of the media that critical race theory isn’t in high schools at all. Meanwhile, a tsunami of evidence is out there showing that it absolutely is — in every subject, and every class, as the central philosophy behind many states’ education policies.
CRT is no fairytale. It negatively impacts teacher morale, school discipline, and instruction.
You can squabble over semantics — call it "critical pedagogy," or "critical whiteness studies," or "intersectionality" — but this is simply a distraction.