Tackling Critical Race Theory: What It Is and Where It Is Being Banned

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The presence of critical race theory (CRT) in K-12 education has become a prominent issue in some of the nation’s recent high-profile elections. In Virginia’s gubernatorial race, Glenn Youngkin, a Republican running on an anti-CRT platform, defeated former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who insisted that CRT isn’t being taught in Virginia’s K-12 classrooms and stated that parents shouldn’t tell schools what to teach their children.

An outgrowth of Marxism, the CRT interprets society through a Marxist dichotomy between “oppressor” and “oppressed,” but replaces the class categories with racial groups. Proponents of CRT see deeply embedded racism in all aspects of U.S. society, including in neutral systems such as constitutional law and standardized tests, and deem it to be the root cause of “racial inequity,” or different outcomes for different races.

Is CRT Being Taught in American Schools?

CRT is not being taught in American schools in a similar way that Maria Montessori’s pedagogy is not being taught in Montessori schools around the world. School administrators and teachers who endorse CRT do not teach the college-level academic framework to young children, but incorporate its key elements into policies, training programs, curricula, teaching materials, class activities, and homework assignments.

Parents Defending Education, a parent-led non-profit organization, has documented hundreds of such cases from across the country. For example, a class of third-graders at a San Jose, California, elementary school was instructed to “deconstruct their racial identities,” then rank themselves according to “power and privilege” they supposedly possess. In an elementary school in Washington’s Bellevue School District, second-grade students were told to have “explicit conversations about race, equity, and access” in an effort to help them “recognize and identify white culture.”

The effort to inject CRT into the curriculum is currently being advanced under various euphemisms such as “culturally responsive teaching” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” according to Christopher Rufo, an author and filmmaker best known for exposing how CRT infiltrates governments, schools, and businesses.

“There’s this revolving language system that they use to confuse, that they use to avoid, and that they use to obfuscate,” Rufo told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders” program. “They’re deploying it because they refuse to defend critical race theory on the merits, because even they know that it’s indefensible politically.”

How Many States are Taking Action Against CRT?

As of Nov. 22, 2021, 10 states—Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and South Carolina—have passed anti-CRT measures. Arizona’s Supreme Court later overturned the CRT ban that existed as a part of the state’s 2022 budget bill, citing the state constitution requiring individual bills to encompass a single subject.

By GQ Pan

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