North Carolina Senate Moves to Put Brakes on Critical Race Theory After Ibram Kendi Speaks at School Conference
On June 16th, leading Critical Race Theory proponent Ibram X. Kendi was the keynote speaker at the virtual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Summer Leadership Conference. He was reportedly paid $25,000 for the appearance.
In an effort to try and convince critics that the outrage over Critical Race Theory is manufactured and overblown, CRT proponents and their allies in the mainstream media often talk about how it is supposedly not being taught in public school classrooms so there’s nothing for concerned parents to worry about, right?
In North Carolina, for instance, the slow creep of Critical Race Theory is beginning, as evidenced by the fact that leading CRT advocate Ibram X. Kendi was paid $25,000 to be the keynote speaker at a virtual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education Summer Leadership Conference earlier this month:
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) June 23, 2021
As it turns out, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston is a big fan of Kendi’s and another leading CRT proponent, Robin DiAngelo.
Before the start of the 2020-2021 school year last fall, Winston’s message to teachers was to take advantage of the “awakening” brought on by the death of George Floyd and the nationwide demonstrations that followed:
“In many ways, this summer was an awakening,” Winston says. “An awakening of disparities, an awakening of consciousness, an awakening of the impact of this country’s original sin: Racism.”
For the rest of the video, Winston talks about how systems of oppression created the well-documented racial disparities in academic achievement and discipline that have plagued students of color, especially Black males.
Winston also included book recommendations in his video, where Kendi, DiAngelo, and other so-called “anti-racism” authors featured prominently:
In the video Winston displays five books being offered to employees to spark discussion. He said he encouraged principals to read and discuss two books over the summer: Ibram X. Kendi’s “How To Be An Antiracist” and Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility.”
“This is the beginning of the journey of examining your own beliefs,” Winston says.
One of Kendi’s books – “Stamped” – is on the CMS website’s summer 2021 reading list, where students can “earn credit” if they “choose one chapter in the book that stood out for you either because you felt a connection with the author’s experience or what you read expanded your thinking in some way” and then “write a response to that chapter and explain how it affected you.”
Republican leaders in both chambers of the North Carolina state legislature have been paying attention to the national debate over CRT, as well as what’s been going on locally, and are already making moves to put the brakes on it in the state. In May, the GOP-controlled House passed a bill that addresses CRT, prohibiting teaching that white students are inherently racist and that black students are perpetual victims:
The new bill prohibits the promotion of certain concepts like that of Critical Race Theory (CRT), a belief with Marxist roots that holds racism is constant and inherent in all people and institutions.
According to the bill analysis document for the PCS, schools in the state would be prohibited from promoting the idea that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex or that based onlya person’s race that that individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
Additionally, HB 324 prohibits promotion of concepts that create discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress for any individual “solely by virtue of his or her race or sex.”
State Senate Leader Phil Berger, a Republican, tweeted last week about Kendi’s appearance, hinting that CRT was definitely on the radar of Senate Republicans and that they would be addressing it very soon:
Kendi has a lot of thoughts through the CRT lens. Here's one:
"Capitalism is essentially racist; racism is essentially capitalist…they shall one day die together from unnatural causes."
This is who CMS chose as their keynote leadership conference speaker. #ncpol
— Senator Phil Berger (@SenatorBerger) June 23, 2021
This week, the State Senate is expected to begin debating the issue, which comes on the heels of Kendi’s appearance at the leadership conference as well as a resolution passed last week by the Durham City Council in support of teaching CRT in the public school system:
So much for the "Critical Race Theory isn't actually in schools and no one really wants it there" line of argument… https://t.co/tkKLm5aUCe
— Max Eden (@maxeden99) June 25, 2021
Berger, along with NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, issued a statement Friday expressing concerns about the Durham resolution and the overall push for CRT:
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “I’m not aware of anybody who objects to teaching about our country’s racial history, but that’s not all that adherents of this dangerous doctrine advocate. They teach that ‘present discrimination’ is necessary, and that a ‘postracial’ society is ‘the most sophisticated racist idea ever produced.’ These are extreme and dangerous concepts.”
Berger continued, “The notion that a postracial society is in fact racist is at odds with the idea that people will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson said, “The dark parts of our history should be taught in schools, but it should be taught along with how we overcame those things like slavery and Jim Crow. Now we see one of the larger school districts in our state pushing for a resolution to include Critical Race Theory in North Carolina’s education. CRT is not about equality; CRT is about teaching students that because of the color of your skin you are either oppressed or an oppressor. Pushing students towards this ideology will lead us to a divided and wrongful future.”
Should the NC Senate and House agree on a bill severely restricting what can be taught about CRT, it’s likely to face a veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper who, like President Joe Biden, has become a vessel for “woke” Democrats to use to advance their agenda.
Still, it’s worth GOP state legislators getting out in front of this issue in order to raise awareness before it has a chance to take root.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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