NAACP Op-Ed: The NAACP Condemns Anti-Critical Race Theory Bills and Calls for Teaching About American Slavery from a Black Perspective
At The Crisis, the official publication of the NAACP, this piece addresses the spreading gag laws and the question of how to teach about slavery.
Anti-Critical Race Theory bills, like the “teacher loyalty” bill recently introduced in New Hampshire, are oblivious solutions looking for a problem. The bill prohibits teachers from advocating “communism, socialism, or Marxism” or the “overthrow by force of the government of the United States.” Interestingly, the only time teachers are likely to teach about an overthrow of the U.S. government by force is when teaching about the Confederacy.
In response to a section of the law that prohibits “teaching that the United States was founded on racism,” one of bill’s co-sponsors, Representative Erica Layton (R), ignorantly stated that slavery was “already on the way out,” a century before the Civil War.
Conscious historians and teacher educators should design teaching curriculum, not racially obtuse elected officials. Instead of bills prohibiting teachers from teaching the truth about racists aspects of American history, we need bills that provide provisions for training teachers how to teach sensitive topics like the enslavement of Africans and the murder of indigenous populations.
In America, we don’t teach that Britain “gave” the colonies independence. We teach that the colonists fought for it. We need our elected officials to acknowledge the same for Black people and Black emancipation.