Embracing the CRT
Number of words: 1132
Critical race theory(CRT) is an academic concept whose main idea is that racism is not a product of individual prejudice or bias but rather a social construct, something that has been embedded in the US’s legal policies and systems. (Stephen, 2021) For the last two decades, the theory has become a serious issue in our country. (Lorenzo, 2016) Many states are campaigning against CRT and fighting to see it banned because they think it gives America a very harmful reputation in as much as history is concerned. Whether good or bad, we all have the right to learn of our history and hence CRT should not be banned. By teaching CRT in schools, American people will be taught of our wrongdoings in the past and hence will avoid repeating mistakes in the future ahead. I will be illustrating why some Americans are trying to eliminate CRT in our schools and will try to debunk their arguments.
Several reasons have been given to banning CRT and the need to raise patriotism is one among them. Some people think CRT is a threat to our patriotism. I have been part of the military and for sure military runs on patriotism. The military recruitment system in our country runs voluntarily. The US needs to stimulate patriotism in people so that they are willing to join the army. With the loss of patriotism, only a few people will be joining the army and this connects to society, ideology, and laws.
According to Santos, (2021), the governor of Arizona State in the person of Doug Ducey signed a law that bans public learning institutions from teaching lessons that promote racism, ethnicity, or sexism. Calling that mentioning uncomfortable things in the classroom is against the law. (Santos, 2021) This Governor’s action proves that most Americans regard CRT as victimizing African-Americans and putting blame on the whites. In other terms, it is like some people think that Americans are somehow embarrassed by their dark history and hence such history should be done away with so that other people will never know about it. In my opinion, however, we must learn about our history no matter how embarrassing it may be, face the criticisms as they are so that we don’t make the mistake of repeating our past mistakes. Endowed with different cultures, religions, ethnicity, and communities, our country is so diversified. Therefore, we must learn and appreciate other people’s cultures and history for us to understand and accept the difference. Currently, the American people are divided by race, sexuality, and religion, hence this is a most critical time to bring the critical race theory on board to unite the country.
Discrediting CRT can only be associated with a lack of diversity exposure. (Payne, 2010) As mentioned in my reflection, a friend of mine shared his story about growing up in the city of Tennessee. He had not interacted with people of color because he grew up in a place that was dominated by White people. Although his school was very racist toward non-whites, he didn’t notice that for he had no idea of what racism is all about. He only realized that he had attended a very racist school when he came to California, one of the most racially diversified states in the United State. I think this is the case for most other American States, lack of interactions with racially different people and lack of exposure to other races, communities, or cultures. Therefore, if CRT is to extinct, more such cases will happen and who knows, it could be worse now than imagined. CRT, at least, makes students learn about differences in culture and race and can embrace diversity. If schools will be banned from teaching about CRT, more people will not be able to learn about diversity thus reliving racism.
Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law school professor in Columbia and a CRT founder, said the CRT concept is wrongly represented and some people use it as a tool for politics. To make clear the purpose of the theory, the professor added that CRT is a discipline seeking to explain the way through which racism shapes the laws of the United States and elaborates how the laws have kept on impacting the lives of the people of color. To learn from our past, students need to honestly understand our American history and the episodes of both shame and greatness. In an interview with ABC News, Hofmeister, a public instruction superintendent in Oklahoma state said “I’m sure our educators will include the Oklahoma Academic Standards (OAS) – that which make a mention of the 1921 hateful race massacre.” (Kiara, 2021)
Based on the effect it has had on the people of color particularly, the law in America has played a very important role in explaining what racism is. It should be remembered that slavery was constitutionally legal thus I can sagaciously say that law had a mixed role in American history. It’s enslaved POCs. It’s put a nod to disenfranchising black people. It has promoted racial segregation. It has supported the marginalization of non-white Americans. Boltz and Coles said white young people often do not acknowledge race or experience racism in their day-to-day lives while young African-Americans feel the heat of racism daily. Without exposure to historic racial understanding, they added, children will have their minds being entrenched with bad ideas. (Kiara, 2021)
In conclusion, even though America may have a painful and embarrassing history, the critical race theory teaches our students diversity and gives a useful insight into what people of color have experienced in the past. (Aja, 2014; Payne, 2010) It makes American students open and appreciates other cultures. In addition to this, embracing the critical race theory will help many students differentiate between wrong and right, understand what racism and discrimination are all about, and know-how to avoid them. These are some of the reasons why I believe that CRT plays a significant role in the education system of our country and thus it should be integrated into our education system.
Aja M. (2014) Critical race theory: Its origins, history, and importance to the discourses and rhetorics of race. Frame-Journal of Literacy Studies 27 (2), 9-27.
Kiara, A. (2021) Critical race theory in the classroom: Understanding the debate. ABC News
Lorenzo D. (2016) Beyond the “tenets”: Reconsidering critical race theory in higher education scholarship. Critical Race Theory in Education, 182-199.
Payne H. (2010) The role of critical race theory in higher education. The Vermont Connection 31 (1), 7.
Santos, F. (2021, August 18). Opinion | Arizona has banned talking about uncomfortable things in the Classroom. that undermines the future of the state. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/19/arizona-has-banned-talking-about-uncomfortable-things-classroom-that-undermines-future-state/.
Stephen S. (2021, May 18) What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack? Equity and Diversity Explainer