How is stifling discussion good?


Republican legislators in about two dozen states have introduced or won passage of bills to censor the education of children on race.

Exactly what are they afraid of?

… “Critical race theory says I’m a white supremacist,” Texas lawmaker Steve Toth, a sponsor of the school censoring law in that state, told an Austin television station.

He’s wrong about critical race theory and what it says about him. But the accumulated fear driving this wave of legislation is a mix of the predictable, the outlandish and, even, the justified.

… How is stifling this kind of discussion a healthy means of expanding young minds?

… A key target of this educational censorship is the frequently misunderstood academic concept of critical race theory. At its core, this decades-long academic framework, which examines circumstances where statistics show a disproportionate impact on minorities, attempts to explain why these inequalities persist and offer achievable goals to overcome them – in areas such as bank lending, discriminatory labor practices, incarcerated populations, police shootings and even higher rates of COVID-19 in Black and Latino communities.

It suggests the reality of white supremacy in social systems, and that racism has become endemic to legal processes and public policies. Critics latch on to these terms to argue the theory is trying to divide Americans. But a better response than attempting to eradicate it from classrooms is employing teachers who can helps students think for themselves about the concept.

… Legislators should stay out of the classroom. Curriculum, whether around race or ’rithmetic, is for school board members, principals and teachers themselves – education experts beholden to the classroom and the community – to sort out for the educational enrichment of their students.

— Akron Beacon Journal, July 11