Manawatu Standard

Sober analysis marked absent

Views from around the world. These opinions are not necessaril­y shared by Stuff newspapers.


Republican obsession with stamping out the conservati­ve bogeyman known as critical race theory has come to Missouri. A legislativ­e hearing on education on Monday trotted out the usual zealots spouting the usual hysteria against the concept of teaching the history of slavery as the race-driven evil that it was, and the effect racism in America’s institutio­ns has on society to this day.

Any notion that this hearing was a good-faith effort to soberly analyse the issue should be put to rest by the fact that it was invitation-only, with just one side allowed to speak.

Critical race theory is the study of how racism is woven into not just the history of America but the very structure of today’s society. Those modern impacts of institutio­nal racism are quantifiab­le facts. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away – and talking about them isn’t a personal attack against white students.

Yet speakers ominously warned that critical race theory is designed to ‘‘create group conflict’’, promote ‘‘oppression’’ and ‘‘Marxism’’, and that its goal is ‘‘teaching hate’’.

Especially telling was testimony from one teacher who bemoaned that, though her district wasn’t formally teaching critical race theory, it was surreptiti­ously getting at it by teaching such concepts as ‘‘equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion and culturally responsive teaching’’.

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