The public has two more days to make comments against a proposed rule by the Biden administration that would promote the execrable “critical race theory” in public schools.
The rule is legally suspect and morally monstrous. The mere fact that it was proposed at all is inexcusable.
Critical race theory is a neo-Marxist ideology that espouses overt racism in the name of anti-racism. In effect, it teaches that racial identity is at the center of modern life and that the United States was founded on, and remains a pernicious embodiment of, racism. Its very soul supposedly is imbued with racism.
It teaches that all white people are inherently racist, that blacks cannot be racist because they have no power, and that free market capitalism must be jettisoned because it is a tool of white oppression.
Critical race theory’s trendiest faux-intellectual, Ibram X. Kendi, has written that “in order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.”
Manifestations of CRT already in left-wing public-school systems are numerous and horrendous. Think tank leader Christopher Rufo has written about some of them. “In Philadelphia,” for example, “an elementary school forced fifth-graders to celebrate ‘Black communism’ and simulate a Black Power rally to free 1960s radical Angela Davis from prison, where she had once been held on charges of murder.”
He also noted that “in Seattle, the school district told white teachers that they are guilty of ‘spirit murder’ against black children and must ‘bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgement of [their] thieved inheritance.’”
Those are just two of more than 1,000 examples Rufo has cataloged.
Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, President Joe Biden’s appointees at the Department of Education have proposed a rule making critical race theory an essential part of federal grant awards for several “American History and Civics Education” programs. In doing so, they have effectively created a backdoor mechanism to make it the basis for more widespread mandates through the main law governing all federal actions related to K-12 schools.
The rule specifically cites the toxic, malevolent work of the huckster Kendi as authoritative. It also cites the New York Times’s widely discredited “1619 Project,” which ludicrously argued that the desire to keep and spread slavery was at the “very center of the United States’ national narrative.”
To inflict this horrid ideology on young schoolchildren is to cause tremendous emotional distress. It emphasizes division instead of unity, race-centric consciousness instead of Martin Luther King’s ideal of colorblindness, and economic “equity” (i.e., Marxist economics) rather than equality before the law.
This prescription of curricular content for Department of Education grants also appears to violate the law. Three different federal laws — the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (as reauthorized and amended in 2001 and 2015) — prohibit the federal government from directing or controlling curricula and instructional materials for K-12 schools. Nothing in the law creating the grant programs in question mentions or provides an exception to those prohibitions.
Biden’s proposed rule would clearly violate the law by prescribing a curriculum. What’s more, it’s morally repugnant. Under the rule, programs securing the grants “must … take into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities, and discriminatory policy and practice in American history,” citing Kendi’s garbage ideas and the 1619 Project specifically as recommended examples of approved approaches.