RALEIGH — Two of North Carolina’s top elected Republican officials pushed back over a resolution issued by the Durham City Council endorsing the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public education.
The resolution’s language specifically names Critical Race Theory:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Durham City Council calls upon our state and federal representatives to work toward the immediate, opposition to HB324 and work to ensure black history and critical race theory is included in our students’ public school education:
- Encourage our local, state and federal staff have access to racial equity trainings and the ability to explore critical race theory
- A program to provide a black history to all.
- A committee to provide a provide [SIC] recommendations on black history education
“I’m not aware of anybody who objects to teaching about our country’s racial history, but that’s not all that adherents of this dangerous doctrine advocate,” Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Eden) said in a statement.
“They teach that ‘present discrimination’ is necessary, and that a ‘postracial’ society is ‘the most sophisticated racist idea ever produced.’ These are extreme and dangerous concepts,” Berger continued, referencing an article titled: “Our New Postracial Myth,” by Critical Race Theorist Ibram X. Kendi.
Berger continued, “The notion that a postracial society is in fact racist is at odds with the idea that people will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
“The dark parts of our history should be taught in schools, but it should be taught along with how we overcame those things, like slavery and Jim Crow. Now we see one of the larger school districts in our state pushing for a resolution to include Critical Race Theory in North Carolina’s education,” said Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.
“CRT is not about equality; CRT is about teaching students that because of the color of your skin, you are either oppressed or an oppressor,” Robinson said. “Pushing students towards this ideology will lead us to a divided and wrongful future.”
The Durham City Council’s resolution also called for opposition to House Bill 324, titled “Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools.” Overall, the bill seeks to bar schools from employing controversial and discriminatory ideologies, such as Critical Race Theory, by prohibiting discrimination in the classroom on the basis of race or sex. Specifically, the bill would prohibit public schools from promoting ideas that:
- One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
- An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
- An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.
- An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex.
- An individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
- Any individual, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex, should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.
- The belief that the United States is a meritocracy is racist or sexist or was created by members of a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex.
In May during floor debate of the bill, Democrats in the North Carolina House objected to the bill by seemingly defending Critical Race Theory, while not using the term by name, as necessary to teach about racial history.
Rep. James Gaillaird (D-Nash) described the bill as an “anti-American history bill,” and, despite the fact the bill does not dictate content or curriculum, he asserted it would ban schools from teaching about “Roosevelt and Native Americans.”
“If some children can experience racism, sexism, classism, then all children can learn about it,” Galliard said.
In her objections to the bill, Rep. Kandie Smith (D-Pitt) said, “When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”