A black Florida mother blasted critical race theory as racist, dangerous and claimed it will destroy America at a state Board of Education meeting.
Speaking at the meeting Thursday, Keisha King said: ‘Just coming off of May 31, marking the 100 years [since] the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently ‘oppressors’ or ‘oppressed’ in 2021.’
‘That is not teaching the truth,’ said King, who has a child in the Duvall County school district, ‘unless you believe that whites are better than blacks.”
King told of her outrage at seeing teachers in the Duvall County school district, in northeastern Florida, teach critical race theory and even separate students by their race. Duvall County confirmed it was invoking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s ban on CRT later the same evening.
King also disputed claims that critical race theory is ‘racial sensitivity or simply teaching unfavorable American history or teaching Jim Crow history.’
‘CRT is deeper and more dangerous than that,’ King said. ‘CRT and its outworking today is a teaching that there’s a hierarchy in society where white male, heterosexual, able-bodied people are deemed the oppressors and anyone else outside of that status is oppressed.’
‘That’s why we see corporations like Coca-Cola asking their employees to be less white, which is ridiculous,’ King said, representing Moms for Liberty, a national group that promotes ‘parental rights at all levels of government,’ according to its website.
‘I don’t know about you, but telling my child, or any child, that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are black is racist,’ King said, ‘and saying that white people are automatically above me, my children, or any child is racist as well.
‘This is not something we can stand for in our country.’
Keisha King, a Florida mother, blasted the critical race theory as racist and claimed it would destroy the country at a state Board of Education meeting on Thursday
King’s comments were widely shared to Twitter, with Tom Elliot posting a video of her speech
‘And don’t take it from me,’ she said, ‘look at the writers of these types of publications.’
‘Our ancestors — white, black and others — hung, bled and died right alongside each other to push America towards that more perfect union.
‘If this continues, we will look back and be responsible for the dismantling of the greatest nation in the world by reverting to teaching hate and that race is a determining factor on where your destiny lies,’ King concluded.
Her comments were then shared widely to Twitter, with Tom Elliot posting a video of her speech, and @RogueShoeButler writing: ‘Hallelujah! This lady gets it. And she explained the essence of the danger from CRT more lucidly than I think I’ve heard anyone tell it before.’
‘I hope we hear more from Keisha King,’ he wrote.
Others at the meeting, though, expressed their support for the theory, chanting: ‘Allow teachers to tell the truth.’
Florida has become the sixth state to ban teaching critical race theory in schools
Florida teachers also expressed their dismay with the resolution before it was passed, with Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar saying, ‘Students deserve the best education we can provide, and that means giving them a true picture of their world nd our shared history as Americans, according to the New York Daily News.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, however, had been pushing for a ban on the theory for months.
He opened the meeting Thursday night by urging the board to adopt the measure, calling critical race theory ‘really toxic,’ and claiming that it would cause a lot more divisions in society.
‘I think it will cause people to think of themselves more as a member of a particular race based on their skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they’re trying to accomplish in life,’ he told the board, which ultimately approved a resolution banning the theory unanimously.
The resolution states: ‘Instruction on the required topics must be factual and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.’
The specifics of how the resolution will be enforced will likely be up to each individual school board, but with the passage of the resolution, Florida has become the sixth state to ban teaching critical race theory in just the past few months.
Critical race theory is an educational concept that claims racism is a social construct that has been embedded in American legal systems and policies.
It has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project, with supporters saying it is vital to eliminate racism in America and opponents claiming it actually promotes racism by categorizing people into different groups.
Here is a breakdown of the states that have banned critical race theory in public schools or are considering a ban:
Governor Ron DeSantis has publicly vowed not to let it be taught in the state’s schools
Florida – BANNED
The Florida State Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a resolution that would ban the teaching of the critical race theory in schools.
The resolution does not specifically name critical race theory, but states: ‘Instruction on the required topics must be factual and may not suppress or distort significant historical events, such as the Holocaust, and may not define American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.’
It comes months after Governor Ron DeSantis vowed not to let the critical race theory be taught in the state’s schools.
He declared back in March that critical race theory would not be taught in the state’s schools because it ‘teaches kids to hate their country and each other’.
He made the comments as he proposed a $106 million boost in funding for civics education in across the state using money from President Biden’s COVID-19 aid package.
DeSantis said $17 million would be targeted for developing civics curricula with ‘foundational concepts’ – and not ‘unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory’.
‘Let me be clear: There is no room in our classrooms for things like critical race theory,’ he said.
