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Critical race theory and the scam of the ban

16 10 0

Once again, the racist and fascist American right is conning the American public, this time in declaring critical race theory an existential threat to the United States. It is coming after this concept, just as it did with the idea of political correctness in the 1990s and just as it is doing now with the so-called cancel culture.

Except that in the case of critical race theory, politicians have enacted laws to ban it from school and public college curricula in Texas, Idaho, Florida, Montana, Iowa, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Six other states and dozens of local school districts continue to debate the need to ban critical race theory from public schools.

If one goes deep into the weeds of these bans, they are not really about the dangers of teaching critical race theory at all. In fact, it does not seem that they reflect an understanding of what this theory is about.

Instead, these bans specifically want to cut out the 246-year history of African enslavement in colonial British America and in the US, and all common references to the history of institutional racism in the US. These bans specifically include the award-winning 1619 Project, edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, whom the University of North Carolina Board of Trustee recently denied a tenured position.

In Loudoun County, Virginia this week, a group of anti-critical race theory parents gathered in a parking lot outside a school board meeting, “All’s they keep doing is changing the narrative. Critical race theory is ‘culturally-responsive framework,’ ‘culturally-responsive teaching’. It’s all just Trojan horses,” one bloviating parent said.

Some of the proposed bills, like the bill that failed to pass in the Rhode Island state legislature earlier this year, unveiled the real intentions of those banning critical race theory. “This act would prohibit the teaching of divisive concepts and … prohibit making any individual feel discomfort, guilty, anguish or any distress on account of their race or sex,” the bill’s sponsors wrote.

That anyone would define “divisive concepts” as the equivalent of teaching the full history of the US and its history of systemic racism is ludicrous. The part about making anyone “feel discomfort” or “distress”, though, is incredibly revealing.

The Rhode Island bill lays bare white fragility, the absolute........

© Al Jazeera

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