Is Gov. Kemp right CRT is ‘anti-American ideology?’
- Critical Race Theory is the belief that institutions are “inherently racist” and that racial inequality stems from white superiority. It was developed by scholars in the 1970s as a response to perceived “slow progress following the Civil Rights Movement” in the 60s.
- On Thursday, June 3, 2021, the Georgia Board of Education voted to prevent CRT from being taught in their schools. Governor Brian Kemp congratulated the board saying CRT is “dangerous” and an “anti-American ideology.”
- According to a recent Wall Street Journal poll, 56% of respondents said, 'American society is racist.'
- A 2019 study by Harvard Business School's Edward Chang revealed that 'a one-hour, one-off training might change attitudes but not behaviors in the workplace.' Chang suggests that 'instead of [one-off] trainings, companies should think about how they can embed diversity and inclusion practices throughout their organization.”
Governor Kemp is not right that CRT is 'anti-American ideology' because the truth is not anti-American, and teaching the truth does not create the problem; it helps to solve it. CRT is a philosophy that supports the idea that racism in America is fundamentally systematic in nature and is not ultimately the result of an isolated incident or personal attack. Unfortunately, systematic racism in America has been factually proven to be true. Perhaps the most recent and well-known example of systematic racism in America has been within the criminal justice system, in which many social injustices have sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.
The main justification for Kemp and other critics seeking to ban CRT from being taught to American students is in claiming it teaches 'dangerous' belief systems. They call false the fact that one group (most often Whites) believe they are inherently superior to another (POC and minoritized communities). Their faulty logic then follows that if you do not teach such a 'divisive' subject, then our racist and socially unjust systems will somehow disappear. However, American youth and all Americans will still have to face the harsh reality of systematic racism outside of the classroom, so they must be prepared to face it in the classrooms. American students must be taught the truth about their country to be empowered to end systematic racism. CRT is not 'anti-American ideology;' it offers the truth that, when taught constructively to American students, could inspire and motivate them to put an end to systematic racism in their country once and for all.
Georgia Governor Kemp is right to characterize Critical Race Theory as an 'anti-American' ideology because it's in opposition to Western Civilization, which provides America her founding principles. In doing so, CRT targets religious institutions as well as typically Western systems, such as due process and equal rights under the law, and our capitalist/free-market economy. CRT is rightfully described as 'identity-based Marxism.” We pride ourselves on our history of welcoming immigrants and assimilating them, their heritage, and cultural richness into society. While our nation was founded during the slave trade era—practiced across the globe—America was relatively quick, historically speaking, in recognizing the wrongs of slavery and abolishing it. It's a gross misread and oversimplification of American history to place slavery as the centerpiece and label everyone as either an oppressor or oppressed, as CRT does.
Ironically, CRT's race-focused teaching has recently been judged in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Montana's Attorney General. The AG explained the core shortcoming of CRT's curriculum: 'committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal.' Specifically, the AG cited the following prohibited practices that CRT promotes 'racial segregation, race stereotyping, and race scapegoating.'
At its core, CRT is divisive and takes a negative and binary view of our nation's history. It's a disservice to our nation's youth to indoctrinate them with such a narrow and outright false interpretation of the American story. Children should be taught about our rich history of overcoming challenges and adversity while holding fast to our founding principles of liberty and justice for all. Slavery and civil rights struggles should continue to be taught honestly, but with an undercurrent of triumph with examples set by American leaders like Martin Luther King Jr.