This is the third in a series on Critical Race Theory, Reprinted from Village and Valley News, Memorial Day week in 2021
As we celebrate Memorial Day and honor the memory of all our veterans who have given everything they have for this country, it’s important that we each continue to be diligent to protect our freedoms from within, not only for our children but also for those veterans and their children and grandchildren.
In review, as we have been looking at Critical Race Theory (CRT, “Theory,” “Ethnic Studies,” “Woke” or “Identity Politics”) the last couple of weeks, we have learned it is counter to Martin Luther King, Jr’s principle that each person should be judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
As in our pre-Civil War days, as well as the Jim Crow era, CRT divides and groups people according to their race, gender, etc. It then identifies them as “oppressed” or “oppressor” no matter who they are as an individual. It creates “victims” of people of color, no matter how educated, wealthy or successful they are. It judges white people as “oppressors” and “racists” no matter their upbringing or who they are as an individual.
Then it teaches students and people to be social justice warriors or activists. It builds walls and brings division. That is why a growing number of educated and influential people of color, in addition to parents, are speaking up against this ideology being pushed on our children and our culture.
In 2021 the California State Assembly passed a bill to make CRT (“ethnic studies”) a high school graduation requirement. According to Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, originally the Legislative Jewish Caucus said it echoed the propaganda of the Nazi regime. There were over 100,000 comments including objections to the curriculum as it was created. See http://www.villagenews.com/story/2021/03/25/state/california-educators-pass-controversial-ethnic-studies-curriculum/65666.html.
Kiley said, “Its undisguised purpose is to impose on students a particular worldview, rather than giving them the tools to construct one for themselves.” Then he points out that the curriculum is supposed to be about “equity,” but since being elected, every attempt he has made to fight for true educational equity has been snuffed out by the dominant special interest at the Capitol, whose business model is to keep children trapped in failing schools. That is why California ranks 49 out of 50 in educating poor students. We are the last to reopen our schools and he says, “This bill is a smokescreen for corrupt education policies that have produced the greatest inequity in the country.”
Rather than identity politics by group, our country was created on the radical idea of individual rights and then that the government would exist to protect those rights, rather than the people existing to serve an ever increasing and controlling government. Those rights included to live free, the pursuit of happiness, the ability to protect yourself and even enjoy property rights.
Our country had to fight a Revolutionary War 1775-1783 to separate from the control of a tyrannical King and then from 1861–1865 we fought the Civil War to end slavery. President Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address (below) said our country was “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Address Delivered at the Dedication of the Cemetery at Gettysburg Abraham Lincoln Nov. 19, 1863
“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
“Now we are engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
“But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This Memorial Day, we should honor the sacrifices and remember the wars fought and those who lost their lives, remember the principles of equal rights and individual liberties for all. We do not need to dismantle what we have built. We do not need to teach our students racist ideologies. And in the places where true racism rears its ugly head, let us continue to fight it openly. Let us be diligent and courageous. Let us keep watch, be educated, active and involved in order to maintain the freedoms we still have. We owe that to our veterans, their families, children and grandchildren.