What Critical Race Theory Is & How It Made Its Way To Florida
Bottom Line: The good news, based on what I’m continuing to see and hear, is that people have had their eyes opened to the threat of Critical Race Theory in our education system. This was recently evidenced in part, by the backlash of parents in Palm Beach and Duval Counties at the introduction of tenants of CRT into the school districts mission statements. And that leads to the bad news. Most are still trying to figure out what exactly it is at a time it’s already infiltrating classrooms. In a story I brought you September 30th last year, I broke down the history of CRT and what it’s about. The difference in Florida, in just a little over eight months, is that we’ve gone from no school districts incorporating tenants of CRT – to at least two that are attempting to move in that direction. Thankfully at the state level Governor DeSantis has condemned CRT and has stated he’ll “whack mole’s all over the state” if need to stop it, however the push towards it is pervasive, especially by the education establishment led by the teachers' unions. The need to be informed and engaged is important. This is a refresh on what it is and how we got here.
The first publication of Critical Race Theory took place in 2001 (after a predecessor was published in 1993) but had widely been ignored by the education establishment until recently. The proliferation of social justice adaptation by companies, sports leagues and other aspects of our society has helped the movement accomplish more in the past year than they had in the prior two decades. First, here’s a look at what Critical Race Theory teaches. CRT is based on the five following assumptions:
- The notion that racism is ordinary
- The idea of an interest convergence (where the majority, whites, allow for repression of minorities for personal benefit)
- The social construction of race (Where public policy/perception is different based on race)
- The idea of storytelling and counter-storytelling (Where the majority, white values, are the focus of culture/education to the detriment of minorities)
- The notion that whites have been recipients of civil rights legislation (where whites have benefited from policy crafted for the benefit of minorities)
As for the adaptation by schools. The 1619 Project was the original key driver based on CRT which was created by the New York Times and perpetuated by the Pulitzer Center. The 1619 Project was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and subsequently shared to 4,500 schools across the country by the Pulitzer Center. This included South Florida’s schools. Now, does that mean it’s being taught? No, at least not as part of the curriculum. The Florida Department of Education sets the curriculum, and it doesn’t include CRT. Now, is it possible for a teacher here and there, or perhaps even a school to go rouge? Yes, especially with the books being made available in the libraries at our schools.
This is why as parents and concerned citizens we have to become informed and engage. As I’ve outlined consistently over the years, many of our issues in society today (violence, mental health issues, education declines) can be traced directly to the takeover of public education by the Department of Education in 1980. If CRT is allowed to infiltrate our schools, rest assured current problems will only worsen. That’s why it’s important we all become informed and engage. The left has and they’re all in.