Rann Miller: Teaching Critical Race Theory Is About Liberating All of Us
Rann Miller writes for The Progressive about the importance of lessons on race and racism. And it all starts with this jaw-dropping quote.
“Helping kids of color to feel they belong has a negative effect on white, Christian, or conservative kids,” Mary Beeman, the campaign manager for a Republican school board candidate in Connecticut, said in October. Beeman’s comments were made during a virtual forum on the subject of critical race theory (CRT), and to what extent it was or wasn’t being taught in public schools.
Beeman later apologized for what she called her “poorly worded” statement, which, she claimed, was shown “out of context.” What she apparently meant to express instead, according to her new, re-worded statement, was that children with “Judeo-Christian values” are being “bullied into submission” by liberal teachers and classmates.
Following last year’s national reckoning with racial injustice, prompted by the murder of George Floyd, conservative and mainly white parents and politicians (like Beeman) are now on a crusade to discredit concepts such as systemic racism and white supremacy.
Their efforts are focused on fighting the use of teaching tools like the 1619 Project and the supposed malicious influence of CRT. This has led to hostile school board meetings as well as a slate of state-level laws designed to make it so the only history that gets taught is the kind that makes white people comfortable.
The truth is that white children don’t suffer on account of creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments in schools for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) children. On the contrary, children of color, particularly Black children, suffer when anti-racism isn’t made a priority by majority white educators. The evidence bears this out.