The National Education Association (NEA), the largest union representing school teachers, has committed itself to spreading critical race theory (CRT), including in K-12 schools, drawing conservative outcry.
A series of measures aimed at promoting the concept was adopted at the NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly, taking place virtually this year from June 30 to July 3. First reported by Christopher Rufo, who has been at the center of Republican-driven push to banish CRT from public schools, the plan will see the NEA “share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory (CRT),” as well as resisting attempts to “ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.”
Another measure will see the NEA backing and leading campaigns that “result in increasing the implementation” of critical race theory and other ethnic-centered studies “in pre- K-12 and higher education”
The union has also approved funding for “increasing the implementation” of CRT in K-12 curricula and for attacking conservative groups who oppose CRT indoctrination.The teachers union has made critical race theory its #1 priority—and want to implement it nationwide. pic.twitter.com/QaeTBouTf2
Denouncing the plan, Rufo interpreted it to mean that “the argument that ‘critical race theory isn’t in K-12 schools’ is officially dead.”
BREAKING: The nation’s largest teachers union has approved a plan to promote critical race theory in all 50 states and 14,000 local school districts.The argument that “critical race theory isn’t in K-12 schools” is officially dead. pic.twitter.com/BMRDoAK0sA
With 3 million members and affiliates in 14,000 communities across the US, the NEA is a powerful lobbying group that has generously contributed to liberal causes, giving millions in donations to liberal groups and Democratic candidates in the 2020 election cycle, including funneling $176,649 directly to President Joe Biden’s campaign, according to the ‘Open Secrets’ website. The NEA, which counts Biden’s wife, Jill among its long-time members, drew praise from the president as recently as Friday, who called it “one of America’s indispensable organizations.”
Proponents of CRT say it is just another academic concept, which teaches that racism in America is systemic and permeates the legal system, as well as policy. Critics of CRT see it as a dangerous ‘Marxist ideology’ which is “inherently bigoted” and serves only to pit different races against each other.
#CriticalRaceTheory is a Marxist ideology that sees the world as a battle, not between the classes – as classical Marxism does – but between the races. It’s inherently bigoted. pic.twitter.com/7jhyzbTPnP
The New York Times’ 1619 Project has also drawn criticism for what its opponents see as an attempt to reframe US history as racist. The project’s founder, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, courted controversy for stating that 1619 – the year when the first African slaves were brought to Jamestown – was the year of America’s “true founding.” Jones, however, later appeared to backtrack, clarifying that she wanted only to highlight the significance of the moment in the country’s history.
Former US President Donald Trump has blasted both CRT and the 1619 Project, and about two dozen states have passed or are considering legislation aimed at banning the teaching of theories that portray the US as inherently racist.
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