Tom Madden, Founder & CEO, TransMedia Group
The mass shooting in Buffalo, NY has me wondering if teaching critical race theory in classrooms might help prevent such horrifying racial violence.
Had this incensed 18-year-old Buffalo mass murderer known about our nation’s history of first enslaving, then subjugating African Americans and all the inequities they’ve had to contend with, would he have been so bent on killing blacks?
Would a better understanding of the plight of blacks and the historic discrimination they’ve had to endure have derailed such absurd notions as replacement theory that blacks plan to diminish whites in our society?
Recently the beautiful state where I live, Florida, has taken a public stand against critical race theory.
Gov. Ron DeSantis brands CRT as state-sanctioned racism and won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent on it. He believes it teaches kids “to hate our country or to hate each other.” Really? Is that true?
DeSantis also believes he must protect Florida workers against the hostile work environment that is created when large corporations force their employees to endure “CRT-inspired training and indoctrination.” Really?
This comes on the heels of Republican lawmakers in more than 20 states introducing legislation that would ban schools from teaching about structural racism.
These efforts to demonize critical race theory gained traction after a national reckoning with racism following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and the ensuing protests, now topped by TOPS, the scene of the latest racial mass murder in Buffalo, New York.
Why is this a Republican movement?
Once speaking at a conference held by the Faith and Freedom Coalition former Vice President Mike Pence called critical race theory “racism.”
Senator Ted Cruz compared it to the Ku Klux Klan saying the curriculum is “every bit as racist” as the white supremacist hate group. “Critical race theory,” the senator said, “says every white person is a racist.”
Yet isn’t understanding racism and its origins today more urgent and necessary?
Critical race theory was a movement that evolved in reaction to critical legal studies, which came about in the 70s and dissected the often-false ideas that all laws were just and neutral. Over time, the movement grew among legal scholars.
Isn’t CRT inspiring Legal Scholars to ask questions and probe the roots of criminal injustice to understand it better?
Why does possession of less expensive drugs carry higher jail sentences than more expensive drugs? Could it explain why more people of color are in prison?
For Senator Cruz and Gov. DeSantis to say critical race theory assigns blame to white people, CRT advocates say is wrong!
For parents or educators who, according to G.O.P. lawmakers, say that white children are being made to feel guilty by being taught that white people are oppressors, CRT advocates argue that is not what the theory is about.
To the contrary, the theory recognizes that racial inequity and exclusion hurt all Americans, whatever race or color. In the famous Brown decision, the Supreme Court emphasized that education is the ‘very foundation of good citizenship.’
Many educators believe attacks on critical race theory are a form of censoring classroom discussions about the meaning of race, which are important to prepare young Americans for the responsibilities of democratic citizenship in an increasingly diverse, multicultural society.
According to Columbia Law School Professor Kimberle W. Crenshaw, the idea that anti-racism is racism against white people is one of “the oldest talking points in the anti-CRT playbook. We saw this in the backlash against emancipation . . . in efforts to disenfranchise African Americans and purge them from public life, and we saw aggressive and even violent actions justified as self-defense,” she said.
“If you marched in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, if you have a Black Lives Matter sign on your lawn or a bumper sticker on your car, if you had diversity training at your job and now you understand how you can do better, then you support racial justice,” she said.
About the Author: Besides an inveterate blogger, Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available now on Amazon. He also creates TV series like his latest Xtra Terresla whose main character is modeled after Tesla founder Leon Musk, soon to own Twitter. Madden is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for America’s largest companies and organizations.