Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on March 17, 2021: “There is no room in classrooms for things like critical race theory”. Weeks later, on March 29, a Texas state lawmaker introduced a bill to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from public schools. On March 30, a Rhode Island state lawmaker introduced a similar bill. Across the nation, Republicans are slowly and steadily attacking the very foundations of education on race and racism, targeting CRT in particular.
This attack isn’t new. In September 2020, former President Donald Trump’s administration issued a directive to federal agencies to stop all training that relies on CRT. Reportedly, this was an institutionalized attack by Republicans on educating Americans about race. Attacking CRT, in particular, can be an effective way to end meaningful discussions around racism. Following this movement helps Americans understand why it is a vital part of every child’s education and why the GOP is targeting it, and what they hope to achieve. Let’s deep dive into understanding CRT itself.
‘Accepting the presence of white supremacy, understanding the role of racism and acknowledging racism’
Critical Race Theory can be seen as a movement, not just a system of education. In its most basic form, CRT helps people recognize the effects of historical racism in modern American life. It originated in the 1980s, as a sub-field of legal studies. Kimberlé Crenshaw and Derrick Bell are widely considered to be the founders of CRT. Back then, the duo used CRT to address how the conditions of African-American communities had not improved despite civil rights legislation. Over the years, it has advanced from a field of legal studies to become a key way to understand society as a whole.