Finding a remedy for the CRT pandemic
Critical Race Theory is metastasizing at a rapid rate, spreading into many American institutions. The woke ideology has even inserted itself in the medical field. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “How Structural Racism Works – Racist Policies as a Root Cause of U.S. Racial Health Inequities” argues that modern American medicine has “historical roots in scientific racism and eugenics movements,” and asserts that “Black communities became medical training grounds and a source of profit, reinforcing the American medical caste system that we have today.”
The American Medical Association also endorses CRT, and denounces equal opportunity and meritocracy as “malignant.” The AMA also claims that the “detrimental effects of colonization, racial capitalism, and enduring forms of supremacism… have upheld slavery, genocide, abuse and exploitation of resources.”
At the same time, medical schools are lecturing future doctors about intersectionality, implicit bias, identity, oppression, power and privilege, etc.
Our legal system is no better. As George Leef writes, “Progressivism Surges Through America’s Law Schools.” He cites Columbia University president Lee Bollinger, a former law dean, who insists that introducing CRT is “urgent and necessary.” In the same vein, Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School is going to mandate that students take a CRT course in order to graduate.
Additionally, many businesses have submitted to CRT orthodoxy. The latest domino to fall is Verizon. Christopher Rufo explains that the telecom conglomerate’s diversity trainers “instruct employees to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities and, according to their position on the ‘privilege’ hierarchy, embark on a lifelong ‘anti-racism journey.’”
And, most importantly, there are the k-12 schools, which are ground zero for the CRT hucksters. Resistance there, however, is mounting as numerous groups of parents, educators and concerned citizens have stepped up. Here in California, Protect Our Kids, Informed Parents of California, Californians for Equal Rights, Alliance for Constructive Ethnic Studies, Educators for Quality and Equality and others provide valuable information and other resources to increasing numbers of parents and others about how best to challenge CRT. On a national level, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR) and Parents Defending Education are leading the charge to derail the CRT train.
The statehouses have also been busy fighting CRT. Eight states already have legislation on the books that directly or indirectly addresses the issue, and 14 more states are considering such bills. The most effective laws don’t mention CRT by name, and avoid any wording that could be deemed contentious. For instance, the North Carolina legislature just passed HB 324, which lays out rules that educators must follow. Schools are not allowed to teach that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, that an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex, that an individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, etc. There is absolutely nothing in the bill that could lead the CRTers to scream, “Censorship!”
In addition, individual school districts are taking steps to protect children. Ramona Unified in southern California has adopted a civic education policy that was approved unanimously by the school board. The new guidelines ban the teaching of ten concepts about race, including: “teaching that a person is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive because of their race or sex, whether intentionally or unintentionally; a person’s worth is determined by their race or sex; a person bears responsibility for past actions of people of the same race or sex; a person should feel guilty or not because of their race or sex; and that the advent of slavery constituted the beginning of the United States.”
Employee lawsuits are another strategy which could derail the woke express. In Missouri’s Springfield school district, Jennifer Lumley, a records secretary for the special services department, and Brooke Henderson, who works on plans for students with disabilities, have filed suit in federal court, arguing that Springfield Public Schools “violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment by forcing them to affirm beliefs with which they disagree during mandatory race-based trainings as a condition of continued employment.”
According to the complaint filed by Southeastern Legal Foundation, the two women were not “encouraged” to consider differences, but rather required to “affirm Springfield Public Schools’ race essentialism,” which maintains that race is the defining characteristic of all individuals. As things stand now, if the educators don’t comply with the compelled speech, they could lose mandatory training credits, have their pay docked, and possibly lose their jobs.
Another way to deal with the teaching of CRT is not to ban any part of the controversial theory, but rather provide students with both sides of the argument. As Robert Pondiscio and Tracey Schirra explain, teachers are not free agents, but rather public employees who are accountable to taxpayers. They note that the “teacher’s job is to ensure those perspectives are presented fairly and to observe a dispassionate professionalism, allowing students to decide what they think for themselves, without teachers putting a thumb on the scale.” To get to this point, the writers suggest establishing “codes of conduct (that) could be enacted at the local level, thereby respecting the local control of schools and making the codes more enforceable.”
Whether it’s parental activism, lawsuits, legislation, or teacher codes of conduct, parents, taxpayers and all citizens need to become aware of the problem and get involved, and the sooner the better. Covid isn’t the only pandemic that needs to be dealt with ASAP.
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Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.