Over two dozen of Nebraska’s top leaders, led by Gov. Pete Ricketts, are calling on the University of Nebraska (UN) to prevent Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being imposed on its campuses.
The call comes in a letter (pdf) sent Tuesday to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, which will be voting on a resolution that aims to ban the “imposition of Critical Race Theory” later this week. The resolution has been met with opposition from the UN leadership, including UN President Ted Carter and Chancellor Ronnie Green, who have called the resolution a violation of academic freedom.
In the letter, Ricketts and his fellow signatories expressed support for the resolution, arguing that CRT is “a unique and imminent threat” to Nebraska and the UN system. The Republican governor previously called the ideology “Marxism reinvented” that seeks to “reimagine public policy all based on a Marxist worldview.”
“Proponents of CRT seek to ‘fix’ America’s racism and achieve ‘equity’ by a process of racial discrimination in which people in our country would be pitted against one another,” the letter reads. “Rather than identifying specific instances of racism and rooting them out, CRT seeks to define communities based on racial lines and to build public policy and redistribute resources based on skin color.”
The Nebraska leaders, including 22 state senators, warned that taxpayer dollars are being used to push CRT on UN campuses through initiatives such as “Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity,” which was created by Ronnie Green last spring at UN-Lincoln in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the ensuing national debate over race.
“Chancellor Green said he would make ‘anti-racism’ and ‘equity’ a top priority for the university and would require a reexamination of university policies and curriculum,” the letter states. “Similar initiatives at other schools have required students to take courses tainted by CRT and subjected them to racially discriminatory trainings in the name of ‘equity.'”
The letter also responded to a UN-Lincoln statement from earlier this month, which stated that the current anti-CRT movement is “emboldening white supremacist groups like the KKK.”
“This is what proponents of CRT do,” the letter reads. “The university’s Journey Co-Leaders disgustingly claimed supporters of the resolution were unwittingly helping the KKK. This is the mode of operation of CRT proponents—make outrageous claims in an attempt to silence opposition.”
A vote by the UN Board of Regents on the resolution is expected on Aug. 13. Ricketts and the signatories promised that if passed, the resolution would not prevent CRT from being discussed on campus.
“This resolution simply seeks to prevent the imposition of CRT on students, so the university can protect student voices and academic freedom,” they said. “It does not prevent discussion of CRT just as other diverse philosophies, religions and perspectives are discussed every day on campus.”