The bill banning critical race theory has become law in Idaho. Republican Governor Brad Little has signed a bill that now prohibits public schools — including public universities — from teaching the concept.
Critical race theory is a concept that explains the way white supremacy and America’s history of inequality and racism continue to have an impact on modern-day society. Kimberle Crenshaw, a law professor at UCLA and Columbia, told CNN last year, it was “an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it.”
As previously reported, According to Education Week, other states — including The 1619 Project helmer Nikole Hannah-Jones’ native state of Iowa, as well as Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia — have drafted bills that would ban the teaching of what they deem “divisive” or “racist and sexist” concepts.
Lawmakers in Tennessee have also moved to ban critical race theory instruction in their public schools. The state’s House Education Administration Committee voted 12-3 to prohibit teaching elements of the theory.
Bills have also passed in Utah and Arkansas.
The Organization of American Historians, the nation’s largest professional organization of scholars of U.S. history, released a statement last year where in which they wrote: “The best historical inquiry acknowledges and interrogates systems of oppression — racial, ethnic, gender, class — and openly addresses the myriad injustices that these systems have perpetuated through the past and into the present.”
“The history we teach,” they continued, “must investigate the core conflict between a nation founded on radical notions of liberty, freedom and equality and a nation built on slavery, exploitation and exclusion.”
“Critical race theory provides a lens through which we can examine and understand systemic racism and its many consequences. It does not introduce the ‘twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms,’” contended the historians, “but rather illustrates the wide gap between the ideal and reality of opportunity in our shared past, as well as long-unfulfilled promises and possibilities.”