Commentary

Mainlining Racism in the Schools

By Bill Donohue | July 21, 2021 | 4:43pm EDT
Students learn in a classroom. (Photo credit: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)
Students learn in a classroom. (Photo credit: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images)

Never before has the education establishment in the United States been more determined to promote racism in the schools than today. In the past, there have been texts that glossed over slavery, and curriculum that did not adequately address racial inequities in American history, but those are instances of omission. What we are witnessing today is a full-court press to deliberately divide the races, and it is coming from the top.

What makes this especially perverse is that this is not being done by Klan-like educators. No, it is being done by those who claim to be combating racism. The public is being played: Those responsible for indoctrinating students with critical race theory, and its ilk, are dishonestly maintaining that their agenda is anti-racist. In fact, they are mainlining racism in the schools.

To tell one race of students that they are morally inferior to the other is racist, and that is the point of telling white kids that they belong to the oppressor class. To tell white students that their skin color alone makes them racists is manifestly racist. This is what critical race theory espouses. The logical effect of this agenda is to divide the races. The Klan could not do better. 

Those who champion this pernicious assault on racial equality often lie about their cause. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently said that "Critical race theory is not taught in elementary school." 

To prove how dishonest AOC is, consider that in June the National Education Association (NEA) approved a motion to adopt critical race theory in the schools. Here are some of the curriculum items the NEA instructed teachers to adopt.

  • "Share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory (CRT)."

  • "Provide an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society, and that we oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project."

  • "Join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project to call for a rally this year on October 14—George Floyd's birthday—as a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression."

This is the kind of Marxist claptrap we would expect from a brainwashed high school student, to say nothing of its illiteracy. 

Nice to know that the NEA is opposed to capitalism but not socialism. There is a reason for this: The Zinn Education Project, a Marxist teacher- resource endeavor that it endorses, is named after Howard Zinn; he was a member of the Communist Party. Also, its support for Black Lives Matter, which explicitly declares that it wants to smash the nuclear family, is revealing.

The bullet items listed were taken from "New Business Item 39" that was adopted by the NEA in June. But it does not want the taxpayers and the parents of students to know about it: it has been deleted from its website. Sorry, it's too late. 

It is important to acknowledge that the leadership of the NEA, and those who, like AOC, support critical race theory, are not liberals. They are far-left activists. The problem is they are drowning out the voice of reasonable liberals. Unless those who were previously in the center, and were pushed to the fringes, recapture their command seats, the result will be more racism, not less of it. 

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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