It seems that you can’t visit any of your favorite news sites without seeing stories about the debate over Critical Race Theory (CRT) in classrooms. Nearly every week, another kerfuffle over the controversial theory emerges.
Former NBC sports reporter Michele Tafoya recently made waves when she came out against the teaching of concepts derived from CRT in America’s classrooms. During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” she complained about the racialized teachings being infused in school districts. She said:
“It breaks my heart that my kids are being taught that skin color matters. And to me if you want white people to step up, I was stepping up when I address the school and said, so why are we having these picnics for families of color?”
She continued, questioning the practice of separating students by skin color:
“Why are we separating our kids? If the world is integrated, let’s continue that and have everyone find out what we all have in common, not just what we have in common with people who look like us.”
Naturally, Tafoya’s comments elicited much wailing and gnashing of teeth on social media. But former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, in particular, took issue with her condemnation of CRT. “Imagine leaving a high-profile job over a made-up issue. Does Michele Tafoya even know what CRT is? Does she have kids in school being taught CRT? Can she provide any examples?” Hill tweeted.
Of course, if Hill had actually done a quick Google search, she could have easily found out that the former NBC reporter had discussed the issue on “The View” in November. During the conversation, she discussed her son’s experience with CRT.
“My son’s first best friend was a little African-American boy. They were inseparable. Get to a certain age they start having what’s called an affinity group, which means you go for lunch and pizza with people who look like you … At kids in school, there is a big, big focus on the color of your skin and my children … Why are we even teaching that the color of the skin matters? Because to me, what matters is your character and your values.”
Tafoya recently decided to leave NBC because she wanted to “start giving back” to the country. Before her departure, the network announced they would no longer have her as an NFL sideline reporter because of her criticism of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick comparing the league to slavery.
Hill, like most of her contemporaries, has continually repeated the lie that elements of CRT are not being taught in the classroom. Instead, they argue, the furor over the matter is motivated by a desire to whitewash American history and stop black history from being taught.
But the question is: Why are they gaslighting when there are so many news reports clearly demonstrating that problematic material is being taught in the classroom? The reason why is because they know that, regardless of what one calls these teachings, the majority of parents would not approve of it.
Indeed, schools enacting programs and putting on events that exclude certain students based on their skin color would be unpopular among parents regardless of political affiliation. Segregating students and even members of the faculty, in some cases, would not go over well if more parents actually knew this is what the debate is about. Labeling kids as “oppressed” and “oppressor” based on their race is not exactly a popular sentiment.
You could refer to the teaching of these ideas as “Plastic Spaghetti Toy Theory” and it would not matter. Parents are not on board with racially discriminatory practices — regardless of the label one places on it.
This is why they pretend those opposing CRT are just trying to downplay America’s racist history. The argument is a red herring designed to distract from what is actually happening in these classrooms. They know that separating kids by race has nothing to do with making sure kids understand the role racism played in American history.
This isn’t about removing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy from the curriculum. It’s about supporting practices that are the polar opposite of what he preached. While there are a significant number of parents believing the lies that Hill’s ilk are perpetuating, the truth is going to keep coming out. The question is: How much longer can they keep the lie going?