Check out the four-part series on this topic at my Education Week column.
Though critiques of The 1619 Project have been going on for awhile (see AUGUST 23RD IS “INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE SLAVE TRADE AND ITS ABOLITION” – HERE ARE RELATED RESOURCES), the frenzy about Critical Race Theory and how it’s being used to stop educators from teaching about systemic racism is a line of attack from conservatives that I certainly did not see coming.
And it’s extremely dangerous.
I’ve shared some resources about it earlier, but it’s obviously important enough for a “Best” list.
Here are my recommendations of where to learn more:
What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack? is from Ed Week.
Why Conservatives Want To Cancel The 1619 Project is from The Atlantic.
What is critical race theory, and why do Republicans want to ban it in schools? is from The Washington Post.
How ‘critical race theory’ came to dominate education debates in Texas is from The Dallas News.
EXPLAINED: The Truth About Critical Race Theory and How It Shows Up in Your Child’s Classroom is from The Education Post.
This is absolutely correct. Journalists have been using CRT and 1619 Project interchangeably. I think CRT is valid and important but we need to stop letting bad-faith actors write the narratives for reporting. It’s called reporting for a reason. https://t.co/KkdHz80fuQ
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) May 7, 2021
“I don’t know how you teach about 1865 without acknowledging that 1619 was an important year.”@nhannahjones on Mitch McConnell saying 1619 is not an important day in history. #TheReidOut pic.twitter.com/BdPSDcqvsp
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) May 4, 2021
The problem with the way too many people on here who think/ write about race is that it’s not based on any significant study of racial history, sociology or economics, but merely comes from the authority of how they’ve experienced race. It’s a confidence based on ignorance.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) April 28, 2021
Disputing Racism’s Reach, Republicans Rattle American Schools is from The NY Times.
The Miseducation of White Children is from The Nation.
How I think James Baldwin would respond to the scare over critical race theory:
“It is not the black child’s language that is in question…It is his experience…A child cannot be taught by anyone whose demand, essentially, is that the child repudiate his experience…”
— JOSHUA (@JournoJoshua) June 5, 2021
See, I feel like this debate really isn’t about defining “critical race theory.” (Yes, a real definition exists. But it isn’t all that relevant to what’s happening in this current moment.) This is about the right using that term to refer to any centering of race in public schools https://t.co/7TGXeIsrGd
— Dana Goldstein (@DanaGoldstein) June 1, 2021
There are more laws against schools teaching Critical Race Theory than schools that teach Critical Race Theory.
— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) June 11, 2021
And hint: CRT is not radical if you actually know what it is. The ideal that race is embedded in the law and our nation’s institutions is simply a historical fact.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 9, 2021
Just as “fake news” really means “reporting I don’t like” and “cancel culture” means “accountability I don’t like,” “CRT” means “any conversation about race I don’t like.”
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) June 9, 2021
I recommend the whole piece. https://t.co/rE2e70O8g6
— Hakeem Jefferson (@hakeemjefferson) June 8, 2021
The Constitution of the Republic of Texas enshrined slavery, banned the manumission of enslaved people, and barred black people and native americans from citizenship. You could not make try harder to make the 1619 Project’s argument for them https://t.co/rhbWMTN62n
— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) June 7, 2021
This is an amazing resource. Efforts to restrict teaching about racism and bias have multiplied across the U.S.https://t.co/2Z0hx1vf8l
— Koby Levin (@levin_koby) June 9, 2021
Indoctrination task forces now demanding teachers turn over lesson plans involving ELL, justice curriculum and 1619 Project. This is not a sign of a healthy, free society. https://t.co/KBCp5zdnSn
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 11, 2021
This white panic about “teaching Critical Race Theory in schools” (when it’s not taught in anything lower than a collegiate seminar) would be funny if it wasn’t for the inevitability that everything from Toni Morrison to George Washington Carver is going to be branded as CRT.
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) June 11, 2021
This “rule” makes slavery, Native dispossession, Reconstruction, lynching, Jim Crow, and any number of other basic “factual” elements of American history either inexplicable or impossible to take seriously. And that’s the point. It’s got nothing to do with CRT. https://t.co/ZZuvyyIova pic.twitter.com/2TrDyxfYud
— Joshua D. Rothman (@rothmanistan) June 11, 2021
Teachers across the country protest laws restricting lessons on racism is from The Washington Post.
Three (Ignorant) Arguments Used to Ban Critical Race Theory is from The Education Post.
It’s like a bad movie script. “Arizona teachers could face a $5,000 penalty if they allow classroom discussions on controversial topics such as racism or fail to give equal weight to divisive topics, under provisions of a last-minute amendment.” https://t.co/LgfrsHhZTv
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 14, 2021
A group wants Washoe County teachers to wear body cameras to ensure parents that no “critical race theory” is being taught in classrooms.https://t.co/v4HEp3NBBG
— Sam Metz (@metzsam) June 10, 2021
Republicans, spurred by an unlikely figure, see political promise in targeting critical race theory is from The Washington Post.
