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Op-ed: White teachers who refuse to teach CRT should leave profession

by The Black Wall Street Times

From Vivett Dukes

The teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) is under attack in schools all over the United States. 

As an educator, we don’t have to know every detail about an event or be an expert on said topic in order to hold space for our students to safely discuss their viewpoints and feelings. As a part of our training and ongoing professional development, we should be well-versed in vetting resources to present reputable information to our students to help them form, bolster, and/or negate their perspectives. We should know how to facilitate a conversation amongst our students in our classroom. 

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Let me be more direct: I am specifically referring to the refusal of teachers to have courageous conversations around Black Lives Matter, hate crimes against the AAPI community, and the civil unrest taking place between Israel and Palestine. This is not just the work of social studies teachers. These are human rights issues that impact us all, our students included. 

Ignoring critical discussions on race is harmful to students

Opting out of these class discussions is simply not an option. It never really was, yet so many teachers, in their complacent and privileged mindsets, make conscious decisions  to refrain from helping students become global citizens by teaching them critical thinking and analytical skills because it’s “too hard” or because it “doesn’t affect them” or because it’s “not a part of their content’s curriculum scope and sequence” or because — and this one especially irks me — “they don’t have the time to discuss it.” 

Am I to understand that it is the sole plight of Black teachers to teach the Black experience? Asian teachers to teach the Asian experience? Palestinian and Jewish teachers to teach their experiences? Those are rhetorical questions for which I already know the answers. The racially and socio-economically divided demographics of our schools’ student bodies gave it away. The segregation in the American education system is firmly in place.  

We witnessed during the Trump administrations’ reign how the Pulitzer Prize winning 1619 Project was vilified. In Smithtown, Long Island, right-wing, ultra-conservative hate groups like Save Our Schools have reared their ugly heads and raised their voices loudly to stop the teaching of systemic racism and other oppressive, colonizing entities because it is “harmful” to their almost exclusively White student population. 

Some teachers appear relieved to see CRT banned

This fight to uphold white supremacist values and beliefs that perpetuate psychological, emotional, and physical violence against Black and Brown students is being played out on a national front in schools of all classifications throughout the United States.  Why am I not seeing more teachers outraged by this? 

My inclination is to believe that the lack of outcry is over- shadowed by the even bigger and collective exhale of teachers — White teachers — who are relieved by the denouncement of culturally relevant, responsive, and sustainable curriculum. These are teachers who have never had a desire to and who never will teach about anything not based in White privilege.

This apathetic approach to education, in my years of experience, is too often rooted in the educators own lack of learning. It’s rooted in their racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic beliefs. 

If you’re an educator who has let this year go by without attending to the issues and events that matter most to our shared humanity and that directly or indirectly impact your students, their families, and their communities, then there’s no longer room for you in the proverbial inn. Exit stage left. The show is over. Your leading role has been cancelled without renewal. 

Enough is enough. 

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Vivett Dukes is an educator and social activist.

crt teachers

16 comments

Dr. Norman Czubaj May 27, 2021 - 5:57 pm

Having been an educator over fifty years of my life, I find the teaching of Critical Race Theory to be insulting to parents who guide their children. Do we teach children why some people are homeless because they choose to. Do we teach children of the success of people with color? Do we teach children of the equality and intervention of people who labor. Why do we have to demean someone who is white and blame them for slavery that they had nothing to do with? Do we teach children how resistant people are to be productive citizens and not harm their fellow man?The author, Teacher Dukes says if you cannot support critical race theory as a teacher, you should quit. Let her evaluate her prejudice for whiteness and see how successful she will be. We are all created equil in God’s eyes.

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Howard J. Eagle May 31, 2021 - 5:23 pm

“…someone who is white and had nothing to do with slavery?” How could that be??? Did slavery create itself, and has the residual socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and sociocultural impact, affects & effects of slavery, including the establishment and perpetuation of thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based, public institutions (such as one of the most outstanding of all), e.g., the institution of public education — perpetuated, reinforced, and maintained themselves, or has that been done, and is it still being done by people via racist actions and/or inactions??? My question is NOT rhetorical. Do you have answers???

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Richard Bolduc May 28, 2021 - 4:42 pm

Very well said. We are ALL one kind. Brother Martin had A dream let’s all make it happen.

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Howard J. Eagle May 31, 2021 - 6:41 pm

Right, Martin did have a dream. Google “Martin Luther King, Coming To get our check.”

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Jim May 28, 2021 - 6:08 pm

Teacher Dukes,
You have the right to your opinion, a right afforded you by our constitution. A right for which I served a decade in the military to protect. CRT teaches a basterdized, marxist/communist interpretation of American history. The theory was developed by two self proclaimed Marxist. Dispite this, I believe you have every right to teach this to your children, in your home. You do not, however, have the right to teach an ideology that goes against my beliefs tti my children. It is my job, and my right to teach my children my beliefs, my religion, and the true, unfiltered history of my country, which is not always as rosey as I was taught in school. In short… if you want to teach CRT… then you should get out of the education industry and start your own Marxist trading facility. You are not an appropriate instructor for America’s children.

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Howard J. Eagle May 31, 2021 - 6:51 pm

IF we are “to teach children the true, unfiltered history of [this thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based] country” — then we can NOT teach lies, such as, for example — teaching Black children in particular, much less your little, white darlings — that they should view people like George Washington as being an upstanding and outstanding U.S. citizen — as opposed to being the savage-like, slave-holding-oppressor that he WAS — right???

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Raymond Paltoo May 28, 2021 - 9:26 pm

What if the student has a different opinion from the hateful divisive rhetoric being promulgated by rich white liberals who have no compunctions in keeping blacks on the economic plantation depending on the government for handouts. Will they be banished from school also?

