Generations after Keeping Black Students out of School, Will Virginia Exclude Black History?Breaking News
tags: curriculum, culture war, Virginia, teaching history, critical race theory
Once upon a time, Virginia politicians erected barriers to keep Black children and white children from sharing the same schoolhouse.
Today, a new form of massive resistance would hinder this legacy of systemic racism from being taught in the classroom.
The political right — always handy with a dog whistle — has dressed up critical race theory to make it scarier than a Halloween goblin.
Unable to shut down an entire school system in service of segregation, as Prince Edward County once did, politicians and parents in places like Chesterfield, Loudoun and Stafford counties have weaponized a heretofore obscure law school field of study. Never mind that critical race theory as a curriculum is nonexistent in K-12 education in Virginia (or pretty much anywhere else). Republicans have employed it as a catchall phrase to challenge educators who would teach about America’s history of systemic racism. The all-but-spoken goal: Make history white again.
“I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education,” says Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin. Which parents he means — white, suburban, politically and culturally conservative — is abundantly clear. He vows upon taking office to ban critical race theory from being taught in schools.
Or as Michael Harriot, senior writer for The Root, recently tweeted: “If you use legislation to create a system that protects ALL white kids from simply having to LEARN the history that Black and indigenous people actually endured... Then aren’t you PROVING that CRT was correct the whole time?”