Mississippi’s governor is calling for the state Legislature to ban critical race theory and related ideologies from taxpayer-funded classrooms.
“There has been a push from radical leftists across the nation to teach children a vicious lie: that this country is fundamentally racist and that your skin color makes you inherently racist,” Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, wrote in his Fiscal Year 2023 Executive Budget Recommendation (pdf).
Reeves noted those “two core principles” comprise critical race theory, which is partially derived from the Marxist-inspired critical theory school of thought formed in the 1930s.
“It runs contrary to basic history,” Reeves wrote. “It is purely propaganda for a group that wants to accumulate power by dividing American children into victims and oppressors. Elite power-seekers want to be seen as saviors, so they attempt to divide, humiliate, and indoctrinate our children.”
While it’s fine to teach about basic American history—including failures and successes—state lawmakers should not “allow the creeping influence of critical race theory to undermine our children’s educations,” the governor added.
Critical race theory and associated worldviews such as diversity, equity, and inclusion training, as well as the “anti-racist” movement, have sparked debate across the United States as to whether it should be included in the classroom curriculum. Some parents have warned that the material is divisive and is designed to indoctrinate young children.
Some, including American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, have claimed that critical race theory isn’t being taught in public school classrooms, arguing that it’s mainly confined to the halls of colleges and universities. However, others have said that it strongly influences the aforementioned diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings, which are often used in corporate settings.
Christopher Rufo, perhaps the foremost anti-critical race theory activist, has argued that in some school systems, the theory is everywhere.
“They promote race essentialism, they promote collective guilt based on skin color and other inborn attributes,” he told NTD earlier this year, “and they also promote neo-segregation.”
As the 2022 midterm elections approach, critical race theory will likely become thrust into the spotlight again. Some analysts argued that Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin was able to defeat Democrat Terry McAuliffe earlier this month—despite Virginia having voted in favor of President Joe Biden in 2020—by repeatedly focusing on public school curriculum and whether parents should have the right to determine what their children learn.
Earlier this month, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill that bars critical race theory in classrooms and instead would require “factual, objective” instruction for students.