RALEIGH – “That’s not actually Critical Race Theory,” is quickly becoming a common refrain among those defending “discussions of race” in public school classrooms. That’s the problem with targeting an amorphous, creeping, series of theories, by use of a specific technical term, even when they all share a common set of premises. The accused can simply say, “Well, actually….”
This gaslighting is happening on a grand scale in North Carolina and around the nation when it comes to the controversy over Woke indoctrination. (Notice we didn’t say CRT. You won’t here an activist quip, “Well, actually that is not Woke because X, Y, Z,” for a reason; they cannot wiggle out on a technicality the way they do with CRT.)
Radical, mostly false, and overtly political interpretations of history and culture that paint America as fundamentally racist, all relations as fundamentally racial, and all solutions as fundamentally collectivist are, without a doubt, being woven into core instruction materials for teachers and students in our state and others.
The cat is out of the bag though in North Carolina, and here we see the Woke Left, in the form of a radically Leftist publication, in throes trying to put it back in.
From Mother Jones:
The fight over how to teach American history to children—a long battle that has frothed into a particularly acute moral panic today—often comes back to whose history is being discussed. For Pierce, a Black teacher of many Black students, it’s impossible to avoid racism. For years, he has spoken openly about this in the concrete and the local: the town names, the monuments to Confederates, the horrific lynchings. He has gone above his mandate of teaching to the test because the test did not include the explanations of events that led to the world his students inhabit. He was rewarded by earning social studies teacher of the year in 2019 and has been tasked with helping write the new standards for the state to make sure others follow his lead. […]
Pierce is not alone in his frustration at how public school teachers in North Carolina and across the United States are being caught in the politically charged culture wars over how to teach America’s history and legacy of racism. As of early July, more than two dozen states had introduced legislation to restrict classroom discussions on so-called divisive topics and Critical Race Theory, a 1970s theoretical framework of legal studies that examines and challenges the ways racism is systemic and endemic to US society and institutions. Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, Arizona, and New Hampshire have all passed such bans in recent months.
In May, the North Carolina House voted along partisan lines to move to the Senate the “Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools” bill prohibiting public schools from promoting concepts such as that an individual should feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish” or bear responsibility for actions from the past based on their race or sex; and opposing the characterization that the belief that the United States is a meritocracy is “inherently racist or sexist.” In support of the legislation, the Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt vouched to eradicate CRT from classrooms, saying, “There is no room for divisive rhetoric that condones preferential treatment of any one group over another.” Democratic Rep. James Gailliard of Nash County called it a “don’t-hurt-my-feelings bill” that reproduces “discrimination, fanaticism, bigotry.”
Former President Donald Trump, conservative activists, media, and political figures have turned CRT, which has largely been applied to academic research fields and isn’t actively taught in K-12 schools, into a wedge issue, feeding into parents’ concerns that their children are being indoctrinated with dangerous, radical leftist ideologies. But for the most part, the decades-old academic framework is wrongfully being weaponized as a catchall term to conflate and delegitimize conversations about race, diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools.