The National Education Association, the largest teacher’s union in the United States, has approved a plan for Critical Race Theory to be implemented in all classrooms nationwide.
The radical agenda was adopted after the 100th NEA Assembly, which was held at the Washington Convention Center and was livestreamed as a virtual meeting. Both President Joe Biden and Jill Biden spoke to the educators in a reportedly “mostly empty” hall in Washington. It was symbolic of the lack of public support for the hard left’s racially divisive agenda.
Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and activist against Critical Race Theory, reported that the agenda item was adopted.
BREAKING: The nation's largest teachers union has approved a plan to promote critical race theory in all 50 states and 14,000 local school districts.
The argument that "critical race theory isn't in K-12 schools" is officially dead. pic.twitter.com/BMRDoAK0sA
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) July 3, 2021
“The nation’s largest teachers union has approved a plan to promote critical race theory in all 50 states and 14,000 local school districts,” Rufo reported. “The argument that ‘critical race theory isn’t in K-12 schools’ is officially dead.”
It is important to read the nature of the NEA agenda, which is blatantly political. Among the agenda items is to promote a marketing campaign (a critic might call it a ‘disinformation’ campaign); defend the academically discredited 1619 Project; coordinate with the marxist group Black Lives Matter and the Zinn Education Project, named after known communist Howard Zinn; as well as ‘fight back’ against anti-CRT rhetoric.
Note that examining the scholarly merits and debating CRT in an intellectually honest fashion is opposed by the NEA. This is a radical agenda that is about politics, not academic inquiry.
The NEA’s plan to indoctrinate schoolchildren with CRT is sweeping in its scope. Rufo reported further on the developments.
“The union has also approved funding for ‘increasing the implementation’ of CRT in K-12 curricula and for attacking conservative groups who oppose CRT indoctrination,” Rufo continued. “The teachers union has made critical race theory its #1 priority—and want to implement it nationwide.”
“The NEA represents 3 million public school employees in all 50 states,” he continued. “They have a $350 million annual budget and an army of operatives in 14,000 local communities. They have now declared war on parents who oppose critical race theory—and parents must fight back!”
The NEA’s website reinforces the openly political nature of the educators’ agenda.
“Through interactive workshops, sessions, panels and plenaries, attendees have the opportunity to access information, resources, plan, strategize and engage on issues that impact educational opportunities for communities of color, LGBTQ and women,” the NEA website states. “In the process, we: Build local power; Look to the future; Center intersectionality; Build community.”
“In our daily work and through the conference, we fight to bring racial and social justice to all communities,” the teachers union states. “Racial Justice: The systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone. Social Justice: A society in which the distribution of resources is equitable, all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure, and individuals are self-determining and interdependent.”
The teacher’s union is going so far as to organize counter-attacks against those who question the educators.
“NEA will research the organizations attacking educators doing anti-racist work and/or use the research already done and put together a list of resources and recommendations for state affiliates, locals, and individual educators to utilize when they are attacked,” the measure reads on NEA’s website.
The NEA President Becky Pringle called pushback against the CRT agenda “senseless fearmongering” and argued that teachers must “present to students the good, bad, and ugly of our past so that they can build a better, brighter future.”
Pringle brazenly pushes the nonsensical talking point that parents who oppose CRT are advocating to “ignore racism.” She also accuses states that are passing laws to keep radical activists from politicizing the public school agendas as seeking to ‘rewrite history’ and ‘censor teachers.’
“Today, more than 25 states have introduced or passed laws to censor teachers from speaking about race and racism and deny students the right to a truthful and honest education,” Pringle argues.
“These dangerous attempts to stoke fears and rewrite history not only diminish the injustices experienced by generations of Americans, they prevent educators from challenging our students to achieve a more equitable future.”
This is gaslighting at its finest: Teachers are accountable to school boards, parents, taxpayers and state governments. There are academic and ethical standards that must be abided by, which are not tantamount to ‘censorship.’ She was not alone in her advocacy for the political agenda of Critical Race Theory being taught in public schools.
“The NEA has to take that explicit stance, because then that protects those of us who are doing the real work in the field,” added Kumar Rashad, an NEA delegate from Louisville, KY. “I want to know that my union has my back when I’m doing nothing but spreading the truth, which is empowering a group of people to be independent—which is our ultimate goal of education.”
It should be noted that slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the civil rights movement have been taught in intellectually honest fashion for over 50 years in the United States. CRT has nothing to do with teaching such topics in balanced and honest fashion. Critical Race Theory is an offshoot of neomarxist Critical Theory, which is a radical project to weaponize the culture to promote the marxist agenda of destroying capitalism, the nuclear family, and religion.
Indeed, teachers around the country have begun teaching CRT with Maoist-like ‘struggle sessions,’ which shame white children for their skin color and accuse them of being the ‘oppressors’ of the ‘oppressed’ black people. There is no real recognition or explanation of the progress made in the United States, which resulted in a two-term black president, a black female vice president, and multiple black Supreme Court Justices.
Instead, the teachers weaponize past racial injustice by wielding a potent technique called the ‘pedagogy of discomfort.‘ It is a teaching tactic consistent with Megan Boler’s method of provoking emotional distress and fostering disorientation among children in order to make them more receptive to radical ideas.
“In most humanities courses, students are challenged to subject their own self-image, beliefs, and values to investigation,” one blogger summarized. “This self-reflection lends itself to emotional resistance in the form of ‘defensive anger,’ ‘fear of change,’ and ‘fears of losing our personal and cultural identities’ (Boler 176). As Stenberg and Winans both observe, emotion has the potential to derail critical inquiry when not treated correctly, particularly in courses that focus on racism, sexism, and other forms of inequality.”
As a critic put it: “I believe it [the pedagogy of discomfort] is not only theorerically wrong, but immoral, because it subtly inverts the moral universe of the classroom. And I believe, takes advantage of the student’s lack of knowledge and experience. Therefore, any educator who uses this pedagogical approach is not involved in education, but in deception and manipulation and indoctrination.”
CRT follows in the vein of such programs as Paul Freire’s controversial “pedagogy of the oppressed,” which sets out to create a Manichaeistic narrative of “oppressors” and “oppressed.” It is a reimagining of the Marxist “proletariat” versus the “bourgeoisie” narrative that has been used to usher in social revolutions, and invariably, authoritarian governments that dictate all economic means of production and social relations.
In this scheme, children are simply means to these miseducators’ ends; merely fodder to be deployed to achieve victory in their self-imagined Marxist class struggle. The schoolchildren are rendered abstractions in their radical teaching program, and not recognized as individual human beings who own their own lives, and thus, should be instructed to determine their own life-paths towards self-actualization.
If you want educators that treat schoolchildren as if they are devoid of individual agency, personality, and responsibility, and imply they are somehow morally culpable for the immorality of those who died generations ago, then by all means, support the Critical Race Theory agenda.
But if you want our children to grow up as individual human beings capable of thinking for themselves, who take personal responsibility for treating others justly and fairly, and who respect the progress made in America while seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and equality to others, then the Critical Race Theory indoctrination program should be kept far away from our children’s schools.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.