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Martin Luther King Jr. Is First Target In Parents’ War On “Critical Race Theory” Teachings

Martin Luther King Jr. Is First Target In Parents’ War On “Critical Race Theory” Teachings

Though Critical Race Theory, or CRT, is a college-level discipline addressing how racism is perpetuated and built into social systems, a disinformation campaign has conflated it with any anti-racism education, as well as any historical information addressing the history of racial discrimination in the United States. As a result, parents are attacking public school systems across the U.S. for teaching that they think is CRT — but is typically simply American History.

Yorba Linda, CA, Tuesday, November 16, 2021 – An even mix of proponents and opponents to teaching Critical Race Theory are in attendance as the Placentia Yorba Linda School Board discusses a proposed resolution to ban it from being taught in schools. Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

In fact, Yahoo News reports that in Tennessee, the very first piece of curriculum reported under a new law that forbids K-12 schools to teach Critical Race Theory was a book about Martin Luther King Jr. The book in question, Martin Luther King Jr and the March on Washington, was reported by a conservative parent group called Moms for Liberty, who claim that it promotes teachings that are “anti-white” and “anti-American.”

The group is also targeting books about Ruby Bridges and her historic role as the first Black student in an all-white school in Louisiana, as well as stories that describe segregation before the Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

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As EdWeek explains, other state legislatures are also considering laws that would make teaching CRT in public schools illegal, and the divide on CRT (as well as the disinformation about what it actually includes) run sharply along political lines. Moreover, as the above demonstrates, while there are no K-12 schools actually teaching a college-level discipline, these laws also make it easy to target standard curriculum that addresses historical inequality.

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