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Over the past month, the question should critical race theory (CRT) be taught in schools has become a political debate. While some people believe children are too young to be taught CRT, others believe children should learn about CRT to be better people. In fact, many conservative politicians believe teaching CRT will lead to social disruption in America and encourage anti-American rhetoric.
What is Critical Race Theory
Despite what some people believe, the theory is not about being anti-America. According to MLive.com writer Alyssa Burr, “critical race theory (sometimes referred to as CRT) is a framework in education that helps everyday people understand race and racism on an institutional and structural level.” In other words, CRT breaks down how race and racism affect society and our systems of governance. CRT dives deep into oppression and how American government systems play a role in upholding systemic racism.
Critical race theory is most commonly taught at colleges and universities; however, some educators have not taken classes discussing the theory. For this reason, many people see it as unnecessary and anti-democratic. However, many educators believe that the pushback against CRT is much deeper than what most people think.
Why Are People Pushing Back Against Critical Race Theory
Furthermore, one of the main reasons people are pushing back against CRT is because they believe pointing out systems of oppression will make white people look bad. As America becomes more and more diverse, more BIPOC people are calling out America’s lack of unity when people of color call out issues. As a result, when discussing if CRT should be taught in schools, rather than seeing the theory to dismantle oppressive systems, many conservative white people view it as anti-white.
On the other hand, teaching CRT in schools is not actually a political issue at all. However, after the previous election between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, many people politicize the issue. This is not the first time in history something like this has happened. In fact, in the 1960s, former President Nixon did a similar thing. He organized his campaign around law and order, similar to what former President Trump attempted to do; it worked for Nixon. Unlike Nixon’s law and order campaign, critical race theory is largely an education curriculum issue; however, conservatives are still rallying behind the anti-CRT tirade.
Why Should Critical Race Theory Be Taught In Schools
Due to this, the issue has become politicized, and the meaning has been distorted. Critical race theory is not about anti-democracy or making white people out to be bullies. Critical race theory is about dismantling oppressive systems that prevent unity and equality. Therefore it is not a mystery why so many educators believe American schools should teach critical race theory as everyone should be able to partake in the American dream.
Written by Reginae Echols
Edited by Sheena Robertson
MLive.com: Critical Race theory isn’t taught in Michigan schools, so why is it such a hot topic?; by Alyssa Burr
CNN: The engineered conservative panic over critical race theory, explained; by Brandon Tensley
Washington Examiner: The teacher’s unions want to teach your children critical race theory; by Kaylee McGee White
Featured Image Courtesy of Jacob Roeland’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Elvert Barnes’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License