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Howard J. Eagle May 31, 2021 - 7:00 pm

What if the student has a different opinion from the hateful divisive rhetoric being promulgated by rich white conservatives — who have no compunctions in keeping blacks on the economic plantation — depending on the pipedream that they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps (like Senator Tim Scott and Ms. Candace Owens SUPPOSEDLY did — even though the masses don’t even have boots. Will they be banished from school also?

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Judi May 29, 2021 - 10:14 am

CRT does not belong in the schools Everyone has a right to their opinion as Jim says above Thanks to the constitution. If you want to teach your kids CRT you have the right But you do not have the right to teach my kid that. It is the job of parents to teach their kids they belief. Stay out of my home. if you believe in Marxist /communist Start learning either Russian or Chinese language and move there. See how you like it. Just because you are an educator does not make you any better or smarter. In fact you are the one that needs to exit.

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Howard J. Eagle May 31, 2021 - 7:09 pm

Racist, Conservative Indoctrination, like slave-hold George Washington supposedly representing the so-called “father” of this thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based nation-state, does not belong in the schools. Everyone has a right to their opinion as Jim says above Thanks to that rag of a constitution that defines Black folks as a fraction of a human being. If you want to teach your kids RCI you have the right But you do not have the right to teach my children that. Stay out of my home. If you believe in Washingtonian Racist Conservatism, move back to Europe. See how you like it. Just because you are white does not make you any better or smarter. In fact you are the one that needs to exit.

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Kevin Johns May 29, 2021 - 10:41 am

Nothing in this world is more sad than the fact that we have delusional, hatefilled, racists such as yourself teaching our kids. YOU are what is most wrong in this world. Your hate against white people for something that happened eons ago (which black people were equally involved in – Africans enslaving Africans and then selling them) is pathetic. We all suffer from your ignorance and hate. It is YOUR words and the words of many like you which are doing the most harm to the world we live in. It is the rhetoric you spew which is dividing the people and causing more tension than ever. I hope you are ready for a race war, because many of us are. Not because we hate black people or want to go to war; but because we understand how devisive the message you preach is. Keep preaching your hate, keep dividing the people, keep brewing tension, keep white people armed.

#notafraidjustprepared
#comeandtakeit

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Howard J. Eagle May 31, 2021 - 7:31 pm

I COULD NOT POSSIBLY AGREE MORE THAT (AS EVIDENCED BY YOUR THINLY VEILED, THREATENING COMMENTS — Nothing in this world is more sad than the fact that we have delusional, hate filled, racists such as yourself threatening Black women. YOU are what is most wrong in this world. Your hate against Black women and Black people for something that your low-down, dirty, rotten, rapist, savage-like ancestors created is disgusting (to say the very least). With regard to “Africans [so-called] enslaving Africans and then selling them” — that must be laid squarely at the feet of your low-down, dirty, rotten, rapist, savage-like ancestors. Had they NOT come to Africa hunting human flesh to use in every way imaginable — there would have been no buying and/or selling. Just like YOU, they are the most disgusting, savage-like specimens of so-called humans in the entire history of the modern world. We all suffer from your, and you savage-like ancestor’s ignorance and hate. It is YOUR words, and the words and DEEDS of many like you, which are doing the most harm to the world we live in. It is the rhetoric you spew which is dividing the people and causing more tension than ever (that’s because you are the off-spring of the worst dividers that the world has ever known).

#becarefulwhatyouaskfor

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Blackprivliage May 29, 2021 - 7:03 pm

I dont have time to listen to your racist bullshit, nor do I care.

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White Oak June 1, 2021 - 3:55 am

Is that your real hair? Or are you culturally appropriating?

Your race does not deserve anything over and above any other race. You do NOT dictate how things should be for other races. Also, you do not know what it’s like to be white so you have no authority or right to discuss the white race. You speak English and work for a Western institution? If you don’t like this culture, you must leave. Simple. If I moved to say Japan and found it was too Japanese or reflecting “Japanese Supremacy” well, no duh. It’s Japan. I wouldn’t expect them to teach their kids how bad it is to be Japanese. This is the USA. You don’t tell the USA how to change because you have a chip on your shoulder and want to profit off the backs of those who truly were slaves. If I was robbed by a black person, should I go around enforcing laws and telling people that all black people are robbers and should be punished? If not, what is the logic to disagree with that approach?

Spoilt, stupid, pretentious, overeducated, and inexperienced with life.

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Howard J. Eagle June 1, 2021 - 7:46 am

“…culturally appropriating?” How could that possibly be?

You are dead right — your race does not deserve anything over and above any other race. You do NOT (any longer — though you use to) dictate how things should be for other races. Also, you do not know what it’s like to be Black so you have no authority or right to discuss the Black race, including Ms. Dukes. It NEVER ceases to amaze me that the off-spring of the worst kidnapping-land-thieves in the history of the modern world are constantly telling folks that they “must leave” other people’s land. Indeed, this IS the thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based USA, which is composed of the infrastructure that Ms. Dukes’ ancestors built with their bare, Black hands — for free (for centuries), which automatically gives her more right to be here than the off-spring of thieving European kidnappers and rapists. Clearly, you are the one who has a HUGE chip on your shoulder, and who wants to maintain the white supremacist reality that your low-down, dirty, rotten, no-good, thieving, rapist -ancestors established, but THOSE DAYS ARE GONE FOREVER. Also, clearly, you know NOTHING of “logic” — so just stop with the stupid, distorted, contorted, conflated would-be “analogies.” That is, they would be, or might be shaped into analogies — if you really understood logic, which we have already established — YOU DON’T.

GO STUDY!

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Earl June 10, 2021 - 6:55 am

I think crt is trash and should not be taught in schools. Ftr, not white your turn. Without race, you have nothing so of course you want to empower it

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