FROM IOWA HOUSE REPUBLICANS
The truth is the debate around critical race theory (CRT) is nuanced, confusing and academic. Those looking for a simple explanation of CRT and the arguments for and against are often disappointed. Furthermore, political combatants on the left and the right don’t necessarily define CRT or the practical implementation of its principles the same way.
But that does not mean it can’t be clarified in a concise way.
What is Critical Race Theory?
In short, critical race theory is a pseudo-academic theory that rejects the founding principles of the United States. Like Marxism, Critical Race Theory divides society into oppressors and oppressed. Marxism bases it on class, while CRT bases this division on race. According to CRT everything is about race and power. The American ideals of individual liberty and rights are foolish nonsense put forth to further white supremacy.
CRT’s pushers begin with two assumptions. First, race is socially constructed. That means “race is a purely cultural and rhetorical phenomenon, which has no basis in biology.”
Second, racism is systemic. That means every human construction from governments to corporations to universities to K-12 schools to Mom and Pop small businesses to college football tailgates to youth sports to church bake sales have racism permanently embedded within. Those institutions, activities and interactions either build or dismantle racism and white supremacy. Literally every single person regardless of socioeconomic status, location or personality cannot help but perpetuate or undermine systems of racial oppression. There is no neutral position because CRT says neutral does not exist. Neutral or any position between being actively racist or actively fighting racism is racist. Neutral is an illusion created by racism and white supremacy.
Why is Critical Race Theory dangerous?
The theory, had it remained in college classrooms and university faculty discussions, is just another academic theory. But when CRT’s principals are put into practice in various settings, it becomes dangerous. Why? CRT defines people based on their skin color. Their whiteness, or blackness, or Asian-ness, or Hispanic-ness defines who they are, not their individual personality, hopes, and dreams.
CRT exists to destroy and tear down, not to unite and build. It is not designed to play down and heal racial differences, but to accentuate and capitalize on them. CRT’s pushers directly and actively are fighting to destroy Martin Luther King’s dream. They believe it is naïve garbage. The only way to correct the improper and immoral distribution of power is to dismantle every system in America. American society is so “systemically oppressive to minority populations, and that racism is built into the very fabric of social life,” it cannot be fixed. It can and should be dismantled. That means even when “overtly racist policies, practices, or actions are ‘removed’ or ‘rectified,’ racism still exists—it is simply manifesting in new ways.”
But that isn’t the truly dangerous part. The truly dangerous part is “racism cannot ever truly be solved, according to CRT. Children are being taught that they live in a society that is riddled with racism and hate. They are being told that, due to factors outside their control—their melanin levels—they are oppressed, or they are the oppressors. They are also being taught that there is no resolution to this problem. Consider what havoc this is likely to wreak on young minds.
“We have a problem. You are the problem, and there is no way to fix it. You’ll never be able to do enough to repair the damage that you perpetuate simply by existing.” CRT is incredibly disempowering. Children who are placed in the ‘oppressed’ category are told that the system is rigged against them. In such a situation, why should a child make any attempt to succeed?” (Source) https://newdiscourses.com/2021/06/when-critical-theory-took-on-race/#post-4392-footnote-ref-2
Why did legislative Republicans pass House File 802?
Critical Race Theory is a Marxist inspired dogma that has converted a surprisingly high number of people in government, corporate and educational leadership positions. They are using those positions to engage in coercive political advocacy inside the workplace and inside K-12 schools and universities to reeducate young and old into their political and cultural worldview.
House File 802 was passed to reassert that the basis of public education values is found in the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and its Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not in a theory dreamed up by left-wing activists.
Key among those values it is the ideal of meritocracy. Throughout American history our leaders realized this ideal needed support. That is why the legal protections found in the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Iowa Code Chapter 216 are in place. They represent the progress made towards the American ideal of equality found in the Declaration of Independence and MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Yet, CRT trainings are taking place and curriculum is being taught that discriminates on the basis of race and sex.
Social justice is just a synonym for the principles of critical race theory. Teachers are pressured to be overt advocates for social justice using CRT. As such, objectivity in the classroom is seen as moral failing. CRT advocates see objectivity in the classroom as a barricade to their truth. CRT advocates are constrained by classroom objectivity and therefore objectivety is a barrier to their righteous moral crusade to rid the world of racism and should be justifiably removed.
That is why HF 802 is necessary.
What does House File 802 do?
