In our last post on critical race theory , we examined the history of the theory and how it has evolved over time. And while critical race theory has been touted for its role in creating social change for minorities and its ability to improve education, some critics have claimed that it is a way to indoctrinate people into the belief that the U.S. is inherently racist. Here is a sample of the heated rhetoric surrounding the theory: “Critical race theory, by the way, is an explicitly Marxist, anti-American, anti-Western worldview. Its leading proponents are Derrick Bell, who was trained at the Frankfurt School, and Richard Delgado, who teaches it extensively in his classes at the University of Colorado Law School, where he is a tenured
It’s no surprise that the term “critical race theory” has been called indoctrination, and the rhetoric being used by those who are critical of it is about as far from rational and reasoned as you can get. Equating the study of race as indoctrination is incredibly inflammatory. It’s also ignorant — the kind of ignorance that fuels stereotypes and bias.
I want a quick word with my fellow black citizens.
Last week I learned that the state of Idaho passed a law banning the teaching of anything related to critical race theory (CRT) in public schools and universities.
The Idaho legislature has passed a law prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in the state’s public schools and universities.
Because trying to prevent more intentionally stupid and downright racist white people is bad https://t.co/i55UToxPtH
– theGrio.com (@theGrio) April 28, 2021
I may have been a little late to this party, but when I arrived they were singing the same song I like to call Democracy, and I don’t care about history. It’s a love song about protecting the vulnerability of white children and adults and maintaining white supremacy through the whitewashing of American history, and it’s been at the top of congressional and public school system charts ever since.
I was furious and wrote again to get our children out of these schools.
All week I sang my song of liberation and got louder and louder as I heard stories of how legislators in other states were trying to enact similar laws.
If lawmakers want to ban the teaching of real American history in schools to perpetuate false ideals of patriotism and white supremacy, black children don’t need to be in those schools, period.
Submission to their oppression strengthens and encourages them, and weakens and disempowers us.
– PeeplesVoice (@PeeplesChoice85) May 5, 2021
But it was like only a handful of people could hear me. Honestly, I feel like my song and those of others who have sung the same song have been muted for a long time, and I’m trying to figure out why. Maybe our song is worse than Jennifer Lopez’s and people don’t want to hear it. I really don’t know why I asked that question:
How many times must we be offended by these racist systems before we abandon them – especially the public school system?
Last week I spoke at length about the dangers of removing history from the schools, but let me dig a little deeper into other areas and explain how the same methods are now manifesting as a control mechanism.
Since indoctrination is everyone’s favorite word these days, let’s talk about how our ancestors were indoctrinated with religion and violence to reinforce submission. Not only did the slave owners use Christianity to justify slavery, but they also left out the passages in the Bible that mention rebellion to maintain order and control. And when those tactics didn’t work, they beat, punched and killed to instill fear.
What does this look like in the current education system? That same indoctrination leads us to remain loyal to this system, despite the damage it does to our society. It continues to oppress our children in these schools, despite the fact that they are undereducated, terribly and intentionally underfunded and under-resourced, disproportionately disciplined and over-monitored, and despite the fact that the standards designed to meet white supremacy suggest that they are unintelligent or underachieving. And yet they are still placed in these educational plantations.
And we all know the quote by W.E.B. Du Bois: The South viewed the educated black man as a dangerous black man. And the South was not altogether wrong; for education has always, and will always, have in all kinds of people an element of danger and revolution, of discontent and dissatisfaction, has it not? Du Bois did not invent these words, and this truth is evident in the fact that black people, past and present, struggle to get an education.
If slavery and the black codes of the Jim Crow era made it illegal and punishable for blacks to get an education, why do we think anything has changed today? But again, these are history lessons that were not taught in most schools.
These practices have simply gone underground and have become increasingly sophisticated in their illegality because, guess what, at least 85% of black eighth graders in America can’t read. That’s only five percent more than the number of enslaved Africans who could read and write in the southern states during the antebellum era.
In the early days of the civil rights movement (probably one of the most common, but important, parts of black history taught in schools), we may have heard of Brown v. Board of Education undid the deregulation of schools, but probably didn’t talk about how it led to the firing of thousands of black teachers, the economic destabilization of black communities, and the blocking of representation and access to our history.
As we celebrate #TeacherAppreciationWeek, let’s also consider how the 1954 decision in Brown vs. Board of Education changed the face of the teaching profession and influenced the careers of black teachers in America. @TheEconomist https://t.co/SFfcznGWHw
– Center for Educational Opportunity (@CtrForEduOpp) May 3, 2021
Today we are still in shock from this blow: Black teachers represent just over 6% of all teachers.
Meanwhile, we underestimate our ability to educate and develop academic systems, when in fact we have been doing so throughout the pandemic. Nor is it forgotten or taught how we built and maintained our own schools throughout history when racism kept us out of white educational institutions. Yes, we hear about HBCUs, but where was the education about freedom schools? I would answer: it has been conveniently overlooked, just as rebellions have been overlooked in plantation Bible studies.
This is why I am so passionate about this political microaggression against black people. This is why I am so supportive of teaching real American history. And if the traditional system can’t do it – and I don’t think it can – then I would strongly support sending the kids to schools run by us, so we can give them the education they need.
And I want to make two things clear before I go. I’m not a psychologist or a sociologist. But it seems to me that part of this trust and submission is due to the same conditioning reinforced by historical practices of oppression and manipulation passed down from generation to generation among blacks – what Dr. Joy DeGruy calls post-traumatic slavery syndrome.
I am not calling black people ignorant or irresponsible in our decision to keep our children in these schools. I’m also not saying that leaving the traditional public school system will be easy. But I ask us to be mindful of the connections created to undermine our intelligence and self-determination, and to address the temporary discomfort of abandoning the normality of oppression in the name of future educational liberation.
So I’m going to finish up here. One of the principles of the slave code was: No slave can leave his plantation without the written permission of his master. If we are truly free, or if that is the goal, from whom do we expect permission to leave the plantation? These chains must be broken somewhere and somehow – why not start with education?
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about critical race theory in education pdf and let us know what you think.