Undaunted by national scrutiny over critical race theory (CRT), the National Education Association (NEA) has countered with a strong rebuke.
At issue is the presentation of this topic to children from K-12. With their recent adoption of Rule 39, the NEA plans to move forward with CRT and the 1619 Project. In their continued quest for “honesty in education," they will provide classroom materials and will counter any efforts to stop them — including school boards and state legislatures. Specifically, Rule 39 reads in part — “will provide for materials to critique white supremacy, patriarchy, empires, capitalism, ableism, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society." NEA will also partner with the new “BLM at School” program.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) also has joined in and is designating substantial legal defense funds for teachers.
Clearly the racial history of American behavior has many incidents that were criminal, disrespectful and counterproductive. But we fought a war party over slavery and there has been countless laws codified to improve conditions. Additionally we have spent trillions on government programs to improve the minority condition. We have done much work, but there is more to do.
The basic tenet of CRT, is that Western culture has failed minority populations as social, governmental and economic systems are designed to suppress advancement of non-white cultures. It concludes that necessary reform will happen too slow or not at all. Therefore it is necessary to replace Western culture with something more favorable — but never unspecified.
The NEA/AFT unions are bringing a robust ideological and political agenda to the classroom. The essential question is: who has the final authority to say what is taught in the classroom? Additionally, are American students keeping pace scholastically with their competitors?
We can agree that we must teach our racial history with an objective accounting of the facts. But to make unsubstantiated and misleading statements via CRT/1619 Project will only ensure continued racial division. To blame capitalism as the cause for minority failure ignores those who have excelled in many areas of technical expertise.
So, we need to remain vigilant. The tenets of CRT are the means to an agenda far beyond the classroom. But we can properly address our history and not destroy Western civilization in the process.