Censorship And ‘Race Theory’ Rants Are Ruining Our Schools
Teaching about race and LBGTQ is supposed to be disquieting
Teach history, not hysteria
There are culture wars seeping their ugly sewage into our already ailing infrastructure of schools.
The politically charged — and therefore politically rewarding — process of stoking culture wars is hurting classrooms, abusing teachers and administrators, frustrating and confusing parents, and basically wreaking havoc.
And, of course, there are the kids to worry about.
Race theory, more correctly, Critical Race Theory, is an advanced college level discipline that at its core teaches our social institutions, most notably our legal policies, have disadvantaged people of color.
That’s basically all it is. It is not generally taught at under college level schools. It may be referred to, especially now that it is so much in the forefront of the news.
What then, is the big deal?
Relate, not hate
The problem comes when people confuse teaching actual history and highlighting the racism of that history, with racism itself.
Racism is learned by unconscious and even conscious divisiveness. Many parents and voters do not wish to “teach hate.” This is understandable, but misinformation seems to muddle up CRT with teaching guilt, hate, and being “racist” against white people.
Which in turn, logically, would make people of color suspicious, resentful, and cautious about what they think, feel, and say, as well.
A teacher can be caught in the crossfire.
Here is the truth: We cannot sanitize our worst history. We can emphasize our best history. And, sensing that there is hysteria displays a knee-jerk defensiveness that is worth exploring.
Being discomforted, exploring all that is disquieting, teaches children how to cope with our fraught world, not white wash it with only “post racism and past gender” idealization.
Our teachers, like health workers and service workers, have more than enough on their plates without these culture and class war eruptions threatening to further diminish our need to learn and grow.
What about cancel culture and wokeness?
Another similar issue arises when books and or lessons that teach all people, Black, white, indigenous, Asian, or of any foreign faith/origin, also happen to be LGBTQ.
That is, many people to this day, do not understand that LGBTQ people are fully realized human beings. They have their own stories, experiences, and face unique prejudices in the world.
Book banning, censorship is being promoted. Books on the holocaust, parenting, and more, are being pulled off shelves in places like Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and more.
Although this is nothing new through history, it is counter-productive to learning, and to understanding humanity. It also violates free speech, and as mentioned, lays a censoring blanket over issues we need to examine.
Anybody who is “different” faces a full spectrum from slightly being ignored to being fully alienated. Students at every level, need to learn their experience is both valid and vital.
Another example of ‘cancel culture’ in the news is that some artists, notably Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are boycotting Spotify. But, having consequences to both what we read, listen to, and are taught, is real enough. Misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic highlights how political every issue has become, and how we need to stay alert to this trend.
Let’s not forget kids know what is happening at school, with their music, on their social media, and so much more. We are not successfully going to “protect” them from swear words, racism, sexism, or bigotry without openness.
We need to teach this human reality. We need to teach acceptance and tolerance of unique perspectives. We need to open minds, but also hearts.
We need to keep education, classrooms, and people, accessible, not snapped shut.