There is no racism in North Carolina. Neither sex discrimination. Slaves were treated kindly and like family. The Civil War was not fought for slavery, and the Jim Crow laws did not restrict anyone’s right to vote. This is pure revisionist history, but some members of our legislature want to insert their own interpretation of history into our education system.
A new wave of legislation has emerged across the country following the publication of the New York Times series, The 1619 Project, of stories illustrating the year the first Africans were brought to our country as slaves. . Former President Trump was furious, saying the series was “toxic propaganda, ideological poison which, if not removed, will dissolve the civic ties that unite us, destroy our country.” Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Idaho and other Red states responded by passing laws that attempted to control how history was taught. Some clearly violate the First Amendment guarantees of free speech.
In a bill under consideration in our legislature, lawmakers want every teacher in every class to publish a list of resources they will use in teaching. They claim that this will protect children from certain currents of political thought. Ironically, they insist on their own political thinking. Are we about to see a ban on certain books, authors or writers?
Bill 324, entitled “Ensuring Dignity and Non-Discrimination / Schools”, has already been passed in the House and is under consideration in the Senate. This seems innocuous enough, prohibiting the teaching of the following concepts:
- “One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
- “An individual, purely on the basis of race or gender, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
- “An individual must be discriminated against or receive unfavorable treatment solely or in part on the basis of race or gender.
- “The moral character of an individual is necessarily determined by his race or sex.
- “An individual, solely because of his race or sex, bears responsibility for acts committed in the past by other members of the same race or the same sex.
- “Anyone, purely because of their race or gender, should experience 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 gender to oppress members of another race or gender.”
You may agree with many of these points, but a closer look reveals what this bill actually does. Representative James Gailliard, a member of the House Education Committee and a person of color, was the only member of the committee to oppose the bill, saying it should be labeled a ‘don’t hurt’ bill. my feelings. What this bill does is prevent the history of our schools. The best way to reproduce the story is probably not to talk about it. It is an act to ensure discrimination, fanaticism, sectarianism. He added, “How can school systems teach that this nation was not founded on oppression?”
When the bill was passed in the plenary chamber, Gaston County Representative John Torbett, normally an outspoken Republican, said: “This bill does not change what history can and cannot. not be taught. It just prevents schools from endorsing discriminatory concepts.
Is that so? What “discriminatory concepts?” He and other Republican lawmakers fear that our schools are introducing what’s known as Critical Race Theory, a 40-year-old concept that racism is a social construct embedded in legal systems and politics, as well as individual prejudices or prejudices.
Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson created a task force to reveal these and other teachings. He proposes to collect comments from parents, teachers and students on “indoctrination” in the classroom. In plain English, he wants to know which teachers or schools are not teaching history with the political orientation that he and his fellow Republicans want. What punishment will be inflicted on offenders?
It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t want religious instruction in our classrooms because we worried about how teachers of different faiths would present precepts to our children. Now it looks like we’ll be targeting teachers and schools because they might not interpret the facts of history the way some prefer. What happens after? Chemistry, physics, algebra, trigonometry, calculus?
Let’s be clear. We don’t want politics in the class… of the left or the right. But neither should we allow history to be taught the way we want it to instead of the way it happened.
Tom Campbell is a North Carolina Hall of Fame broadcaster and columnist who has covered North Carolina public policy issues since 1965. He recently retired from writing, producing and directing. moderation of the half-hour NC SPIN TV show that aired for 22 and a half years. Contact him at [email protected]