Republican senators target banning critical race theory as a priority
Following Governor Brian Kemp’s recent State of the State address where he included remarks against Critical Race Theory (CRT), GOP legislators are following his lead and vowing to block the teaching of “critical race theory” in Georgia’s schools.
Proponents of CRT say that those running to quickly put bans in place around CRT cannot even define the concept that they are attempting to ban. This was reflected as a recent Senate Republican Caucus news conference where they gathered to discuss its priorities. State Sen. Bo Hatchett of Clarkesville admitted that they were not sure what CRT is and needed to define it first.
Said Hatchett, “In order to have an honest dialogue, we have to define the terms.” He went on to say, “We believe that there are concepts that are being taught in Georgia colleges and universities and seeping down into our K-12 schools — concepts that an overwhelming majority of Georgians outright reject.”
Hatchett, one of Gov. Brian Kemp’s floor leaders, is backing bills that he said will ensure students don’t learn lessons in school that make them feel guilty or inferior based on their race. “We can uphold free speech and academic freedom while ensuring that our history — with all of its shining moments and its painful stains — is something we are to learn from, not something that is stamped into our DNA,” he said.
The question for those we spoke about within the community was whose children Kemp and Hatchett are trying to protect? They also point to years of textbooks written by segregationists that failed to tell the true story of slavery and even some that suggested that Black people accepted and were better off because of slavery.
Critical race theory is used in higher education to examine the effect of racism on society. CRT became a national issue after Republican Glenn Youngkin used it to drum up conservatives to the polls in his successful campaign for Virginia governor. Once he took office, one of his first official acts was to sign an executive order banning the use of CRT in schools. Again, the question for those we spoke with was this…can he define what he has banned, or is it a catch-all to ban anything that mentions slavery and its ugly history?.