OPINION | Conservative groups, politicians threaten critical race education

Kaitlin Lowe, Contributing Columnist

Critical Race Theory is an increasingly hot topic; does it belong in our education system?
(Gabe Darley)

Segregation. Criminal Justice Policy. The legacies of enslavements on Black Americans. Prejudice in the U.S. The living racism in our U.S policies — when will it stop and when will it be heard?

After the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, an intellectual movement emerged that delved into the legal studies regarding racial inequities persisting in the U.S. government and laws called Critical Race Theory. CRT explains that race is socially constructed and institutionalized, as the very idea of race itself favors “white” causing people of color’s subordination. 

The presence of CRT has become prevalent in higher levels of education, but hot debate has recently sparked controversy over where and if CRT should be taught in a vast manner such as in our public school system.

Conservative groups argue CRT being taught in our schools serves as a notion that America is racist and evil — and it is being taught as a mechanism to cause divide or revolt in the country. In the past year, 24 state legislatures have brought forth 54 individual bills intended to limit teachings on race, sex and gender in the United States in K-12 public schools. Glenn Youngkin, a Virginia governor candidate, along with various other political figures have announced their dedication to banning CRT in public schools upon their first day in office. 

Looking for answers as to where this recent backlash has come from, we can easily trace its roots back to President Trump’s executive order in which he banned federal agencies from training those against racist and sexist prejudicial actions. Trump stated it encouraged retaliating against the country as it provides notions that the United States is “inherently racist or sexist.”

If we allow the C​​RT ban, how far will we let governmental institutions impose dictations on school teachings? The very idea is a violation to the first amendment at its very basis. Critical Race Theory is not “anti-American” as Trump states. It is educating our citizens on how our past has shaped the reality of our world and highlighting what we have overcome over the years and what we still must accomplish. 

Teaching our youth these concepts is the first step into which we must take to right our wrongs overtime — as there is a deeply immersed prejudice bias in our government systems that reflects upon daily life.

It is known that the youth of this country and this generation will be the change makers.

Education is valuable, young empowered minds are valuable, and therefore our country and state legislatures must add to that value by teaching Critical Race Theory.