I appreciate the comments made by Superintendent Larry Linthicum on July 12 at the JC Public School Board meeting. He shared the Missouri education standards for history and social studies which are the teaching goals for JCPS. I support these standards and appreciate our teachers who work hard to teach these goals in an inclusive manner.
I oppose the effort to ban an inclusive teaching of U.S. history and social studies. I am dismayed JCPS staff and board are having to spend time and money over this political ploy designed to manufacture ignorance that will in effect maintain the status quo of racial inequalities in our society.
National political operatives have buried actual definition of critical race theory in many made-up definitions and descriptors. Law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, one of the founders of CRT, has defined this academic practice as "a way of looking at the law's role in facilitating and producing racial inequality in our country."
Opponents of CRT are using this term as a catchall to include any effort to engage students in an honest examination of systemic racism and white privilege and to outright ban any policies or curriculum related to equity, diversity and inclusion. CRT has been cast to be the latest conspiracy theory among certain political movements, and its opposition has sought to manufacture fear in the minds of Americans.
One of the main leaders of the anti-CRT movement is Christopher Rufo, with the Manhattan Institute. He recently tweeted: "We have successfully frozen their brand — 'critical race theory' — into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.
"The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think 'critical race theory," he continued in a second tweet.
We are being played by these political operatives.
We cannot ignore the history of racial inequity in our country. The discomfort and defensiveness on the part of white people when they encounter information about racial inequality and injustice is the very definition of white fragility, which is a response used by white persons to shut down conversations and classroom discussions regarding racism and serves to maintain the status quo. Ask any Black American and you will quickly learn today's status quo is not where we need to be.