Critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi likened parents’ reactions to critical race theory to the pro-segregation and pro-Klu Klux Klan response after the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desegregation case. School curriculum based on critical race theory indoctrinates children with racist ideas, but in a Wednesday livestream with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Kendi called this education is “crucial” for students.
“The only thing that I can compare this recent wave of what is happening in our school districts, what’s happening in our school districts, what’s happening in our communities, is it really reminds me of the reaction and the response to the Brown v. Board of Education decision when there was widespread fear in certain schools and certain communities that, quote, those desegregated schools with those black children were going to be harmful to white children,” Kendi said.
“It’s similarly being cast, or framed, as if teaching about history, teaching about racism, even teaching about slavery is going to somehow harm white children,” he said.
On Thursday, AFT president Randi Weingarten claimed that critical race theory wasn’t taught in K-12 schools, even though her own union said “critical race theory allows educators to give our students the opportunity to understand the full breadth and depth of the American society.”
Kendi went on to criticize legislators who have been pushing to limit the spread of critical race theory in schools, stressing the importance of such teaching.
“To me, we live in a dangerously racist society,” he said. “There are racist ideas that are swirling around that are teaching darker-skinned kids that there is something wrong with them because of the color of their skin. There are ideas swirling around that are teaching white kids that there is something right about them because of the color of their skin.”
While Kendi didn’t provide any examples of those swirling ideas, he said that he didn’t know of any antiracist teacher who would teach children that they are inherently evil and racist, even though “antiracist” that teaches privilege theory does just that.
Seattle Public Schools tells teachers that the education system is guilty of “spirit murder” against black children and that white teachers must “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgment of [their] thieved inheritance.” Buffalo Public Schools teaches students that “all white people” perpetuate systemic racism.
A school district’s “equity” curriculum in Northeastern Illinois teaches that “white identity is inherently racist” in its anti-racist programming. In the same school district, teachers must instruct students to read aloud “Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things),” by Anastasia Higginbotham, which teaches that, “Racism is a white person’s problem and we are all caught up in it.” The list goes on and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars have been funneled into implementing critical race theory curriculum into schools.
Kendi, who received a $10 million donation from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last year, also encouraged teachers to find ways around legislation banning critical race theory, comparing them to teachers in the civil rights era.
Educators in the civil rights era taught students not to discriminate against each other. Now, thanks to modern “scholars” like Kendi, students are trained to do the opposite: to see nothing but skin color and to openly practice racial discrimination. Parents’ pushback is an effort to reclaim the dignity of the human person — and it’s telling that “antiracists” like Kendi vigorously oppose their efforts.
Haley Strack is an intern at The Federalist and a student at Hillsdale College studying politics and journalism.