What is critical race theory? Critical race theory is an academic framework created in the 1980s that seeks to understand societal structures through the lens of race, slavery, and America’s "racist" past. Left-leaning outlets like The New York Times and Vox have summarized critical race theory in terms of racial essentialism, collectivism, and historical revisionism.
Is it just a college course? Left-wing activists claim that critical race theory is a college-level course. This is true: Critical race theory is taught in colleges. But it can also be taught in K-12 education. CRT has trickled down into public schools through simple yet radical talking points.
What parents are fighting: When concerned parents and legislators say they're fighting CRT, they're not talking about college courses. They're fighting left-wing ideology (like CRT) that has made its way into public schools through politicized teachers, school boards, and new curriculums.
In schools, this ideology has manifested in common radical left-wing talking points like the following:
- America's founding principle is racism.
- Race is the most important personal trait.
- Segregating based on race is useful.
- Whiteness is oppressive.
- Classic gender norms are oppressive.
- The nuclear family is oppressive.
- Capitalism is oppressive.
- Policing is oppressive.
- Objectivity is built on whiteness.
Are those ideas taught in schools? Absolutely. There have been hundreds of documented cases over the past five years. Here are a few examples:
- The local Philly teachers union denounced the United States as a "settler colony built on white supremacy and capitalism."
- A third-grade teacher in California forced students to learn about their privilege. The students had to identify which races held power and privilege.
- Massachusetts Public Schools were sued for racial segregation, where they provided events only open to specific groups. The events were supposed to be "affinity groups," a progressive idea.
- In Pennsylvania, the Shipley School asked parents to "decenter whiteness" at home and in their families. Thousands of public school teachers attend an annual White Privilege Conference where they are taught how teachers can "insert social justice, anti-racist information" into their lessons. A Manhattan school teaches elementary school students as young as six that they're born racist and benefit from "white privilege."
- In Massachusetts, thousands of parents opted their children out of a sex-ed curriculum that normalizes non-conforming gender identities, like transgenderism, and how to become sexually active.
- Iowa schools planned to teach "queer affirming" and "trans-affirming" principles, as well as values "committed to disrupting the Western prescribed nuclear family structure."
- California's new curriculum teaches that capitalism is a form of oppression. Philadelphia elementary school students were taught to celebrate "black communism" and reenacted black-power rallies. Fifth graders held signs that read "Black Power," "Jail Trump," "Free Angela," and "Black Power Matters."
- Countless schools now openly teach that police and the American policing system are inherently racist. They advocate for the defunding and abolition of the police.
- The Education Trust, an organization that attempts to collaborate with schools to implement their activism into education, produced an "Equitable Math" curriculum teaching that distinguishing between right and wrong answers in math is racist.
For a longer list, read Upward News' past article, This Is What Critical Race Theory In Schools Looks Like