AFT president said elementary schools don’t teach CRT. Yet, she announced a $5 million legal fund to defend any teacher punished for teaching CRT in those schools.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the second-largest union of teachers in America, hosted its TEACH 2021 Virtual Conference July 6-10, 2021.
The virtual conference clarified the union’s intention to defy any Critical Race Theory (CRT) bans in primary education curricula. It featured speeches by Randi Weingarten, Jill Biden, and Ibram X. Kendi. Weingarten, AFT’s president, vowed to use the union’s resources to defend any teacher who defies a state ban on teaching CRT.
In her welcome remarks on July 6, Weingarten said elementary schools in America do not teach CRT. However, she then announced a $5 million legal fund to defend any teacher punished for teaching CRT in the growing number of states passing laws banning it in elementary school classrooms.
AFT President Randi Weingarten:
“Critical Race Theory is not taught in elementary schools or middle schools or high schools.”
“Culture warriors” are “bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching accurate history.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 7, 2021
AFT head Randi Weingarten gives us a pretty clear definition of what critical race theory is, and who learns it: pic.twitter.com/hL4sLXnuN0
— The Recount (@therecount) July 7, 2021
Randi Weingarten, union president of American Federation of Teachers, is investing $5M into future legal fees for when state legislatures try to sue her members for teaching critical race theory. https://t.co/YFA9Ad0X9Q
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 8, 2021
Her full speech is here:
AFT had previously announced a campaign called “Stamping Out Racism and Hate,” which purports to create so-called anti-racist spaces in schools and promises resources to teachers:
While the campaign was announced just in time for Juneteenth—the day we celebrate emancipation from enslavement—it will officially launch in July with a special AFT edition of the book Stamped, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. A relatable remix of Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning, this version unpacks Kendi’s treatise on how historic racism has shaped our lives with the trademark humor and familiar language that’s made Reynolds an award-winning author of young adult novels. The book is “not a history book,” Reynolds tells readers. It is “a book that contains history.”
“The authors lay out the pervasiveness and insidiousness of racism in our lives, even as the history and legacy of racism often are left out of what we are taught and told,” writes AFT President Randi Weingarten in a note included in the special edition. “Their words have the power to transform the way we look at the world—to deconstruct false narratives, appreciate diversity and differences, and, crucially, recognize and confront our own racist ideas. I wish I had a book like this when I was a young student.”
Jill Biden spoke on July 7, voicing her full support for the agenda of the teacher’s union, saying, “America’s students and families need champions like never before. Last August, we made a promise to you [union members], that if Joe Biden became our president, classrooms would safely reopen, and we would build back our schools better than before.”
— AFT (@AFTunion) July 7, 2021
Kendi, of course, was the keynote speaker for the event. He led what the event billed as an unscripted talk with student activists on how to become a so-called anti-racist.
Civic engagement is saying: I have power and I'm going to use it. @DrIbram
— AFT (@AFTunion) July 7, 2021
— AFT (@AFTunion) July 7, 2021
Federick Ingram, AFT’s secretary-treasurer, hosted the discussion. Ingram reiterated the union’s intent to get Kendi’s book, Stamped From The Beginning, into the hands of every middle and high schooler in America.
Ingram’s first question for Kendi sets him up as an innocent victim:
There are some folks in the right wing who have made you into a controversial figure, or tried to make you into a controversial figure. Can you tell us what you see your role as in this anti-racist movement, what being anti-racist means to you, and why you continue to be a prominent voice in this movement, despite the vitriol you have had to face?
Well, for me, unfortunately we live in a society of racial disparities and inequities, and certainly those disparities and inequities are harmful for adults, but they’re even doubly devastating for children, and I know, based on all sorts of studies, that those disparities are not the result of what’s wrong with children, or what’s wrong with adults, that are, let’s say, people of color, they’re the result of policies and practices, so for me, to be anti-racist is to really encourage us to see those practices and policies as the problem, rather than people, you know, as we’re taught to believe, and apparently that’s a controversial idea. It’s a controversial idea to say we’re equals. So if we have a disparity, it must be the result of what’s wrong with policy and practices, and we should eliminate those, and create policies and practices that create, you know, equity and justice for all. Apparently it’s a controversial idea to say you’re indoctrinating children when you claim that racism doesn’t exist in a society of widespread racial disparities and inequities. If you’re a child that’s ten years old and you see that certain racial groups have more and certain racial groups have less, you’re going to be asking why is that the case? And to me, it is the prudent thing to do for teachers to say it’s the result of of not … it’s not that certain people have less because they are less, the cause of the disparities that you see are the result of racism, are the result of bad rules, are the result of history, and we’re trying to change this, and there have been people like you, we’re talking about white children, who have been abolitionists, have been civil rights advocates, who fought against racism, just like there’s been other people who haven’t, and to inspire young people to see the problem, not as people, but, again, as systemic racism. I just think our young people, and I know my daughter is asking those questions and trying to figure out why inequality exists. And so it’s our job as teachers and educators to explain why. and to not explain that certain groups are inferior.
The entire talk is available to view on AFT’s YouTube channel.
Last week, the National Education Association (NEA) announced its intention to conduct opposition research on organizations opposed to teaching CRT in primary education. Now, the AFT has upped the game, investing millions into a legal defense of teachers who incorporate CRT into the classroom and distributing controversial materials to every child they can reach.
America’s teachers’ unions have gone all-in on defending and promoting Critical Race Theory to every student in America and teaching the underlying assumption that our nation has the fundamental flaw of systemic racism.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds, and on Gab at @RealJeffReynolds.DONATE
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