In the eye of a leftist storm.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis is being buffeted by a leftist-created storm over his actions to keep Critical Race Theory out of Florida high schools.
Let’s be clear. Critical Race Theory isn’t about teaching the history of slavery and discrimination in the United States. No thinking person believes these things shouldn’t be taught. The slavery of 18th and 19th century America and the discrimination that persisted into the 20th century are indelible parts of our history. No one could possibly call himself or herself educated absent the knowledge of black America’s long struggle for equality. (Would that it could be possible for every American to sit in Miss Thornell’s class during my junior year of high school. Her teaching of these dark chapters of American history was pitch perfect.)
Miss Thornell would be appalled by Critical Race Theory, or “CRT” as it is often called. CRT is a radical leftist ideology that promotes the idea that white people are naturally born as oppressors and that ‘people of color’ – most particularly black people – are naturally born oppressed.
CRT is a toxic belief system that is antithetical to the nation’s founding ideals. It inflames rather than calms racial tension. It makes wholesale discard of the American founding. CRT is willfully blind to all that the American founders got right. Promoters of CRT reject the indisputable fact that for all its acknowledged human faults, America has lifted more people out of poverty and freed more people from the chains of bondage than any other nation in all of history.
I believe it’s fair to say that racial tension in America is mostly, though by no means exclusively, a black/white issue. And I believe it will be a continuing blight until such time as black people in America are represented in the middle class in the same proportion as white people. If that ever happens – and it should have by now and still could with proper national policy – racial tension will largely disappear.
The problem is that most of America’s (mostly) well-intentioned efforts toward black economic parity have backfired. Since embarking on Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in 1965, American taxpayers have thrown more than $22 trillion at the problem of black economic underperformance. In that nearly six decades, even as the black middle class has expanded – albeit at a lower rate than prior to the Great Society – the problems of black crime, black educational underperformance, black incarceration and black family breakdown have nevertheless all gotten worse.
Meanwhile, ignored by most of academe and the media, is the demonstrable fact that black kids who stay in school, avoid addiction and avoid unwed pregnancy now enter the American middle class at roughly the same rate as white kids.
Three things, tantalizingly simple in concept and yet, given the deleterious effects of six decades of welfare policy, so difficult to put into practice.
Finish high school. Stay off drugs. Don’t get pregnant until you’re married.
These three simple tenets should undergird and inform American educational and social policy.
Not Critical Race Theory.