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One bill in the House ready for debate prohibits critical theory-infused training in our Regents and K-12 schools for faculty and students. Maybe you wonder what is critical theory and what is Marxism 2.0? Critical theory is simply Marxism that has been updated for modern-day. It is Marxism 2.0. What we are prohibiting is simply Marxist 2.0 training in our schools. Let’s dive in.

Traditionally Marxism is an economic and political ideology based on class warfare. People were separated into the wealthy class, which is the oppressor, and the working class, which is the oppressed. Under Marxism the working class, or the oppressed, rises up and defeats and destroys the wealthy class, the oppressor, by violent means if necessary. Marxism has religious overtones, being atheistic in nature and opposed to Christianity. It is directly opposed to capitalism and the free market.


Marxism is updated by adopting critical theory into its model. Marxism remains an economic and political ideology but now the 2.0 version is based on race warfare. People are separated by race into the white class, which is the oppressor (thus the term “white supremacy”), and black or brown class (or the current term “people of color”), which are the oppressed. Under this updated Marxism, the “people of color”, or the oppressed, are to rise up and defeat and destroy the white class, the oppressor, again, by violent means if necessary. This race-based Marxism also has similar religious elements, with atheism predominating, all united against Christianity or its expressions in culture and institutions. It, too, has disdain and hatred of capitalism and the free market. Under Marxism 2.0 other minority groups, that is, women and individuals self-identifying as LGBT, are included with the oppressed. Men and heterosexuals are included with the oppressors.

Basic tenets of critical theory also include:

  1. An individual, by virtue of his race or sex is inherently or systematically racist, sexist or oppressive.
  2. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of their race or sex.
  3. America or the state of Iowa are fundamentally racist or sexist.

These ideas are what we are prohibiting in training for faculty, staff, and students in our Regents and K-12 schools under this bill. I don’t believe Iowans want this kind of training in our schools.

This kind of training is divisive and agitating and is actually discriminatory and racist and sexist in nature. It provokes hostility and aggression. It actually results in violence and warfare. Marxism has always done that in history and this version of it will not have different results. It has done and will do the same. We have seen it at work in the riots in our cities last summer.

Some may wonder where critical theory or this brand of Marxism came from. These ideas originated from leftist European intellectuals in the 1930’s. It migrated to the United States and gained steadily increasing influence but was largely confined to the academic world until recent years when it made itself felt in society through the activity of Black Lives Matter and other groups.

Maybe some wonder if this is a problem in our schools. Yes, indeed it is, especially in the universities, and is growing in K-12 schools. And it has been a problem for years. Recent violations of the freedom of speech on our Regents campuses are directly related to critical theory indoctrination. I have received emails from teachers who tell me they are teaching the 1619 Project in schools as historical fact and it is infused with critical theory ideas. The House Government Oversight Committee held a hearing last week with Ames School officials regarding their Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action held Feb. 1st-5th. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) at School curriculum is also permeated with critical theory ideas. Critical theory is taught and promoted in classes, seminars, workshops, and presentations given at our schools. I have touched on this in several previous newsletters.

Just to be clear: this prohibition doesn’t touch traditional training that teaches respect for all, no matter their race or sex. This training we have known and understood for decades is freedom-based. It has taught racial equality under the law and tolerance, respect, and reconciliation between races as was the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:  “ judge not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” The bill encourages this type of training to be taught and used.

Additionally, schools will still be able to use training that teaches respect for students’ and faculty’s 1st Amendment rights of free speech and intellectual expression as has been traditionally done. This is basic to freedom and what we as Americans have long valued. Discussion of critical theory or Marxism as an idea is still allowed in the classroom but teaching, training, advocating, and promoting using critical theory, which is called “divisive concepts” defined in this bill, are not allowed.

Readers should understand that adherents to critical theory or Marxism 2.0 have abandoned freedom as a strongly held value. Marxism never has been and never will be about freedom. It is about imposing critical theory ideology on others and that is what we are seeing in our Regents universities and growing in our K-12 schools. That is not education, but indoctrination.

Some might say we are restricting speech in our schools and that this bill is therefore unconstitutional. I say, not true. This bill is requiring our schools to take a neutral stance on controversial public issues. And as taxpayer institutions that’s what they ought to be doing.

We need unity around common principles and ideals. This Marxism or critical theory will not achieve that. Our nation was not founded on Marxism or critical theory. For unity we need to return to the founding American constitutional principles and ideals: liberty, protection of individual rights, personal responsibility, limited government, justice, equality under the law, free market opportunity, rule of law, and self-government. We are the most blessed nation on earth because of these values and ideals along with our faith. These have nothing to do with race or sex. These are our unifiers. Let’s not trade them off for something less. This bill requires we not adopt something less. Let’s stick with freedom. Let’s stick with “American.”

Author: Sandy Salmon


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