‘Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.’
Georgia – BANNED
The Georgia State Board of Education voted 11 – 2 on June 3 to pass a resolution banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools, after Republican Governor Brian Kemp wrote the board a letter urging them to adopt such a policy.
In the letter, Kemp writes: ‘It is ridiculous that the Biden Administration is considering using taxpayer funds to push a blatantly partisan agenda in Georgia classrooms.
‘Parents, educators and local communities here in the Peach State know how best to educate their students — not the federal government,’ he wrote, adding: ‘Education in Georgia should reflect our fundamental values as a state and nation — freedom, equality and the God-given potential of each individual.’
The state’s new policy ‘no state education agency, school district or school shall teach or instruct’ any concepts about race in the classroom that make ‘an individual feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.’
Board members Leonte Benton and Kenneth Mason were the only two dissenting votes, with Mason, a black man telling CBS Atlanta, ‘The statement, when I read it, made me feel like I don’t belong, because it excused the existence of racism.’
Helen Rice, a white board member, however defended the move, saying: ‘We are respecting equality. That means treating people like you’d like to be treated.’
Montana – BANNED
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued a binding opinion on May 27 that labeled critical race theory and some antiracism programs taught in schools as ‘discriminatory’ and said they violate federal and state law, the Associated Press reported.
Knudsen’s decision came after Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen requested the AG to weigh in on the issue.
‘Committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal,’ Knudsen said in a statement. ‘Montana law does not tolerate schools, other government entities, or employers implementing CRT and antiracist programming in a way that treats individuals differently on the basis of race that creates a racially hostile environment.’
The order states that certain activities that fall under the umbrella of critical race theory teaching violate the U.S. and state constitutions.
The activities include grading students differently based on race, forcing people to admit privilege or reflect on their racial identities, assigning fault, blame or bias to a race, and offering training or assignments that force students or employees to support concepts such as racial privilege, AP reported.
Schools and government and public workplaces in Montana that offer critical race theory training or activities could lose state funding and could be liable for damages from lawsuits, AP reported.
Knudsen’s office also encouraged students and parents who believe they experience illegal discrimination under critical race theory programming to sue their schools directly or file complains with the U.S. Department of Education.
Tennessee – BANNED
A Tennessee law that bans teachers from teaching the critical race theory was signed by the Governor Bill Lee on May 24, after months of debate about the bill.
The Republican governor had previously claimed he would sign the bill, but black Democrats in the majority-white Legislature spoke out against the bill, claiming it would make teachers fearful to teach the history of racial relations in America.
‘Critical race theory is rooted in critical theory, which argues that social problems are created and influenced by societal structures and cultural assumptions,’ Sen. Katrina Robinson, a black Democrat from Memphis, said.
‘How ironic that a body made up of a simple majority of white privileged men can determine whether even my grandchildren can see reflections of themselves in the history lessons at their school.’
Republican Sen. Brian Kelsey, also of Memphis, however, argued that teaching the theory was ‘harmful to our students’.
‘Critical race theory teaches that American democracy is a lie. It teaches that the rule of law does not exist and is instead a series of power struggles among racial groups,’ he said.
‘It is harmful to our students and is antithetical to everything we stand for as Americans and as Tennesseans.’
Idaho – BANNED
Idaho’s Republican Governor Brad Little signed legislation in April that prevents schools and universities from ‘indoctrinating’ students with critical race theory.
The state’s bill allows for the teaching of critical race theory but bans curriculums from forcing belief systems onto students that claim groups of people are inferior or superior to others because of their race, gender or religion.
It also prevents teachers from making students ‘affirm, adopt or adhere to’ belief systems that claim individuals of any race, sex or religion are responsible for the past actions of other members of the same group.
Idaho’s Republican-controlled Senate had earlier passed the bill with a 28-7 vote. One Republican, Senator Dan Johnson, broke rank and joined Democrats in opposing the bill.
Idaho’s Republican Governor Brad Little signed legislation in April that prevents schools and universities from ‘indoctrinating’ students with critical race theory. Students filled the gallery as the legislation was passed in the Senate last month
Governor Brad Little became the first to sign the critical race theory ban into law last month
‘The claim that there is widespread, systemic indoctrination occurring in Idaho classrooms is a serious allegation,’ Little said. ‘Most worryingly, it undermines popular support for public education in Idaho.’
State Democrats had accused Republicans of holding crucial education budget bills hostage while they focused on passing the bill – as they argued the bill was contrary to First Amendment rights.