The bill prohibits taxpayer dollars from supporting training or curricula that promotes coercive political indoctrination and racism and sexism within our universities, our public schools, our local governments or our state government departments.
What are easy ways to describe CRT?
One of the leading activists putting Critical Race Theory into actual policy at the government, corporate, university and K-12 levels is Ibram X. Kendi author of “How to be an AntiRacist” and “AntiRacist Baby” who teaches two key doctrines:
“One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.” The claim of “not racist” neutrality is a mask for racism.” Kendi adds “There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.”
That is like saying either you are a cop or a criminal. There is no in-between space for non-cops and non-criminals. You are either actively fighting crime or you are actively abetting crime.
The second doctrine is:
“The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
That is like saying the best way to drain a pool is fill it with more water.
What to watch for from CRT disciples:
- “No one is teaching Critical Race Theory”
This is semantics. CRT activists are making a distinction between teaching actual classes on the canons of CRT and classes being taught and policies being developed using the principles demanded by CRT. High school students are more than likely not signing up for a class titled “Critical Race Theory” but teachers who believe in the doctrine teach a class on US Government that teaches the US is systemically racist and that systemic racism is the one and only reason that one American may have a worse personal financial situation than another. Furthermore, the National Education Association adopted a resolution at its annual meeting held July 30-July 3, which vows to defend teachers who teach the principles of CRT in the classroom. Which begs the questions, if no one is teaching CRT in K-12 classrooms, who is there to defend?
- “HF 802 bans racial honesty in education”
“Racial honesty in education” is the latest phrase used by CRT advocates to attempt to make it acceptable to parents. According to the NY Post, NEA President Becky Pringle “will make public statements across all lines of media that support racial honesty in education including but not limited to critical race theory.” Teaching students that one race is inherently superior to another isn’t “racial honesty” it is racism.
- “HF 802 helps mischaracterize what critical race theory really is.”
The Las Vegas Sun editorialized the following on July 6, 2021, “Critical race theory is not about scapegoating white kids for the nation’s problems or forcing them into thinking they’re racists. It’s about enlightening American children of all ethnicities, and giving them the understanding they need to keep our nation moving forward toward equality and fairness for all populations.”
Two things are immediately apparent with this explanation. First, CRT by its own definitions scapegoats white Americans for the nation’s problems by teaching that they are helplessly racist. Second, CRT does not move towards equality, it moves towards equity. Those two terms are not synonyms. Equality is what America has been doing for the last 50-60 years since the Civil Rights Era by changing laws and behaviors to provide equality of opportunity. CRT has openly announced that this approach has failed. Instead CRT zealots teach the concept of “equity” which is equality of outcomes. Which, by definition, is deeply ingrained in Marxist, socialist, and communist dogmas.
- “HF 802 bans Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training”
The bill specifically states DEI training is not banned. What is revealed by this argument is that CRT believers appear to be intellectually incapable of conducting DEI trainings without teaching that one race is inherently racist and another is inherently doomed to victimhood.
- “HF 802 is a political overreaction.”
Americans and Iowans recognize racism when they see it. They recognize coercive political advocacy in the classroom and in the workplace when confronted by it. The reaction to left-wing ideology forcing its way into classrooms is genuine and comes from folks of all political parties, all races and regardless of whether or not they parents of school age children.
- “HF 802 is censorship.”
The only thing banned by HF 802 is brainwashing. Individual liberty, equality of opportunity, free and open inquiry, and free speech and debate are protected by HF 802. If a practitioner wants to explain and present data that systemic racism is a cause of the disparities in outcomes for every American, HF 802 does not prevent that. Teaching that viewpoint as an unalterable and undeniable fact without allowing dissent, debate or questions is ideological reeducation and is not only not allowed by HF 802. HF 802 does not allow teaching as fact racial superiority or race based collective guilt regardless if those ideas are pushed by white supremacist groups or CRT zealots.
- “Systemic racism and sexism are facts not opinions.”
If that were true, the furious counterattack against CRT would not have materialized. Clearly many Americans and Iowans see CRT principles as coercive political advocacy. Racism and sexism clearly exist. As explained earlier, CRT fanatics believe – without supporting data – that every system, every human interaction has racism as the dominant factor. Until empirical data is presented and reviewed determining systemic racism and sexism as the ONLY reason for outcome disparities in Iowa, systemic racism and sexism remains just one of many possible causes.