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A classroom on August 21, 2009. (Photo: Krissy Venosdale)

Opinion: Critical Race Theory Lies and People Who Tell Them

Nevada educators falsely deny that CRT is being deployed in local schools

By Ron Knecht, November 22, 2021 6:30 am

Listen carefully to the language used by proponents of critical race theory (CRT). That language is intentionally false and misleading. It was invented to sell folks many Big Lies they couldn’t sell with honest language.

For example, diversity, equity, inclusion and access was invented to sound like equal opportunity and fairness, and to replace that lode star with racial essentialism and lies about western democracy, values and history. Social justice and affirmative action are racist terms to displace the bedrock of individual liberty and rights with the injustice of group rights and to divide people and promote continual strife and destructive revolution.

Claims that all whites (but no non-whites) are racist and exaggerations of white privilege and white supremacy are dominant features of CRT proponents.

The concepts of oppressor and oppressed groups are borrowed directly from Marxism to sell the lie that fundamental facts of society never improve, so the oppressed must turn to violence. Or at least demand that others use their preferred pronouns, recognize ever proliferating genders, and be governed by alleged victims’ personal subjective truths.

With CRT, accountability and tolerance mean giving in to all its proponents’ silly and malicious demands as they politicize everything. Everything is about race.  One CRT extremist wrote an NBC opinion piece saying parents wanting a say in their children’s education is like interfering with surgery and they shouldn’t be allowed to have any say.

True, this nonsense started in law and graduate schools where such creativity is indulged, instead of being promptly dismissed as pernicious nonsense. As it filtered down the education ladder, it reached K-12 standards, professional development and training, and student surveys.

There it lurked in the shadows to promote indoctrination of our students via social and emotional learning and other misleading titles from pre-school and kindergarten onward while hiding from parents, taxpayers and citizens’ real scrutiny. That allowed K-12 educrats to lie that CRT was not being practiced or taught in public schools.

The Douglas County school board and administration recently tried to pass off the lie that CRT plays no role in its district – just like its Washoe County counterparts have been doing for some time (a subject for another day).

My good friend Virginia Starrett, a former college professor, called their bluff in a detailed op-ed piece sent to the local paper titled “The Alphabet Soup Poisoning Our Schools.”

She summarizes: “Make no mistake, CRT is alive and well and politicizing the classrooms, teacher training, teacher development program, student assessment tools, and libraries of Douglas County’s schools. The DCSB is either woefully ignorant of what the term ‘CRT’ has come to mean, or it knows and doesn’t want to do anything about it. I suspect it is the latter.”

A former Douglas teacher also produced a fine video online documenting that CRT and similar nonsense has long been employed there.

Tony Kinnett, Indianapolis’ District Science Coordinator & Instructional Coach, and founder of Chalkboard Review, says essentially the same things about his district and school systems around the country. He’s facing possible firing for doing so.

“When we tell you that schools aren’t teaching [CRT], that it is nowhere in our standards, that’s misdirection,” he says in his video. “We don’t have the quotes and theories as state standards, per se. We do have Critical Race Theory in how we teach.” A professional development speaker for the district uses the term, “Culturally Relevant Pedagogy.”

“When schools tell you we aren’t teaching [CRT, it] means one thing, ‘go away and look into our affairs no further,” Kinnett said. “It isn’t about transparency, it isn’t about cultural relevance, it’s race essentialism, painted to look like the district cares about students of color.”

A study of mainstream media coverage of the issues by Frederick Hess shows it has provided biased cover for CRT practices and ideologues. He notes news outlets rarely talk about controversial ways CRT has been implemented in classrooms, including race-based affinity groups, rejection of color-blindness, and the assertion that the U.S. is fundamentally racist.

He points out media cover CRT as if parents are debating “whether schools should discuss racism and slavery.” The results are “a misleading, slanted, and dismissive caricature of sober concerns.” The culprits, I’ve observed, include the Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, CNN, Associated Press, USA Today and many others.

Washington state’s legislature has passed three bills mandating CRT training for all teachers. And another for training of medical students. That’s unsurprising because teacher unions, many unelected bureaucrats and non-government organizations promote this stuff. As does the American Medical Association.

Virginia school districts mostly deny they employ CRT, despite reams of evidence found by parents showing otherwise.

What to do?

Let’s start by calling out administrators, boards, teachers, educrats and legislators when they deny they employ CRT without clarifying exactly what they do. If in doubt about their intent to lie, at least call them gullible, ignorant and stupid.

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Ron Knecht
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2 thoughts on “Opinion: Critical Race Theory Lies and People Who Tell Them

  1. Thank you for this article Mr. Knecht,

    I’ve lived and observed, from being bussed forty minutes from my neighborhood in south Seattle, (1980’s), to North Seattle schools in maybe affirmative action or de-segregation efforts. In current times would probably be called “charter or magnet”.

    Fast forward to the 1990’s (relocated to California), as a section 8 recipient, single teenage mother. I did everything possible to choose childcare providers in a better zip code, because then as I worked minimum wage jobs while living in poverty, at least my kids could go to the better school.

    Fast forward to the last five years, those kids from the teenage, hardly middle school education mother, are parents of my beautiful blessings of seven grandchildren ten years old down to four months old.

    Those grown up kids of mine are the ones who have educated me on how the Social Emotional Learning and Diversity Equity and Inclusion … as well as the uproar by certain groups over school choice. Would have been against the opportunities I worked hard to provide them with, in Oder to beat the system that was against us as a family unit and worked so hard in creating many barriers and and a smug, “you will never make it approach”. Yet were touting being for black children in the hood. Confused me then and confuses me now as I approach fifty years in grateful life.

    Fast forward to right now in this current leg session… and probably the last one. I’ve learned from my kids about, “red lining”, that was going on way back in the area I was an elementary age student. So someone created affirmative action or de-segregation, that allowed me to go to better schools based on my black/white heritage and the lack of funding due to redlining.

    Now as a resident of Las Vegas, I’ve learned in the last five years that there are “Title I” schools. Families just like my young family was…and who I was four decades ago who want and deserve better options.

    I’ll get to my conclusion now… it’s still confusing

    SEL and DEI – says for the most part, that because you are black, brown, a minority that we will lower the bar on grading and standards.

    So you will become “mediocre”, we will apply this based on your heritage and melanin content or socio-economic status.

    We will disapprove school choice, school busses for socio-economically disadvantaged students to go to charter schools.

    I’m seeing a complete flip flop of equality and opportunity for low income and minority families, an endorsement of further historical “redlining”, by people who forty to twenty five years ago, would have been the supporters

    My last opinion… I’m long winded.

    CRT as it’s been portrayed as a “conspiracy”, right wing or whatever mantras. Is happening. It’s happening through DEI and SEL. It’s happening through the narrative being pushed on well intentioned people.

    The moment one says that child’s melanin content or socio-economic status makes them unable to learn. And push to keep them in failing underfunded schools based on their zip code.

    To me it looks like what used to to be affirmative action and de-segregation has turned self upside down from activists, and well intentioned people who don’t want to be labeled racist.

    I’m the proud mother, former teenage mother a twice college degreed adult mother of two, who understands economics and sociology.. I trust her and all my kids who have educated me on things I didn’t quite understand at the time but I’m learning to understand now…. To connect the dots.

    Thank you for your time if you are able to receive this message. You are correct on your opinion piece from at least me and four educated adults members of society.

    Elise Carey

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