The GOP, who have rarely met a piece of oppressive legislation they didn’t endorse, is fighting back again. This time their target is Critical Race Theory, a sociocultural context that few republicans recognized as valid before the bills limiting its teaching in schools started flying.
In fact, one wonders where the GOP began to fear the idea that history must be viewed through multiple lenses, and include all the players. Thanksgiving? The “pilgrims” and the “Indians” didn’t break bread together — the colonizers were too busy raping and killing those who had long lived on this land. Columbus didn’t “discover” America; he actually colonized it, with an added touch of disease and malfeasance toward the original population who lived here.
GOP wants to whitewash slavery and Jim Crow
And African Americans were not immigrants (as Joe Biden once implied), but enslaved, tortured, and forced to what is now this country, where they toiled while being owned by others; organizing and resisting all the while, despite families being beaten, separated and controlled by white supremacist capitalists.
Yet the GOP would have students from kindergarten to college think that Andrew Jackson and his ilk were very fine people who simply wanted members of Indigenous Nations to experience a broad swath of the now-United States, and that Jim Crow laws were a useful method to keep law enforcement officers organized.
Critical Race Theory is a threat to white supremacy. Critical Race Theory doesn’t nod and smile at the widely-accepted answers about why the United States entered the Vietnam War, for example; CRT does not flinch when examining the past and the present, and saying “We were wrong and we will not allow this to happen again.”
Critical Race Theory encourages scholarly debate
A scholarly discussion on systemic racism turns upside down the narrative written by old White men who have led this country and written its books for over 400 years. Critical Race Theory encourages students to ask “why” and “why not,” rather than fall in line with the dominant agenda proposed by the GOP.
Rather than embrace a new paradigm, the GOP wants to squash Critical Race Theory before it “infects” children — and adults — across the country. Following HB 1775, which prohibits the teaching of Critical Race Theory in all Oklahoma public schools, from kindergarten to college, legislators in Texas and Virginia have proposed similar bills. Several Republican lawmakers have proposed a federal ban so that members of the military are not “infected” with Critical Race Theory ideas.
Those legislators, mostly old White men who continue to benefit from the Good Ole Boy narrative, along with women who have embraced an intersectional hate-mix of racism and the patriarchy, want to deny that race is a factor in our history, present, and future. Critical Race Theory threatens their safe spaces and their control over history.
Meanwhile, we the people will not pretend that Critical Race Theory doesn’t exist; we will not hide from its teachings, and we will continue to use it to view history and the present. The laws that are popping up all over this country will not stop us from learning, knowing, and teaching the truth.