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critical race theory

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    A Black Texas principal once targeted for posting on Facebook pictures of himself embracing his wife, a white woman, has now been placed on paid leave indefinitely in the same school district after parents accused him of teaching critical race theory. Colleyville Heritage High School principal James Whitfield was placed on leave for reasons Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Superintendent Robin Ryan refused to get into, citing "a personnel matter," according to The Dallas Morning News.

    As a reminder, mixed race marriages have been legal in every state in the country since 1967 (Loving v Virginia) - and Texas is still a foreign country.

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    Michael Sean Winters, a columnist for the Catholic Reporter, often comes up with some good columns. Today's column is about critical race theory.

    Since the column is lengthy, I'll highlight a few key paragraphs:

    Should critical race theory be taught in school? Politico reported last week that, nationwide, Republican candidates for school board are running on the pledge that they will keep critical race theory out of the schools.

    If you watch Fox News, you would think this was one of the most pressing questions facing the nation, but people like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson do not argue in good faith. Nor do most of those Republican Party politicians who have attacked critical race theory. But is it even being taught?

    At Fox News, of course, they lump any form of diversity training in with critical race theory and denounce it all. Both pols and pundits have shown throughout the Trump years that they are only too willing to traffic in racist dog whistles — or worse. They suggest it teaches children to "hate America." You half expect Carlson to cite the musical "1776" as an example of what he wants by way of education in American history. However, training children to be prepared to live and work in a diverse society is as essential to their formation as teaching them the three R's.

    There is a method to the conservatives' madness. As Christopher Rufo, of the conservative Manhattan Institute, wrote: "We have successfully frozen their brand — 'critical race theory' — into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions." They are not subtle about their ideological and political ambitions.

    When politicians get involved in debates about school curriculum, all of our alarm bells should go off. In The New York Times, Timothy Snyder, the foremost historian of totalitarianism, warned against efforts to falsify history and turn the classroom into a forum for propaganda, drawing on Soviet (later Russian) efforts to downplay the starvation of millions of Ukrainians from famine during the forced collectivization in 1932-33. He warned that efforts in the U.S. to ban critical race theory are "Kafkaesque."

    Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech-born German-language writer whose surreal fiction vividly expressed the anxiety, alienation, and powerlessness of the individual in the 20th century. Kafka's work is characterized by nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority. Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.

    The book, "1984" is another example of this.

    To quote a poster I saw recently,

    Those who can, teach

    Those who cannot pass laws about teaching

    As I wrote the other day, right wing extremists (like Charlie Kirk) are trying to turn school boards into conservative political sounding boards.

    If, then, critical race theory calls us to embrace legal ideas such as affirmative action, sign me up. To overcome something with a long and ugly history like racism, it is not enough to wish our society into some colorblind state of equality. You must pay attention to race to overcome the legacy of racism. This is clear.

    If, however, critical race theory is to move beyond the halls of the law school, readers and students deserve better than the intellectually imperialistic ideology on display in "The 1619 Project." Scholars, not journalists, still less politicians and pundits, should be given the task of posing new questions to the historical record, integrating new perspectives and insights, and finding ways to communicate them to rising generations. Unfortunately, the whole episode is now just one more battlefront in the culture wars and our students deserve better.

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    The reason that conservatives are so opposed to that they think is "critical race theory" is that they want a sanitized version of history taught.

    They don't want people to know about the Freedom Riders, the Greensboro lunch counter, the Birmingham church bombing, the lynchings in Alabama and Mississippi, James Meredith in 1962, "black like me", Emmett Till, or voter suppression.

    Arizona tried to include the CRT ban in their state budget this year, but a judge recently ruled it was unconstitutional because the budget bill was supposed to deal with the budget - and not other issues.

    Fortunately, teachers are still able to teach REAL history, with all its warts.

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    California just became the first state to REQUIRE ethnic studies as a prerequisite for high school graduation.

    A few years ago, the principal for one of the local high schools (which is 85% Hispanic) required that ethnic studies needed to be added as an option . His contract was not renewed.

    Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the legislation Friday, ending a years-long debate over drafting a model ethnic studies curriculum that more closely reflects the diverse population in California classrooms. It also comes amid a conservative movement to halt teachings even slightly related to critical race theory, a study of structural and systemic racism’s impact.

    In California, school districts will develop coursework that delves into the contributions and struggles of Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans throughout the nation’s history. Courses must be offered beginning in the 2025-26 school year.

    Supporters of the bill, including lawmakers from the five diversity caucuses — Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, Black, Jewish and Native American — of the California state legislature, argue the bill comes at a critical time. More than 25 Republican-led states have passed or proposed restrictions on how teachers can discuss racism and sexism amid a larger, coordinated effort by right-leaning groups to attack lessons about systemic racism as divisive.

    Critical race theory was the hot topic on Fox News this summer. Not so much anymore.

    Advocates point to research showing the academic benefits of such curriculum, including a study that found ethnic studies courses offered in San Francisco schools increased attendance by 21 percent and raised cumulative grade point averages by 1.4 points.

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    Again: "Only inAmerica". I've never seen such in schools in Europe . First of all schools should teach the "practical" things in life and "jobs" to whatever color your skin has or whatever religion you have. The basic rules of "life" are, is "behavior' and foresee the things you will need to sustain yourself, as well "qualities" you can develop to help in an "society" to make life better and sustainable. Etnic things should not be part of the curriculum, unless you want to sell "weed' or "bibles". Most "goods" here are "worldly" for everyone. If my gardener is "white" or black" it should not matter, as long as the end result is of the same quality. All of this should be "viewed" as "worldwide. Your Chinese made coffeepot makes it hopefully not something "racist"

    I traveled the whole world, but seldom was faced with "racism" as they do here. Understanding "others" and the "why" is lacking here. Accept that there are "crooks" and "mean" people in every race, but also good people in every race. At school when I was a kid we had plenty of Indonesian and Moluk kids as well Marrocan an Surinam kids ; often it where only the "white" kids who started the "fights", mostly because of the same reasons as if it were all white kids.