Senator Janie Ward-Engelking argued the bill was ‘not needed’ and said the idea that schools are ‘brainwashing’ children with ‘a liberal leftist indoctrination’ false.
‘Our universities and school districts districts already have procedures in place that will deal with any problem we have in curriculum,’ she told the Idaho Press.
‘What’s happening is we have a group that’s put out for public release comments that our teachers are brainwashing our children with a liberal leftist indoctrination. And that’s simply not true.’
Oklahoma – BANNED
Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed his state’s bill into law on May 7 after the GOP-controlled House voted 70-19 in its favor.
Under the law, Oklahoma City public school teachers are prohibited from teaching certain concepts of race and racism, including critical race theory.
The bill, which takes effect on July 1, also prevents colleges and universities from requiring students to undergo training on gender or sexual diversity.
Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed his state’s bill into law last Friday after the GOP-controlled House voted 70-19 in favor
Stitt said that the new law will allow history to be taught without labeling a ‘young child as an oppressor’.
‘As governor, I firmly believe that not one cent of taxpayer money should be used to define and divide young Oklahomans about their race or sex. That is what this bill upholds for public education,’ he said.
‘We must keep teaching history and all of its complexities and encourage honest and tough conversations about our past. Nothing in this bill prevents or discourages those conversations.
‘We can and should teach this history without labeling a young child as an oppressor or requiring that he or she feel guilt or shame based on their race or sex. I refuse to tolerate otherwise.’
The bill has received pushback from some, including the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education who unanimously voted on Monday to denounce the law.
All eight board members took turns criticizing Stitt’s bill, including Ruth Veales who argued that the legislation was attempting to shut off conversations about racism to ‘protect white fragility’.
‘As a district that’s over 80 percent students of color, this is definitely an insult,’ Veales said. ‘It is a situation that is so egregious to me.’
Texas – IN PROGRESS
Both houses of the Texas Legislature passed a bill on May 22 that would ban schools from requiring staff to discuss or teach critical race theory.
‘House Bill 3979 makes certain that critical race philosophies, including the 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide,’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said.
‘When parents send their children to school, they want their students to learn critical thinking without being indoctrinated with misinformation charging that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism,’ he continued, adding: ‘Texans roundly reject the ‘woke’ philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another and that someone, by virtue of their race or sex, is innately racist, oppressive or sexist.’
The bill requires teachers who talk about race relations and how they shaped history to look at viewpoints ‘from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.’
A number of teaching organizations have opposed the legislation, however, by arguing that it is attempting to downplay the role of racism in America’s history.
‘By telling teachers what and how to teach and ordering TEA to play police, HB 3979 may be one of the most disrespectful bills to teachers I’ve seen the #txlege dignify with debate,’ Mark Wiggins, a lobbyist for The Association of Professional Educators, tweeted over the weekend.
Texas is in the process of approving similar legislation to ban critical race theory in public schools. Texas Gov Greg Abbott has already expressed support for it and is expected to sign it into law
Mark Wiggins, a lobbyist for The Association of Professional Educators, called the bill ‘one of the most disrespectful … to teachers I’ve seen’
Arizona- IN PROGRESS
An Arizona bill banning ‘biased’ topics in schools, such as critical race theory, has advanced.
The Arizona House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill to ban racist, sexist, politicized or other controversial topics in schools and penalize teachers with fines earlier this month.
Under the bill, which is now with the Senate, charter schools and state agencies would be banned under the Unbiased Teaching Act from discussing controversial issues with students unless teachers give equal weight to divisive topics.
Violations would result in $5,000 fines.
House Democrats voted against the bill and argued it was unconstitutional. They said it was reminiscent of a 2010 law that banned Mexican-American studies but was later struck down in court.
Republican state Rep. Michelle Udall hit back at arguments the bill is trying to ban conversations regarding racism.
‘We cannot allow children in our public schools to be taught that their skin color or ethnicity or sex somehow determines their character or actions. No forms of racism should be allowed to enter our classrooms,’ Udall said.
‘Biased teaching needs to be stopped.’
Iowa – IN PROGRESS
A bill that will ban Iowa students from being taught that the US or the state is systemically racist is currently with Republican Governor Kim Reynolds.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed the bill in a 53-35 vote earlier this month. The Senate also passed it 30-18.
In Iowa, the pending legislation will limit the ‘divisive concepts’ that can be taught in schools and in diversity training in government-related jobs.
Republicans who support the bill argue that it will prevent students from being indoctrinated.
