What is Critical Race Theory?

Critical race theory (CRT) has become a controversial topic in the United States, as the country wrestles with race, immigration, civil rights and civil conflict. Some states have banned its teaching in classrooms.CRT maintains that racism is deeply embedded in U.S. policy, law and society, rather than purely individual and personal, as its opponents contend.FILE – In this image from the Tennessee General Assembly, Rep. Justin Lafferty, R-Knoxville, speaks at the State Capitol in Nashville, May 4, 2021. He spoke amid debate over whether educators should be restricted while teaching about systematic racism.“Critical race theory is turning Americans against one another by weaponizing what used to be the fantasies of tenured professors in dimly lit offices of the ivory tower, now transmitting it through colleges of education to teachers who carry it into the K-12 classroom,” Lindsey Burke, director of the Center for Education Policy at the Heritage Foundation, wrote in a FILE – Kimberle Crenshaw speaks about Reconstruction at a Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif., in 2019. Crenshaw, of the African American Policy Forum, says CRT initially was “about telling a more complete story” of America.How do educators feel about CRT in schools?Most schools across the country do not require or urge K-12 teachers to teach critical race theory, and most say they are opposed to adding the academic approach to their course instruction, the Association of American Educators reported in June. Only 11% of teachers surveyed by the AAE said they were required to teach CRT. More than half (60.4%) of 1,136 educators surveyed said they believed the media were paying too much attention to CRT. Fewer than half of respondents (44.7%) were in favor of CRT being an option for educators.”Critics of CRT sometimes forget that the ‘T’ stands for ‘theory,’ meaning it’s one idea about how the world works. Students can accept or reject it when it is taught,” said Anthony Fargo, First Amendment expert and associate professor at Indiana University.

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