AOC says teachers should be ‘fluent in dismantling racism’ as she backs critical race theory


AOC says teachers should be ‘fluent in dismantling racism’ and accuses Republicans of not wanting ‘kids to know how to be racist’ in argument backing critical race theory

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said teachers should be fluent in ‘dismantling racism’
  • She accused Republicans of not wanting kids educated on the subject 
  • ‘Critical Race Theory is not taught in elementary school. It is barely taught in law schools, frankly, in the level that it should be taught,’ she told CNN
  • Republican legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills that would restrict how teachers discuss racism 
  • ‘Why don’t Republicans want their kids to know the tradition of anti-racism in the United States?,’ Ocasio-Cortez said
  • Conservatives argue that students are being taught a warped version of American history 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said teachers should be fluent in ‘dismantling racism’ and accused Republicans of not wanting kids educated on the subject.

The liberal congresswoman from New York expressed her backing for Critical Race Theory in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Monday night.

‘Critical Race Theory is not taught in elementary school. It is barely taught in law schools, frankly, in the level that it should be taught,’ she said.

She blamed Republicans for it being removed from schools. 

‘We know that Republicans have started to now use these laws curtailing critical race ‘curriculum,’ that’s not even being taught in the first place, as a proxy to saying we can’t teach anything about race in our schools beyond just some of the most minimal, minimal, minimal facts,’ she said. 

Critical Race Theory highlights how historical inequities and racism have become ingrained in institutions and society; therefore they continue to shape public policy and social conditions today.   

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said teachers should be fluent in 'dismantling racism' as she backed the teaching of critical race theory in an interview with CNN

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said teachers should be fluent in ‘dismantling racism’ as she backed the teaching of critical race theory in an interview with CNN

Conservatives argue that students are being taught a warped version of American history, while supporters say it is vital to understand how race impacts society in order to eliminate racism. 

Republican legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills that would restrict how teachers discuss racism, sexism, and controversial issues. In nine states, the bills have passed into law with some Republicans accusing Democrats of trying to indoctrinate children with the belief that the United States is inherently wicked.

‘We should say why don’t you want our schools to teach anti-racism? Why don’t Republicans want their kids to know the tradition of anti-racism in the United States?’ Ocasio-Cortez said. ‘Why are they attacking the core roots of history in this country that strays anything beyond what we already know? … Why don’t Republicans want us to learn how to not be racist? Why don’t Republicans want kids to know how to not be racist?’   

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, last month

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, last month

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, last month

Six states have banned the critical race theory and another dozen are considering passing similar resolutions

Six states have banned the critical race theory and another dozen are considering passing similar resolutions

Six states have banned the critical race theory and another dozen are considering passing similar resolutions

National fight over Critical Race Theory has ignited over the past year 

The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the last year.

The theory 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.

The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.

The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.

Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.

Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.

It has become a key focus on the curriculum of schools over the last year amid the nationwide reckoning for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd.

But it has starkly divided opinion.  

 A Public Opinion Strategies poll from early June found that critical race theory is viewed negatively by voters with a 50 percent negative to 42 percent positive margin.

President Joe Biden also has expressed support for it.

In June, he signed an executive order that required all federal agencies to ramp up workplace training on ‘systemic and institutional racism’ and ‘implicit and unconscious bias.’ 

Though his order did not mention critical race theory by name, it did instruct agency leaders to provide greater access to training that covers many of the ideas outlined in that theory.

Biden earlier reversed a previous executive order from then President Donald Trump  that banned any diversity training in the federal government that was based in critical race theory.

President Biden believes that ‘kids should learn about our history,’ including the ‘many dark moments,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in early July when pressed about the president’s stance on teaching critical race theory. 

‘The president believes that in our history, there are so many dark moments, and there is not just slavery and racism in our history. There is systemic racism that is still impacting society today,’ Psaki said. ‘And he believes, as I believe as a parent of children, that kids should learn about our history.’

She added, ‘So as the spouse of an educator and as somebody who continues to believe that children should learn not just the good but also the challenging in our history, and that’s part of what we’re talking about here, even as it’s become politically charged.’

Her comments came after the National Education Association calling for ‘culturally responsive education, critical race theory and ethnic studies curriculum’ to be taught from pre-K through 12th grade in schools across the country.

Critical race theory: From obscure academic concept to the front lines of America’s ‘culture wars’ 

Critical race theory (CRT) exploded to prominence in the spring as it started to appear in classrooms from kindergarten to Grade 12, leading to several bans including in Florida and Texas, however it has been taught in higher education for decades.

It is an offshoot of the Marxist ideology Critical Theory, of Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, which argued that there are power structures which ‘enslave’ the minds of the oppressed in society. 

CRT teaches that racism is not the result of nature or biology but that it is a social construct, an idea invented to exploit and control minorities.

It argues racism is a structural problem in the United States, particularly towards black people, embedded in its institutions, legal system and even the Constitution.  

The theory 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.

The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.

The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.

Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.

Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law. 



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