Texas is Making Critical Race Theory a Monster Under the BedRoundup
tags: Texas, culture war, teaching history, critical race theory
Jennifer Hobson Gormer is a student in the Humanities PhD program at the University of Texas, Dallas.
The Texas signed the Critical Race Bill into law in summer 2021. Texas is one of many states that prescribes how educators can teach, introduce, and discuss the American History of racism and current events. The state of Texas also prohibits youth from receiving credit for participating in such activities.
Critical race theory (CRT) has become the new monster under the bed, preventing people from acknowledging the truth regarding this country’s founding fathers and how the constitution was not founded on the concept of freedom and liberty for all men.
The first step to understanding why CRT is such a hot topic socially and politically is to understand both what it is and is not. Opponents state that CRT reproves all white people for being oppressors and thus classifies all Black people as hopelessly oppressed victims. These falsehoods have spurred school boards meetings in Texas to ban books, lessons, and all activities about racism in classrooms. Texas has gone so far as to remove hundreds of books off library shelves in school libraries, leaving the shelves bare and children deprived of classic books and readings that are aligned to state approved curriculum and assessments.
The fears and accounts of Critical Race Theory are problematic at best and mostly lack truth. There is significant confusion between CRT as a theoretical framework, and The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. Most of these fears are exaggerations of a framework taught in universities, and not public schools. A broad brush applied to CRT is perplexing to academic scholars and educators, including some who developed and contributed to the framework. This includes the editor of The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, who recently appeared on The View television show.
Critical Race Theory states that U.S. social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market, and healthcare system) are laced with racism embedded in laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that lead to differential outcomes by race. CRT does not apply racism to all white people as individuals and/or entire groups of people.
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