Earlier today, Scott showed how the assertion “Critical Race Theory is not taught in [fill in name of state] schools” has become a mantra on left-wing cable news. It’s also a mantra at the Washington Post.
Actually, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a benign-sounding description of what is being taught in many public schools. Democrats are lucky that the label for the racist indoctrination that’s going on isn’t “Whites are racists theory” (WART).
But it’s not wrong to say that CRT is being taught in many public schools. Sure, students aren’t being taught that theory as it’s presented at law schools, graduate schools, and colleges. But they are being taught a dumbed-down version of it.
The CRT movement started in law schools. Its insight was that legal education and theory did not give an accounting how race and racism has played a part in law. Certainly, the legal education I received at Stanford Law School in the early 1970s did not.
What public schools in Northern Virginia and elsewhere in the D.C. area purport to do through their version of CRT is to provide a full accounting of the role race has played, and allegedly still plays, throughout American society. There are two main problems with this.
First, unlike law schools in the 1970s, public schools in much of America have long provided an accounting of race’s role in America. My daughters began attending public school in Montgomery County, Maryland in the early 1990s. Every February, from Kindergarten on, they received an accounting of racism in America via Black History Month.
Nor was this accounting confined to February. It informed the selection of literature my daughters were assigned. And the U.S. History textbooks used in my daughters’ classes in Middle School and High School did not soft-pedal racism in America.
Thus, the teaching of dumbed-down CRT in public schools doesn’t fill a void — not unless one believes that race has been and remains the predominant fact about America and that ours is an incorrigibly racist country.
The second, and biggest, problem with dumbed-down CRT is that it teaches this.
Consider what’s happening in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to new documents obtained by Judicial Watch, this county, Maryland’s most populous, has launched a lesson plan teaching children that there is a “dual pandemic” involving COVID-19 and “systemic racism.”
In an August 26, 2020 email to Montgomery County Public Schools principals, associate superintendent Janet Wilson announced that “all schools will be required to implement a student psychoeducational lesson during one of the school’s mandatory Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) block [sic] before September 18, 2020.” The lesson “will provide students crisis facts about the dual pandemic (COVID-19 and systemic racism) that is occurring around the country and here in Montgomery County.”
A PowerPoint presentation on “Family Guidance to the Psychoeducational Lesson” includes a slide with a link to a reading of Ibram X. Kendi’s book “Antiracist Baby.” Teachers are advised that Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” book introduces “the youngest readers” to antiracism. It calls the book “the perfect gift” for “ages baby to age 3.”
Kendi is the professor who took ideas from Critical Race Theory and translated them into a dumbed-down, media-friendly version of it.
If race-hustling leftists and their allies on school boards and at organs like the Washington Post want to defend teaching students that America is an incorrigibly racist country that’s experiencing an outbreak racism comparable to the Covid pandemic, they should make that case to the public. Instead, they hide behind the misleading claim that CRT is taught only in graduate schools and “is not taught in [fill in name of state] public schools.”
As we can see from what’s going on in Montgomery County and in many other jurisdictions, a form of CRT is being taught in public schools. Stated differently, and more to the point, “Whites are racists theory” is being taught to American school children.