The first day of school is always the hardest.
Not just for the children, but for parents as well. After bringing life to a child, after years of loving and nurturing, it is finally time to send the greatest love of their lives out into the world, outside of their protection, for the very first time.
This can be terrifying, and yet parents continue to make this great sacrifice in order to give their sons and daughters a quality education. After all, quality education is a key stepping stone on the path to a life of success.
So parents put their trust in educators to do right by their children, to give them the tools to forge a better life for themselves.
According to parents all across the country, that trust has been betrayed.
Rather than helping children develop critical thinking skills, a countless number of teachers and school administrators are instead opting to push their own radical political worldviews in the form of critical race theory.
Developed decades ago by a handful of legal scholars with far-left political ideologies, CRT is a neo-Marxist theory (dividing all individuals into one of two groups: “oppressor” or “oppressed”) of how America’s supposed “systemic racism” disadvantages minorities.
“Systemic racism” is a vaguely defined concept within CRT, often used as a scapegoat for explaining any racial disparity that can’t be attributed to overt racial bias (in 2021, this is the case for virtually all relevant racial disparities).
At schools promoting CRT, children are taught that those born with white skin are privileged oppressors who should be ashamed of their heritage. Those with black skin are being taught the opposite, that they will always be at a disadvantage to their white peers thanks to the supposed forces of “systemic racism.”
Should public schools teach critical race theory?
As the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for “social justice” rose to prominence in 2020, so did CRT.
Over the past several months, a growing number of families have come forward to their local school boards, demanding the political indoctrination stop. Many of these parents and students then went viral for doing so, with the videos of their public stands spreading like wildfire across the internet.
A few of those families chose to share their stories with The Western Journal, about how the teaching of CRT has caused their children emotional, social and psychological harm.
Teaching Children to See “Racism” Everywhere
In June, one such parent who came forward to The Western Journal — Quisha King, a mother of two — was featured in a viral video speaking out against the teaching of CRT in front of the Florida Board of Education.
“My daughter had experienced some instances in school with critical race theory, and there’s some other things that I was not happy with,” King told The Western Journal.
“So, just as a mother and just an American, I felt like I needed to say something.”
And say something she certainly did.
“Just coming off of May 31, marking the 100 years [since] the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently oppressors or oppressed in 2021,” King said at a Florida Board of Education hearing on CRT.
“That is not teaching the truth unless you believe that whites are better than blacks.”
Speaking with The Western Journal, King explained some of the run-ins one of her daughters had with CRT in her school.
Wary of how these ideas may be pushed by the school, King had previously warned her daughter to “be aware” and “be vigilant.”
It was then, King explained, that her daughter recorded a class lecture where students were supposed to be learning about literature.
Instead, the lecturer “went into critical race theory” and “started asking leading questions about discrimination,” King said.
Indeed, “asking leading questions about discrimination” is a hallmark of CRT scholarship. Despite what its name might suggest, CRT doesn’t require critical thinking about racial issues. Instead, CRT demands that followers accept its presuppositions without question — that racism can be found everywhere, especially in literature authored by white men and women (which makes up the majority of the American literary canon).
This idea has been advanced by leading CRT advocate Robin DiAngelo, who wrote in a 2010 academic paper, “[T]he question is not ‘Did racism take place?’ but rather ‘In which ways did racism manifest in this specific context?’”
Discouraging Critical Thinking
According to CRT, doubting or contesting its preconceptions is not an exercise in critical thinking but rather a sign of one’s own racism (or, if the doubter is black, as a sign of one’s “internalized” oppression).
As leading CRT critic James Lindsay told The Western Journal in May, “Under Critical Race Theory, a person’s perspective ‘as a member of a racial group’ is only considered authentic if it has a ‘critical race consciousness.’ In other words, it’s only considered legitimate if it espouses Critical Race Theory!”
“Thus, diversity is only achieved if the people hired for ‘diversity’ express that authentic view, because otherwise they’re reproducing the ‘dominant’ view (which CRT holds is ‘white supremacy’). So, ‘diversity’ in Critical Race Theory actually means having people who look different but all just repeat Critical Race Theory,” Lindsay said.
