Teachers are afraid of being blacklisted for teaching critical race ideology.

  • A flurry of bills banning race and gender education is emerging in the state legislature.
  • The movement is raising concerns about “cooling effects” on teachers.
  • A professor of critical race theory likened it to a red draw.

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Tanya Katie Hernandez is fortunate to be a full-time professor at Fordham University School of Law, a private Catholic institution in New York City, who says she supports her teaching on the critical theory of race.

But she told Insider that she was worried about what might happen, for example, that her family needed to move to another state where her skills laws were being violated. She asks if she can teach him what she sees as the most important learning issues without having to fire her students.

“It’s like living under a red fear, almost,” he said, referring to the McCarthy era, the Cold War hysteria when allegations of communist sympathy could end a career. “It’s the closest I can imagine.”

Hernández warns others entering the profession that they too may be weak.

The subject of the critical race theory – a college-level study of racial bias in American law – for K-12 schools, where educators say it is not taught, and for universities where it has been taught for decades. Is going, has become controversial. Educational theory has become difficult to teach about race, equality and diversity. Conservatives say it divides people into oppressors and victims. The Conservative Legal Inquiry Foundation launched criticalrace.org to track CRT training in colleges and universities.

This year, 54 bills have been introduced in 24 state legislatures to limit education and training in schools, higher education and state institutions, according to a new study by PEN America, a literary and human rights organization. Is. Most bills discuss race, gender, American history, and the prohibition on “forbidden” or “divisive” concepts. By October 1, the law had been enacted in 11 nine states: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee and Texas.

“Some of the rules are vague,” said Hernandez, “and you say you’re not sure what it gets.” “There’s a lot of discretion in any kind of interpretation,” he said, “and it’s definitely not a comfortable place for a teacher to be trying to do their job.”

Tanya Katie Hernandez

Tanya Katie Hernandez teaches critical race theory at Fordham University School of Law in New York City.

Courtesy of Fordham University School of Law


‘Totally wrong’

The PEN USA study states that legislation considered “anti-CRT” is not primarily intended to curb the study of CRT, but rather a broad range of ideas in schools and universities. “In short: those are educational gag orders,” the study says.

The rules are already in effect. Oklahoma City Community College has suspended a course on race and ethnicity. Iowa State University professors receive guidance on how to avoid “drawing scrutiny” for their teaching. The administrator of a K-12 in Texas has asked teachers to balance Holocaust books with the “opposite” perspective.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that at the University of Florida, an associate professor filed a complaint alleging that he was threatened with disciplinary action if he used “critical race” in the design of his curriculum and program. was given.

The National Education Association, which represents teachers and the faculty of higher education, is offering state-specific guidelines to ensure that teachers know what the rules mean for their work. The union says laws should not undermine efforts to ensure that all students “appear in the classroom and benefit from culturally incorporated curricula and teaching aids that reflect historical facts about our country.” Teach. “

In her latest critical race theory course this semester, Hernandez described the CRT controversy as “a shadow of a lot”. Many students see this as a valuable analytical framework for reaching out to legal issues such as voting rights or employment, but they are seeing a “constant onslaught in the news” about the ideology of the critical race.

For some students, attacks are a testament to what they are learning. Others are “almost terrified”, questioning whether they can talk about it in public or write about it in op-eds. “It’s very cold,” he said.

It has advised students seeking a career in the area that they would be at risk in areas of the country where “censorship gag orders” have gained attention in the state legislature.

Hernandez, who is working on her third book in a series on the struggle for racism and civil rights, has been reading critical racial theory for 25 years and has become accustomed to being out of sight when explaining her work. Was because they did not know. Duration

Now that people have heard about it in the news or on Saturday Night Live, he said, they are either curious or misinformed. “They think it’s part of a platform for analysis or racial hatred against whites,” he said, adding that it was “completely wrong.”

She describes it as an analysis of legal jurisprudence that examines how advances in civil rights law have been undermined and, in many ways, frustrated by the colorful ideology of dealing with racism. “This is a special framework for looking at the law and how to deploy it in society and how to better reform it,” he said.

While K-12 instructors may teach that there were Jim Crow laws to enforce racial segregation in the South after the Civil War, the CRT sees the Jim Crow law as a way to increase ethnic inclusion after the end of the Jim Crow laws. How do the barriers continue? “It looks at patterns and it looks at ongoing legacies,” he said.

He said it was no coincidence that political activists were financing attacks on the critical ideology of race. After the demonstrations. He said the misinformation campaign was working well, as it caused racial tension and distress.

He said the CRT’s claims that education was “unpatriotic” were “ironic”. He said teaching students the “truth” about history and asking questions about how to improve things “is actually the most patriotic thing anyone can do”.

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