GOP Rep to Introduce Bill Making Teaching CRT in Federally Funded Schools a ‘Civil Rights Violation’
The critical race theory (CRT) suggesting that the United States is a country of "systemic racism" has become a flash point issue in America amid the national debate about race triggered by several high-profile deaths of black people in police custody. School boards and several state legislatures have banned the teaching of CRT.
Legislation to make teaching the critical race theory in federally funded American schools a "civil rights violation" is being introduced by Rep. Bob Good, reported Fox News.
“We are introducing a bill that will make it a civil rights violation to teach critical race theory or anything resembling it by any other name in our schools," said the US representative in Virginia’s 5th congressional district.
The Republican politician's "Protecting Students Civil Rights Act" is targeting a theory that “is judging students by their race… saying that their face determines their future, so we're trying to put a stop to that," said the politician.
"What we hope to accomplish is to advance Martin Luther King's principles, which were to judge people by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. We don't believe that race defines a person," he added.
According to Good, people are not responsible for the sins of the past, while race doesn't determine people’s future. He underscored that the bill was prompted by his constituents' concerns over what schools are teaching children regarding race, such as claiming that white people are "undeniably racist" and oppressors, while black students are taught they are "undeniably a victim".
"We don't believe that kids look at each other that way. We don't believe that most parents want their kids to be judged that way, so we're trying to stand up for our parents and our children," Good was cited by Fox News as saying.
A press release by Good's office revealed that over 5,000 teachers have already signed a pledge to teach critical race theory in their schools. It further stated that under the Joe Biden administration, the Department of Education’s American History and Civics Educations programs "directly encourage the propagation of radical ideals, including the 1619 Project, as well as Ibram X. Kendi's ‘How to Be Anti-Racist,’ which directly advocates for discrimination."
Biden’s Military Checklist:— Congressman Bob Good (@RepBobGood) September 23, 2021
✅Critical Race Theory
✅Stripping of 2nd Amendment Rights
The Virginia Republican is scheduled to hold a joint conference on the proposed new legislation on Wednesday with Citizens for Renewing America. Russ Vought, who leads the group, was cited by the outlet as saying:
"Congressman Good's bill is the next key line of attack that both Washington and the states must take in the fight against state-sanctioned racism. Teaching our children that they are less-than because of their skin color is indoctrination and a classic civil rights violation."
According to the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under ex-President Donald Trump, it was “high time any school that behaves in this manner be held accountable."
Critical Race Theory Debate
The critical race theory has become a highly controversial issue in school districts nationwide and was brought to the forefront in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the death of African American man George Floyd in police custody from suffocation. Medical examiners ruled that it happened due to Floyd being pinned down by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who had put his knees on the man's back and neck. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter as a result of a trial in April 2021.
© AP Photo / Alberto PezzaliIn this Saturday, June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, center, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London
In this Saturday, June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, center, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London
© AP Photo / Alberto Pezzali
CRT originated in the 1960s and 1970s and was based on the idea that race is not natural and biologically grounded, but rather a socially constructed category used to oppress and exploit people of colour. The theory argues that US laws and legal institutions are "inherently racist" and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and non-whites, most notably black people.
CRT has long been slammed by the GOP and its voters as controversial, divisive and unpatriotic. Republican lawmakers have moved to ban the studies in K-12 ( 'kindergarten to 12th grade’) schools in their states. In September 2020, then-President Donald Trump with an executive order prohibited federal agencies from carrying out racial sensitivity trainings in line with CRT tenets that address topics like white privilege, calling them "divisive, anti-American propaganda." Trump urged promoting "patriotic education" and railed against students being taught about systemic racism.
© REUTERS / Marco BelloA student wearing a protective mask, attends class on the first day of school, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at St. Lawrence Catholic School in North Miami Beach, Florida, U.S. August 18, 2021.
A student wearing a protective mask, attends class on the first day of school, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, at St. Lawrence Catholic School in North Miami Beach, Florida, U.S. August 18, 2021.
However, his successor, Joe Biden, rescinded Trump's executive order restricting CRT training. Furthermore, on 19 April, the Biden administration proposed new priority criteria for a $5.3 million American History and Civics Education grant, listing the "1619 Project", a classroom program inspired by a New York Times initiative focusing on slavery and African American history, and critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi's ideas as materials to be taught in K-12 schools.
After a group of 20 attorney generals urged the Biden administration to reconsider the educational proposals, US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced in mid-July that his department would allow local schools to determine on their own what is taught in American history and civics grant programmes.
The Biden administration and Democratic state authorities have largely dismissed criticism of the CRT as "conspiracy theories" propagated by Fox News and allies of former President Donald Trump.
As many Republican lawmakers have been pushing to have the CRT theory banned from school curriculums, Florida in June joined Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma in banning teaching in public schools that "any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior," which, according to the legislation, was often found in "critical race theory."