• September 24, 2021

Exclusive: Governor vetoes anti-protest bill and anti-truth bill GOP is calling strike at critical race theory

 Exclusive: Governor vetoes anti-protest bill and anti-truth bill GOP is calling strike at critical race theory

“The legislature should be focused on supporting teachers, helping students recover lost learning, and investing in our public schools,” Cooper said in a news release. “Instead, this bill pushes calculated, conspiracy-laden politics into public education.”

The bill is yet another attempt by Republican legislators to further whitewash history instruction in schools. Acting under the guise of protesting critical race theory, the crafters of thoughtless legislation making its way through the country seldom actually even mention critical race theory by name. They opt for broader language banning, for example, “the concept that a meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist” or “that all Americans are not created equal.” I don’t want to say if you’re Black you should be rolling your eyes, but I’m Black, the descendant of those once legally deemed three-fifths of a person. So, yeah, I’m rolling my eyes.

Legislators in Tennessee, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas have acted to ban generalizations of critical race theory. In actuality, the theory is a framework for interpreting law that maintains racism’s reach has had particularly harmful effects on the legal system and laws that govern our society. Republicans have linked the theory to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ “1619 Project,” which correctly asserts that “no aspect of the country” has been “untouched by the years of slavery” that followed the first slave ship’s arrival to the coastal port of the English colony of Virginia in August 1619. And because the sight of thousands of white, Black, and brown people taking to the streets to protest the unjust murder of a Black man at the hands of a white cop apparently didn’t sit well with Republicans, they’ve ironically taken to trying to ban any discussion of what it really means to be Black in America. Ironically, because these white people are stripping the stories and histories of people of color from instruction while simultaneously claiming that exact thing doesn’t happen and we’re all living in perfectly equal harmony.

It would be laughable if it wasn’t so infuriating. But don’t get too angry. These white supremacists are also working to criminalize protest when—let’s just call a horse a horse—Black and brown people demonstrate for change. See treatment of Capitol rioters on Jan. 6 verse treatment of journalists of color covering protests in Minneapolis following George Floyd’s death, and here’s a hint: At least eight people were partially blinded at Floyd protests.

Daniel Bowes, director of policy and advocacy for the ACLU of North Carolina, wrote in a statement: “A better way to address the waves of protests we’ve seen in recent months would be for lawmakers to listen to calls of North Carolinians calling for reforms to address the harm of systemic racism.

“Creating harsher penalties for our state’s already vague and problematic riot laws does nothing to address the underlying issues that motivate people to protest or engage in civil disobedience,” Bowes said. “We should listen to the anguish behind the calls of protestors seeking to end systemic racism, not risk representing all constitutionally protected speech and protests as dangerous and criminal.”

Listening—what a novel concept. 

RELATED: Critical race theory paranoia could cost Tennessee schools real dollars, up to $5 million

RELATED: At least 8 people partially blinded same day during police rampage against George Floyd protesters

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