Critical race theory isn’t in Mississippi classrooms — but quality history teaching should be – The Daily Mississippian

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The Mississippi Senate passed a bill on Friday, January 21 it would prohibit schools from teaching critical race theory. However, not all senators took part in the vote, because all black lawmakers came out to protest the bill before voting began. Considering that Critical Race Theory directly addresses racial inequality in America, the fact that only white senators voted to adopt it speaks volumes about the nature of the problem. The bill is just one of many similar bills that have passed in Republican-led states such as Arkansas and Tennessee. As the superintendent of education said, critical race theory is not taught in Mississippi schools and there is no convincing evidence to the contrary, the question is: what is the point?

Critical race theory is generally defined as “an academic framework that examines how racism has shaped public policies and institutions such as the legal system, and how these have perpetuated white dominance in society.” Although the bill in question is titled “Critical Theory of Race,” this definition and any others are absent from its main text. Instead, the bill says that no school can teach “Gender, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior. Using the title critical race theory and then saying it’s wrong to teach anyone who is inherently superior or inferior, lawmakers are comparing Mississippi’s teaching about racism to teaching students that it’s inherently superior or inferior. There are differences in the value of different races.

Black lawmakers claimed the bill was unnecessary, with Democratic Sen. David Jordan of Greenwood saying that all people are created equal and that children should learn “the good, the bad and the ugly of what happened”. Jordan also said he thought the bill would do more harm than good. If black senators, who themselves have been affected by racism, do not believe the bill is necessary, the motives of Republicans leading the charge against critical race theory are in question. Considering the bill rose to prominence right after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, it seems the real purpose of the law is to further silence African American stories and the history of white supremacy in the southern United States.

If passed, Mississippi will become the 10th state to pass legislation banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools, although there is no evidence that the curriculum includes a discussion of the subject. These laws follow the old President Donald Trump’s Repeated Criticisms of Critical Race Theoryclaiming that the teaching of the subject in schools borders on “psychological abuse”. Trump uses the term critical race theory to describe any instance of teaching the history of systemic racism in the United States and even signed a law before leaving office that promoted “patriotic education” minimizing the role of slavery in United States history.

There is no evidence that critical race theory is widely taught in schools in Mississippi, or any other state for that matter, so the bill seeks to control a problem that does not exist. Not only is this legislation a waste of time and resources for Congress, but also a clear attempt by the Mississippi government to make it harder for schools to teach children about the state’s racist past. Attempts to suppress curricula surrounding historical issues like slavery and Jim Crow leave openings for America’s racist past to repeat itself. Despite public declarations of good intention, the Critical Race Theory Bill is a prime example of using government resources to minimize the effects of racism in Mississippi and erect educational barriers against problems that don’t exist. not.

Briley Racow is a sophomore majoring in Integrated Marketing and Communications from Lemont, Illinois.

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