A sequel to John’s post last night about Randi Weingarten and the American Federation of Teachers preparing to go to war in court to defend their prerogative to teach CRT while simultaneously arguing that they’re not teaching CRT. You can imagine a virtuous motive for that position, such as if the union believed that state laws banning CRT in public schools might be interpreted to prevent lessons on slavery, segregation, and the civil-rights era.
But that’s not the motive. Weingarten’s playing a semantic game in which “Critical Race Theory” is defined narrowly to refer to a particular vein of legal scholarship, which naturally wouldn’t be covered in middle or high schools. But opponents of CRT mean something broader, a spectrum of “anti-racist” dogma that believes “whiteness” is evil, America is hopelessly “structurally racist,” and the only solutions to social problems are fringe-left ones. As John noted, the other major teachers union, the National Education Association, recently adopted this pro-CRT agenda item that captures the stakes nicely before quietly memory-holing it once it caught the attention of righties:
It’d be more accurate to say that parents are concerned with “anti-racist” indoctrination as that word is defined by social critics like Ibram Kendi instead of “Critical Race Theory.” But no one wants to declare themselves a proud opponent of something called “anti-racism,” knowing that they’d then have to define that term for those unfamiliar with it, who’d end up giving them funny looks otherwise. So CRT is the label of choice to describe Kendi-ism, generally. But not for Weingarten, who’s sticking with its formal definition in order to wriggle away from a political problem here:
She tweeted that point too, in case it wasn’t clear:
The problem, per New York Post reporter Jon Levine, is that it was only a few weeks ago that Weingarten’s own union was on social media touting CRT as essential to helping students understand American society:
But maybe none of this matters? Weingarten’s already maneuvering to justify a new wave of school closings this fall because of the Delta variant, despite saying only weeks ago that kids need to be in class five days a week. You don’t need to worry about your children being taught “anti-whiteness” if they’re not in school to begin with:
I’ll leave you with this dad asking his daughter’s teachers to stick to math and science and leave the “are all white people bad?” conversations to him.