While debating the bill earlier this month, Republican Rep. Steven Holt said it would not ban discussions about slavery, sexism, racism or discrimination.
He argued, however, that teachers didn’t need to ‘use racism to teach against racism’.
‘Of course these issues must be taught. They must be discussed, and they can be without scapegoating entire groups of people,’ Holt said.
Missouri – IN PROGRESS
Republicans in Missouri are currently trying to ban school districts from teaching critical race theory and anything related to 1619 Project.
The ban was included in an amendment to House Bill 1141 that was introduced last month.
The amendment seeks to ban teachers from identifying any people or institutions as racist, biased, privileged or oppressed.
Representative Nick Schroer, who sponsored the amendment, said at the time: ‘I sponsored the amendment to stop ‘critical race theory,’ including the erroneous and hate-filled 1619 Project, from being shoved into our curriculum in our Missouri schools.
‘For those trying to push scare tactics claiming this is about ‘white washing’ history, you are dead wrong. This is about ensuring no one taints a factual teaching of our American history.’
The ACLU of Missouri has since launched a campaign to stop the legislation from being approved, arguing it is ‘loaded down with harmful amendments seeking to undermine the rights of people all across the state’.
Rhode Island – IN PROGRESS
Republican legislators introduced a bill back in March that seeks to ban teaching divisive concepts in schools.
The bill, known as H.6070, has since stalled after being debated by the House Committee on Education.
Republican Rep. Patricia Morgan, who is behind the bill, argued that teachers should not make white students, in particular, feel bad because of their skin color.
When the bill was first put to the committee, more than 150 people submitted written testimony objecting to it.
New Hampshire – IN PROGRESS
Lawmakers in New Hampshire are currently debating a critical race theory amendment that is included in the state’s proposed budget.
Republicans are now trying to compromise with Democrats in the House about the amendment that seeks to ban ‘divisive’ topics regarding race and gender in schools.
West Virginia – IN PROGRESS
Republican lawmakers first introduced a bill in February that seeks to ban schools from promoting ‘divisive concepts’.
The bill was referred to the state House’s Workforce Development Committee.
The ACLU West Virginia is objecting to the bill, arguing it would prevent discussions ‘in curriculum regarding the racial history of the United States, implicit bias, and privilege’.
South Dakota – IN PROGRESS
Likewise in South Dakota, there is no legislation banning critical race theory.
Governor Kristi Noem, however, has put her name to the ‘1776 pledge’ that opposes the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.
‘Teaching our children and grandchildren to hate their own country and pitting them against one another on the basis of race or sex is shameful and must be stopped,’ Noem said earlier this month.
The 1776 Pledge was launched as an attempt to counter the 1619 Project, which posits the true founding of America in 1619, when the first African slaves arrived, rather than 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has boasted of signing the ‘1776 pledge’ that opposes the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in public schools
North Carolina – IN PROGRESS
North Carolina House Republicans approved a plan on May 19 to prohibit public schools from embracing certain ideas related to critical race theory.
The measure passed by a vote of 65 to 48 and now heads to the Senate.
If approved, it would go to Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s desk.
House Bill 324, if approved, would prevent schools from endorsing the view that any person should feel guilty because of their race or sex, or that the person’s race or sex makes them inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, even if unconsciously.
North Carolina’s proposal doesn’t prohibit teachers from introducing the ideas to students as long as they make it clear that the school isn’t endorsing such concepts.
Democrats and racial justice advocates in the state have accused Republicans of trying to rewrite history and deprive pupils of a fulfilling curriculum.
Louisiana – IN PROGRESS
A bill to ban schools and colleges from teaching ‘divisive concepts’, including critical race theory has now stalled in Louisiana amid opposition from some lawmakers and education officials.
Efforts by the House Education Committee late last month to kill the bill failed in a 7-7 vote, which means the bill can resume being debated later.
Rep. Ray Garofalo, who is chairman of the committee, has already said he intends to try to push forward with the bill.
GOP House Speaker Clay Schexnayder was among those who raised concerns about it.
Garofalo said he was trying to take the ‘politics out of the classroom’ and ensure ‘a learning environment free of discrimination’ with the bill.
‘I have no doubt there are certain factions in this country that are trying to infiltrate and indoctrinate our students,’ he said.
Those who oppose it said the proposal was a distraction from the real education problems Louisiana faces and is an attempt to whitewash American history.
Rep. Gary Carter, a New Orleans Democrat, said: ‘The state of Louisiana was fundamentally, institutionally racist in the past.’