This certainly lines up with the personal experience of King’s daughter. Each time CRT “diversity” lessons are promoted at her school, she has been made to feel “uncomfortable” and that she has to “think” and “be” a certain way simply “because she is black,” King said.
Put simply, CRT doesn’t aim to help students think for themselves; it aims to create a herd of left-wing activists to parrot its talking points.
At her daughter’s school, King believes that aim is proving successful.
According to King, the literary lecture proceeded to categorize students by their racial and sexual identities, essentially “putting the kids in these little boxes.”
“You could tell by the way that the kids were responding,” she said, “like, ‘as a black person’, or ‘as an Asian person’ or ‘as an LGBTQ person,’ they started identifying themselves these little groups,” King told The Western Journal.
“It was just a big grievance class. [There] was nothing academic about it.”
Aggravating Trauma With “White Privilege” Lessons
King’s daughter isn’t alone in her distress.
One foster child from Fishers, Indiana, was brought to tears as she explained, in front of the Hamilton Southeastern School Board, the pain CRT teachings had caused her.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools did not immediately respond to The Western Journal’s request to comment for this story.
This brave student asks her school board: “I was told I have white privilege. How can a child born in an abusive drug and alcohol abuse home, who lost her entire biological family, that has experienced all forms of abuse…be privileged? pic.twitter.com/zcLkHkRgLK
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 24, 2021
“I have been in counseling as long as I can remember because I was adopted from foster care at age 4,” the girl said in June. “I was told I have white privilege. How can a child born in an abusive, drug- and alcohol-abuse home who lost her entire biological family, that has experienced all forms of abuse and neglect, be privileged?”
“If you found a child at 15 months in a home with holes in the floor eating cat poop, would you consider them privileged? Just asking, because when I was told that, I was so upset I cried myself to sleep.”
Her adoptive parents, Shane and Tina Akers, provided The Western Journal some context, explaining what exactly had been going on at Hamilton Southeastern Schools leading up to their daughter’s public stand.
A Christian family, the Akerses felt that it was God’s call that compelled them to “help foster kids,” the parents told The Western Journal.
Their foster daughter’s past trauma, suffered prior to the adoption, had left “a lot of damage done,” Tina said. According to Shane, it was his daughter’s idea to speak out at the school board meeting.
“She approached her mom and said, ‘You know, I think I need to speak up so that people hear what I have experienced.’ So as a dad, I was really proud of her for doing that, especially coming from her environment, the struggles she’s had throughout her life. It was a big step for her,” Shane told The Western Journal.
Standing up against CRT was a crucial “part of her healing,” Tina said.
“She’s come so far and part of her healing, she said she felt like was to stand up to people that are hurting other people,” Tina said. “To me, it’s a David and Goliath story, Daniel in the lion’s den.”
So how exactly had CRT teachings exacerbated the Akerses’ daughter’s trauma?
According to Tina, as the country has become more divided, “the opinions of each teacher have started to be ingrained in the lessons.” And the Akerses’ daughter — due to a processing disorder and past trauma — has been unable to cope with or “discern through” those lessons, Tina said.
Lessons provided by the school’s “diversity and inclusion officer” — an increasingly common job position in schools often responsible for introducing CRT-influenced curricula — including those centered on “whiteness,” asked students, “How do we become less white?”
Students Shunning Their “Privileged” White Peers
While many of these “white privilege” lessons bothered her, the Akerses’ daughter was hurt most during “Black Lives Matter week,” which the school celebrated during Black History Month.
After attending a number of CRT lessons, Akers’ friends — all of whom happened to be “people of color” — refused to sit next to her during lunch.
“What hurt her was when she went to lunch and, during that week, no one wanted to sit beside her anymore because she was the only white person,” Tina said.
“That bothered her because she said, ‘It hurts when, all of a sudden, the people — when you’ve done nothing — those people that you love don’t want to sit with you and it’s because you’re white.”
