Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Signs Bill Banning Teaching Critical Race Theory in Schools
Marxist-based philosophy to be removed from public schools
Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a new bill that will ban schools in the state from teaching the Marxist-based Critical Race Theory (CRT).
CRT embraces the concept of the idea that all social and cultural issues should be viewed through the perspective of racial identity.
Critics of the philosophy say its focus on identity politics does the opposite of creating unity and creates more division.
Stitt said in a video statement on Twitter:
"Now more than ever, we need policies that bring us together, not rip us apart. And as governor, I firmly believe that not one cent of taxpayer money should be used to define and divide young Oklahomans about their race or sex."
"That is what this bill upholds for public education."
My statement on HB 1775. pic.twitter.com/2EgMh7A7xZ— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) May 7, 2021
Stitt read from HB 1775:
“No teacher shall require or make part of a course that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.”
He added that the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Oklahoma City lunch counter sit-ins, and the Oklahoma City bombing should be part of school curricula, they should be taught “without labeling a young child as an oppressor or requiring he or she feel guilt or shame, based on their race or sex.”
The governor continued:
I refuse to tolerate otherwise during a time when we are already so polarized. We cannot revert to 100-year-old thinking that a person is any less valuable, or inherently racist by the color of their skin. Martin Luther King spoke of a day when people in America would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
House Bill 1775 codifies that concept, that so many of us believe in our hearts, including me, and as governor, I will not stand for publicly funded K through 12 schools, training impressionable minds to define themselves by their sex or their race.
Democrats blasted the bill:
“It is more than divisive,” said Alicia Andrews, chairperson of the Oklahoma Democratic Party.
“It is exclusive and it acts to erase the existence of segments of our population.”
Last month, the Biden administration announced plans to offer grants for United States history classes that teach critical race theory and the “1619 Project,” a New York Times series that depicts slavery as the centerpiece of the American narrative.
The proposed grants were offered as part of programs that dispense several million dollars a year to K-12 schools.
But critics of the 1619 Project warned the grant program was an attempt to implement the left-wing curriculum in Department of Education policy.
The grants were listed in the Federal Register as proposed rules, which are open to comment until May 19.
The rules also touted the teachings of Ibram X. Kendi, a Black professor, and pioneer in critical race theory.
The theory says White people are complicit in perpetuating systemic racism, regardless of actions and thoughts, and an unspecified period of reverse discrimination is required to remove White supremacist institutions.