On the eve of the Fourth of July, America's proud Independence Day, I'm going to write about so-called Critical Race Theory, which challenges the enduring values our Founding Fathers believed in when they signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. By contrast, CRT demonizes white people and aims to teach our children and grandchildren that the United States is a racist country founded on slavery.
Today, let's remember the most memorable line from the late, great Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s inspiring "I Have a Dream" speech: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." To me, those words are as powerful today as they were when King delivered them at the March on Washington 58 years ago.
As someone who has advocated for civil rights and racial equality throughout my adult life, I'm disappointed to note that in some parts of our great country many "progressives" and most socialists think CRT should be taught in public schools to convince our kids and grandkids that the United States is an evil country that exploits "people of color," a category that includes my Mexican-American daughter and 16-year-old twin grandsons, who don't feel exploited.
Critical Race Theory is currently under discussion in the often dysfunctional Washoe County School District and also in the suburban Seattle school district that sets policy for the high school my grandsons will attend in the fall. I urge parents to fight back against a pernicious racist theory and admire those who are mobilizing around the country against the teaching of CRT in taxpayer-funded public schools.
Carson City School Superintendent Richard Stokes has assured me that CRT won't be raising its ugly head in our local schools. "The Carson City School District has made no changes to its social studies curriculum . . . and there are no plans to begin teaching Critical Race Theory in our schools," Stokes told me in a reassuring email exchange.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal last Monday, City Journal Contributing Editor Christopher Rufo asserted that CRT "has divided Americans into categories of 'oppressor' (white people) and 'oppressed' (black people), and promotes radical concepts such as 'spirit murder' -- what public schools supposedly do to black children." Rufo went on to describe what's happening in politically correct classrooms, where young children are forced "to rank themselves according to a racial hierarchy, subjecting white teachers to 'antiracist therapy' and encouraging parents to become 'white traitors,'" whatever that means. Yes, really.
Rufo concludes that "Critical Race Theory is a dangerous ideology that will take the nation into racial retrograde (backwards). Americans should have no hesitation in opposing it." Former WSJ Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker added that CRT "is literally the antithesis of the educational values that have driven the West's unrivaled economic, social and technological progress for the past few centuries." Amen!
Meanwhile, "The FedSmith" tells federal bureaucrats that "there is little doubt CRT will find its way into some agencies in their diversity training." It already has at the Defense Department, where airmen, soldiers and sailors are being taught to judge each other on the basis of skin color even though we know that members of our armed forces must work together regardless of ethnicity or skin color to defeat the enemy.
Bottom line: We should keep Critical Race Theory out of our public schools and the military because it aims to tear us apart rather than bring us together in these perilous times.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.