Over 5,000 Teachers Sign Pledge to Defy Anti-Critical Race Theory Laws

Teachers and supporters march Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, during the Florida Education Association's "Take on Tallahassee" rally at the Old Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
AP Photo/Phil Sears

More than 5,000 teachers have signed onto a pledge at the Zinn Education Project that states they vow to teach their students the concepts of Critical Race Theory (CRT), even where it is banned by law.

Making the claim that bans on teaching students America is a racist, sexist, oppressive country mean they will be taught “lies” instead, the Zinn Education Project’s pledge states:

Lawmakers in at least 26 states are attempting to pass legislation that would require teachers to lie to students about the role of racism, sexism, heterosexism, and oppression throughout U.S. history.

The project claims the laws “aim to prohibit teachers from teaching the truth about this country: It was founded on dispossession of Native Americans, slavery, structural racism and oppression; and structural racism is a defining characteristic of our society today.”

“[H]ow can one teach honestly about the nature of our society without examining how today’s racial inequality is a systemic legacy of this country’s history?” the Zinn Education Project asks, and continues:

From police violence, to the prison system, to the wealth gap, to maternal mortality rates, to housing, to education and beyond, the major institutions and systems of our country are deeply infected with anti-Blackness and its intersection with other forms of oppression. To not acknowledge this and help students understand the roots of U.S. racism is to deceive them — not educate them. This history helps students understand the roots of inequality today and gives them the tools to shape a just future. It is not just a history of oppression, but also a history of how people have organized and created coalitions across race, class, and gender.

“We, the undersigned educators, refuse to lie to young people about U.S. history and current events — regardless of the law,” the project urges teachers to write to their state legislators.

The project says it hopes to achieve its goal of 6,400 signatures.

The Zinn Education Project is a campaign inspired by radical leftist Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States.

The project aims to indoctrinate America’s students in identity politics and the organization of social justice movements, including the teaching of Critical Race Theory, a Marxist cultural ideology that embraces the concept that all social issues should be viewed through the lens of race and that claims white people are oppressors while black individuals are victims.

During its virtual representative assembly that convened at the end of last week, the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, resolved to promote the teaching of CRT in K-12 schools and to oppose any bans on its instruction, as well as on the teaching of the widely discredited New York Times’ “1619 Project.”

NEA also announced it plans to join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project “to call for a rally this year on October 14 – George Floyd’s birthday – as a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression.”

The union added:

The Association will further convey that in teaching these topics, it is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory.

The nation’s other large teachers’ union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), has denied CRT is being taught in K-12 schools, but invited activist academic Ibram X. Kendi to speak at its TEACH professional development conference this week.

The Biden education department referenced Kendi in April when it proposed a rule to establish priorities for grants in American History and Civics Education programs that incorporate Critical Race Theory- based curricula, such as the “1619 Project.”

“As the scholar Ibram X. Kendi has expressed, “[a]n antiracist idea is any idea that suggests the racial groups are equals in all their apparent differences—that there is nothing right or wrong with any racial group,” the Biden education department stated.

During his discussion with members of AFT, Kendi said, “[T]o be antiracist, is to admit the times which we’re being racist. To be racist, is to constantly consistently, deny, deny, deny, like Donald Trump.”

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