A Black mother slammed critical race theory (CRT) on Thursday, telling the Florida Board of Education that it was teaching hate and ruining the “greatest country in the world.”
“Just coming off of May 31, marking the 100 years [since] the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently oppressors or oppressed in 2021,” said mom Keisha King.
King’s comments came after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asked the school board to pass a rule banning CRT and associated ideas in schools.
“That is not teaching the truth,” King added, “unless you believe that Whites are better than Blacks.”
FLORIDA BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES DESANTIS’ RULE BANNING CRITICAL RACE THEORY
She went on to dispute the idea that CRT was “racial sensitivity or simply teaching unfavorable American history or teaching Jim Crow history.”
“CRT,” she said, “is deeper and more dangerous than that. CRT and its outworking today is a teaching that there’s a hierarchy in society where White male, heterosexual, able-bodied people are deemed the oppressor and anyone else outside of that status is oppressed.”
“That’s why we see corporations like Coca-Cola asking their employees to be less White, which is ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but telling my child or any child that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are Black is racist – and saying that White people are automatically above me, my children, or any child is racist as well. This is not something that we can stand for in our country.”
“And don’t take it from me. Look at the writers of these types of publications. Our ancestors – White, Black, and others – hung, bled, and died right alongside each other to push America towards that more perfect union. If this continues, we will look back and be responsible for the dismantling of the greatest country in the world by reverting to teaching hate and that race is a determining factor on where your destiny lies.”
DESANTIS CONDEMNS CRITICAL RACE THEORY, SAYS IT WON’T BE TAUGHT IN FLORIDA CLASSROOMS
On Thursday, the board approved DeSantis’ rule. It reads: “Instruction on the required topics must be factual and objective and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
The rule came as part of a broader push by DeSantis and other Republicans to eliminate what they say are manifestations of critical race theory in schools. DeSantis’ office told Fox News that the rule excludes the term “critical race theory” because “CRT isn’t the only issue.”
Arguments about CRT in history tend to revolve around assertions in the “1619 Project,” a controversial piece that argues the institution of slavery was the nation’s true founding. According to its author, it also casts doubt on how U.S. history has traditionally been taught by emphasizing slavery’s influence on American society.
In a webinar last month, author Nikole Hannah Jones plainly stated that her project was intended to be supplemental to standard curriculum and that it was intentionally making an argument about how to view U.S. history.
REP. BYRON DONALDS SAYS GOV. DESANTIS ‘ABSOLUTELY CORRECT’ TO BAN CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN SCHOOLS
Critics of anti-CRT measures have expressed concern that Republicans are forcing teachers to whitewash some of the injustices perpetrated against minorities in the U.S.
Andrew Spar, who serves as president of Florida’s teachers’ union, argued that “students deserve the best education we can provide, and that means giving them a true picture of their world and our shared history as Americans. Hiding facts doesn’t change them.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the union agreed with conservatives’ insistence on teaching key documents like the Declaration of Independence but also wanted those that “reflect a more diverse America than are represented in our founding documents.”
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Gregory Sampson, a high school teacher in Jacksonville, said: I don’t think the governor and his fellow Republicans really understand what critical race theory does.”
He added: “It’s not a criticism. It’s a critique, a way of looking at how history has unfolded.”