A Colorado Springs school district banned critical race theory after a black father claimed racism in America would ‘by and large be dead’ if not for institutions and schools ‘keeping it on life support.’
‘I am a direct descendant of the North American slave trade. Both my parents are black. All four of my grandparents are black, all eight of my great grandparents, and all 16 of my great greats. On my mother’s side, my ancestors were enslaved in Alabama. On my father’s side, we were enslaved in Texas,’ Derrick Wilburn said during last week’s meeting.
‘I’m not oppressed and I’m not a victim,’ added Wilburn, the founder of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives.
Derrick Wilburn spoke out against critical race theory during a Colorado Springs School District 49 school board meeting on Aug. 13
The school board decided to ban teaching CRT in a 3-2 decision following the meeting
Derrick Wilburn is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives. He has three kids in the Colorado Springs School District 49 and is against critical race theory
The father of three went on to say that he could ‘think of nothing more damaging to a society than to tell a baby born today, that she has grievances against another baby born today, simply because of what their ancestors may have done two centuries ago.’
‘There’s simply no point in doing that to our children, and putting critical race theory into our classrooms in part does that. Putting critical theory into our classrooms is not combating racism. It’s fanning the flames of what little embers are left. I encourage you to support this resolution. Let racism die the death it deserves.’
The Colorado Springs School District 49 school board voted 3-2 banning critical race theory, The Gazette reported.
Critical race theory, which has not been taught in any elementary schools, is an educational program that seeks to understand the roots and persistence of racial disparities in the US.
It has been part of the curriculum in several law school programs.
The video of Wilburn’s speech has been viewed thousands of time on social media as the controversial issue polarizes the country.
Some defended Wilburn’s point of view on Twitter, saying ‘Let racism die the death it deserves,’ while others criticize his words, tweeting, ‘The fellow is so disconnected from the experience of the majority of Americans of color.’
@Caspinsight criticized Derrick Wilburn’s speech against critical race theory
@aeliz318 was among the many who supported Wilburn and the vote to ban CRT
@BrightPledge85 questioned Wilburn’s motives and pointed out inconsistencies
@gregprink1 said that schools should teach CRT as racism does not happen in most homes
@legalrocs pointed out that CRT is not actually taught in school districts in the US
Former President Donald Trump and many prominent conservatives politicians have slammed CRT, referring to it as ‘flagrant racism’ that is being forced into ‘every facet of our society.’
‘We shouldn’t be apologizing to the world,’ Trump said. ‘The radical left is determined to ruin everything in America. That’s what they’re doing. Woke politics takes the life and joy out of everything
Meanwhile, liberals like US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez support CRT, saying teachers should be fluent in ‘dismantling racism.’
‘We know that Republicans have started to now use these laws curtailing critical race ‘curriculum,’ that’s not even being taught in the first place, as a proxy to saying we can’t teach anything about race in our schools beyond just some of the most minimal, minimal, minimal facts,’ she said.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said teachers should be fluent in ‘dismantling racism’ as she backed the teaching of critical race theory in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon
Former President Donald Trump criticized critical race theory during a rally in July
The Colorado Springs decision was just latest battle happening all over the country.
Last week, Laura Morris, a Virginia teacher, quit her job during a televised school board meeting over her opposition to teaching Critical Race Theory.
At the school board meeting, Morris spoke before the Loudoun County School Board in an emotional address, explaining why the ‘equity trainings’ and political dogma forced her to resign.
She said she could no longer be part of an organization that told her ‘white, Christian, able-bodied females’ needed to be reined in.
Morris, who had taught at Lucketts Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, for five years – half of her career – told the board: ‘I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly-politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents – the children.’
Her voice breaking with emotion, she said she no longer felt able to teach within the district, despite it being affluent and well-resourced.
Laura Morris has been a teacher for ten years, and for the past five has taught within Loudoun County Public Schools. On Tuesday night she quit, saying she could no longer teach their ‘highly-politicized agendas’ and objecting at being asked to report colleagues to the authorities
‘This summer I have struggled with the idea of returning to school, knowing that I’ll be working yet again with a school division that, despite its shiny tech and flashy salary, promotes political ideologies that do not square with who I am as a believer in Christ,’ she said.
Loudoun County, when asked about her resignation, said: ‘LCPS does not comment on personnel matters.’
Earlier this month, in Rhode Island, a teachers union filed a lawsuit against a mom in a bid to block her public records requests about critical race theory.
Nicole Solas had sent a lengthy email to the principal of Wakefield Elementary, where her child attends school, to demand records about the controversial teaching practice.
The National Education Association Rhode Island filed a lawsuit claiming that Solas’ requests – all emails from certain teachers – would reveal teachers’ private details and were an ‘unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.’
Nicole Solas sent a lengthy email to Coleen Smith – the principal of Wakefield Elementary School, where her child attends school – to acquire a trove of records pertaining to critical race theory and other topics
Solas responded to the lawsuit in comments made to Twitter, blasting NEARI for ‘bullying moms’
Solas responded to the lawsuit in comments made to Twitter, blasting NEARI for ‘bullying moms.’
‘I just got served with a lawsuit from the teacher union NEARI. Throwing down the gauntlet, are we? Game on,’ she tweeted.
The union asked that the court prohibit the disclosure of non-public records and delay the release of records that contain identifiable personal information of teachers and officials within the district to maintain their ‘individual privacy rights.’
School board members had also previously considered suing Solas over the incredible number of records requested but decided against it.
In Pennsylvania, a local mom was cut off from talking about critical race theory and removed from a board meeting by police.
Anita Edgarian, a mother of three, expressed concerns to Chester School District board members about Critical Race Theory curriculum on July 26.
She was recorded at the meeting telling board President Chris McCune that she grew up during the Iranian revolution when Iran was ‘ravaged by communism.’ Sitting through a meeting where the board is split into groups – for and against CRT – is a ‘complete nightmare,’ she said.
As Edgarian yells into the microphone, McCune stands up, approaches the podium, and takes the mic from Edgarian, telling her to go
The Republican Committee of Chester County is calling for school board president Chris McCune’s (pictured) resignation over the incident with Anita Edgarian
On the recording of the meeting, she compliments retiring superintendent Jim Scanlon, telling him, ‘you did a good job for 12 years,’ but then says, ‘you are leaving a mess, you have brought division to us.’
That comment was met with a round of applause from some parents in the audience.
But before she could continue, she was cut off by McCune and told, ‘Anita, you’re at time.’
As Edgarian yelled into the microphone, McCune stood up, approached the podium, and took the mic from Edgarian, telling her to go.
‘This is shameful,’ McCune said as he returned to the stage. ‘We’ve had a respectful meeting up until you. You bombarded up there, and now you want to monopolize the meeting. Not happening. You’re gone.’
Officers came to escort her from the building as she continued to shout at board members on stage.
‘Why did you say you cannot teach history without CRT?’ she was heard yelling before an officer removed her from the auditorium.
Critical race theory: From obscure academic concept to the front lines of America’s ‘culture wars’
Critical race theory (CRT) exploded to prominence in the spring as it started to appear in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, leading to several bans including in Florida and Texas, however it has been taught in higher education for decades.
It is an offshoot of the Marxist ideology Critical Theory, of Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, which argued that there are power structures which ‘enslave’ the minds of the oppressed in society.
CRT teaches that racism is not the result of nature or biology but that it is a social construct, an idea invented to exploit and control minorities.
It argues racism is a structural problem in the United States, particularly towards black people, embedded in its institutions, legal system and even the Constitution.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.