Even the most disadvantaged white people are still viewed as “privileged” within the framework of CRT.
This is because, while CRT teaches students to point out examples of racism and racial privilege everywhere, it does not require those students to provide any proof to back up those claims. This leads CRT scholars and activists to cry “racism” whenever they find a racial disparity, even if that disparity can be attributed to differences in culture, demographic makeup and decision-making between groups.
It also leads to racial scapegoating.
If one group is, as a whole, more privileged, then each member of that group is viewed as not only privileged but also as complicit in oppressing less fortunate groups. In other words, all white people are to blame for the misfortunes of all minorities.
School Officials Admitting They “Will Never Be” Politically “Neutral”
Brad Taylor, a 15-year-old high school student from Rosemount, Minnesota, spoke out against similar sentiments being taught at his former school, Rosemount High School, in June.
“Despite the board’s attempt to deny it, District 196 schools are quickly becoming a place where promoting activism is actually more important than promoting education,” Taylor said at a local school board meeting.
After being told he was not allowed to write “All Lives Matter” on a whiteboard at school, Taylor asked why the school’s new “equity statement” couldn’t represent students of all colors.
“They told me that ‘to even ask that question was outlandish and offensive.’ When I asked why that was, they told me, ‘Whites have a pretty good situation right now,’” he said.
“So is that not racism? Disregarding my question merely because of the color of my skin. To be honest, after enduring a year of the people in charge telling me that I’m a racist and I’m privileged and pointing out our irreversible differences, I’ve never noticed race more, and it’s becoming the first thing I notice when I meet someone, which has never before been the case.”
In a subsequent interview with local Minnesota outlet Alpha News, Taylor said, “The problem is these school districts are acting like some of us are guilty for just existing.”
Following Brad’s experiences in class, his mother, Tiffany Taylor, decided to have a talk with school administrators.
During those talks, one administrator blatantly admitted that the school “will never be” politically “neutral,” she told The Western Journal.
“I kept saying school should be neutral in politics. There shouldn’t be signs up, kids shouldn’t know what their teachers’ political views are, it should be just neutral,” Taylor said. “And he said, ‘No, we will never be neutral.’”
The Western Journal reached out to Rosemount High School for a comment regarding the accusation, as well as its teaching of CRT, but did not immediately receive a response.
Taylor was never worried about her son “being indoctrinated” — Brad had always been very open about his conservative political views. However, she was worried about how he might be affected by a CRT-inspired curriculum.
“I was more worried about him having to fight his way through learning about English and learning about history and being taught basically that, because he has white skin, he’s an oppressor because, because that’s at the heart of what CRT is,” she told The Western Journal.
“I didn’t want him to look at race, like he mentioned in his speech. It’s the first thing he sees when he meets people.”
CRT Followers Believing “The Whites Should Suffer Now”
Since Brad’s speech went viral, Tiffany has noticed many comments online depicting him as “privileged,” which, according to her, is a misconception.
“We’re just normal, average people. We don’t have a bunch of extra money. I don’t want to pull him from these schools. I’m a graduate of RHS 1997 and I know there’s a lot of good things to be involved with with these schools,” she told The Western Journal.
Deciding to pull Brad out of school to complete his high school experience online wasn’t easy.
Tiffany said she “cried many tears” over the decision because “you want to do the best thing for your kid and you want them to have the high school experience.”
“He’s not going to a big expensive school where he’ll get all the same opportunities that he got in the public school system,” she said.
“He’s going to have to let go of so many of those to do this, but we feel like it’s worth it.”
For teachers, administrators and anyone else who is “pro-CRT,” Tiffany shared one final message.
“A lot of their argument is, ‘Oh, well, too bad for the poor little white boy. That’s what minorities have had to deal with for their entire lives,’ and to them I say you’re being racist yourself then,” she said.
“They don’t see that, they’re OK with racism towards another race.”
“I feel like that’s a lot of people’s opinion: ‘Well, the whites should suffer now.’”