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Feature 12.16.2021 4 minutes

CRT Forever

Equal meeting between two pawn pieces. Negotiation concept

Racial tribalism doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum to dominate education.

“Please keep your cameras on: we’re watching to make sure you’re paying attention.”

Our racial equity training is a 16-hour-long affair. It starts with denunciations of capitalism, the United States, and various aspects of “white culture.” You are encouraged to ask questions, but if anyone is brave or foolish enough to complicate the approved narratives, he will practically be laughed to scorn. How could you be so obtuse as not to see the centuries of racism you’re responsible for?

On day two, before bringing things to a close, participants are reminded that to be a part of our district, to fully serve our children, you must treat them differently based on skin color. Whites must see black children as inherently oppressed by white culture and values. Though you’ve never entertained a single malicious thought toward any child, let alone one based on something so frivolous as race, if you want to teach in public schools you will be made to affirm that children should be taught differently based on color. That their culture, values, dreams, and desires are inseparably bound to their genetic makeup. You as a teacher are expected to believe this if you claim to care about children at all.

Throughout my time teaching, coaching, and administering in Indianapolis Public Schools & Lawrence Township schools, I have been baffled by our expectations for teachers. In the name of reconciling generational poverty and the legacy of Jim Crowism, we mandate that students’ individualism be stripped away and resources be diverted directly to color groups. In this way we are supposedly healing the wounds caused by the United States and Western Civilization as a whole.

Though we teach the empirically false stories of the 1619 Project and Howard Zinn in our history classes to bolster this narrative, we don’t have to teach your children Critical Race Theory overtly. CRT, the view of American history as a systemically racist and evil nation built on oppressing racial minorities, doesn’t have to be taught in every course as a curriculum. We can use it more efficiently by making it the premise of all pedagogy, the background assumption of every class.

Almost every evaluation, every coaching session, every professional development is structured this way. Did you discuss the racist history of math with your students? Are you using culturally relevant music studies instead of white-centric music theory? How have you discussed environmental racism with your science class today?

In administration our conversations are filled with the bureaucratic nonsense you might expect, but with an added tone of bigotry. The first factor in any discussion is always race. Before socioeconomics, behavior, family composition, home life, or any other considerations, we assign a student’s color as the defining factor that will shape his or her success. When I’ve previously questioned this, I have been told that culture and color are too linked to make any other explanation possible.

This is abhorrent, and woefully ignorant. There is no reason that a rich black child from a two-parent home in New England has more in common with the poorer black child from a single-parent home in Indianapolis than the poor white student from a single-parent home in the same neighborhood.

Regrettably, the white student will be informed that he has access to enormous and ineradicable privilege, and that he is responsible for treading on his black neighbor. Years of slanted and falsified history education will confirm this to both children, and the other classes will reinforce it.

They do not stop with setting a narrative: they demand that your children themselves take up action as activists. Butler Lab 60, a K-8 school in Indianapolis, took six months to force students into a racial justice project, in which students were told constantly to mobilize and radicalize with all their talents and skills in order to tear down the “systemically racist” system around them. They don’t need to pull your children from you. They can just as easily turn them against you as a representative of the “old ways.” Private schools are already doing it in Manhattan. If Merrick Garland’s DOJ can label any concerned parent as a “domestic terrorist,” don’t you think they could say the same thing to your children in our classrooms?

Parents, racial tribalists are coming for your children. Ideologues seek them out because they are vulnerable, more likely to trust in absolutist generalities, and susceptible to social conditioning. The activists know they can form the next generation of our segregated utopia if they teach your children that certain colors are good, and others are bad. If we link culture with color, we can excuse bad behaviors and tear down positive ones. Start taking hold of your kids’ education—while you’re still able to.

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