Fox failed to fully disclose the professional conservative ties of 11 guests featured in segments about critical race theory, among them: Republican strategists and lobbyists, staff of conservative think tanks, and media personalities.https://t.co/EJs3PuO1YE
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 18, 2021
Yes. Yes. Yes. I keep saying this. https://t.co/fXAgcrtUoD
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) June 17, 2021
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) June 14, 2021
This NPR interview with Gloria Ladson-Billings is really good.
This is just so excellent. Stop what you’re doing and watch. https://t.co/0kDAltAsaN
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) June 23, 2021
“No one has to be ashamed for things they haven’t personally done. But you have to acknowledge the way that legacy has shaped your life and your country. And in confronting that legacy, we can be liberated from it.” — Nikole Hannah-Jones. #ALAAC21 #ALLibraries
— Jennifer Powell (@Ace_Librarian7) June 24, 2021
My understanding of the anti-CRT arguments is that teachers can and should teach this history. But. It was bad actors, not about systems. And it was then, has no bearing on now. That’s the “right” way to teach history. https://t.co/I6dFLSsWyd
— Jennifer Binis (@JennBinis) June 24, 2021
The War on History Is a War on Democracy is from The NY Times. Here’s a quote from it: “History is not therapy, and discomfort is part of growing up.”
Critical Race Theory Bans Are a Political Ploy, Students and Teachers Say is from Teen Vogue.
.@marclamonthill explains critical race theory. He says, “What they’ve managed to do is create a boogie man. A moral panic around this word, so any talk about race, any talk about justice is called critical race theory so that you don’t want it.” More: https://t.co/d5NRtT79V0 pic.twitter.com/pJ6kMOHl4m
— BNC (@BNCNews) July 1, 2021
Nearly 40 yrs ago, James Baldwin identified what’s at heart of contemporary CRT scare:
“The real terror that engulfs the white world now is a visceral terror…. It’s the terror of being described by those they have been describing for so long.”
-Interview w/ Julius Lester, 1984
— Robert P. Jones (@robertpjones) June 29, 2021
*Actual* Critical Race Theory: Racism is so normal, the dominant society will interpret an attack on racism as an attack on society itself.
Society, itself: https://t.co/XGEgHAX4SY
— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) June 26, 2021
This humorous video from The Daily Show only has one minor classroom inappropriate word at the end:
Teacher unions push back on debate over critical race theory is from Politico.
Teachers’ Unions Vow to Defend Members in Critical Race Theory Fight is from Ed Week.
This is the end game. That’s why these anti-CRT laws are memory laws. https://t.co/zneZCOXJja
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) July 8, 2021
Many Americans embrace falsehoods about critical race theory is from Reuters.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 15, 2021
So what is Critical Race Theory, really? And why is it so important?
— African American Policy Forum (@AAPolicyForum) July 14, 2021
“Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of a sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.”
– Martin Luther King Jr, 1967 https://t.co/kvNpxyBQe1
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 13, 2021
I talked to Christopher Rufo’s targets: educators. https://t.co/4wAmPhHPPw
— Sarah Jones (@onesarahjones) July 11, 2021
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) July 8, 2021
@antisocialstudiesPART 2 I love my fellow ##tiktokteachers ##history ##teacher ##imsoproudofyou ##herecomestheboy♬ original sound – Anti-Social Studies
American Education Is Founded on White Race Theory is from The New Republic.
TO COUNTER “CRITICAL RACE THEORY” ATTACKS, ADVOCACY GROUPS DODGE THE TERM is from The Intercept.
Students need to learn about the haters and the helpers of our history is from The Washington Post.
As a part 1619 Project debate, “the nation’s founding has come under the most scrutiny. How much did 1776 hv to do with race and slavery? The answer is: you can’t tell the story without it. We have given the founding fathers passes when it comes to race.” https://t.co/w3y0ITBybk
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) July 23, 2021
Couldn’t believe this was true, so I read the bill myself. Sure enough, TX Senate just passed a bill to remove Frederick Douglass, MLK, Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, the Civil Rights Movement and more from the required reading in social studies. 1/x https://t.co/mho9PrvI8n
— Derek W. Black (@DerekWBlack) July 18, 2021
A $5 Million Fine for Classroom Discussions on Race? In Tennessee, This Is the New Reality is from Education Week.
What Critical Race Theory Means for Teachers is from Heinemann.
How to stop worrying that CRT will corrupt your kids is from The L.A. Times.
Critical Race Theory and the New ‘Massive Resistance’ is from The 74.
Here’s what Black students have to say about ‘critical race theory’ bans is from NBC News.
‘Critical race theory’ roils a Tennessee school district is from Reuters.
Can there be a winner in the school culture wars? is from The Christian Science Monitor.
EXPLAINER: So much buzz, but what is critical race theory? is from The Associated Press.
BINGO! “In the Fox News poll, white respondents opposed the teaching of CRT by 24 percentage points, but parents opposed it by only five points. That’s because many parents aren’t white, and the poll’s nonwhite respondents were twice as likely to favor CRT as to oppose it.” https://t.co/i266m0juz1
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) November 6, 2021
AS WE SAID: “So, yes, there was a backlash against “critical race theory” in Virginia. And, yes, it helped Republicans win. Their strategy of hyping, distorting, and attacking CRT worked. But it didn’t work by appealing to parents. It worked by appealing to race.”
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) November 6, 2021
Lone Star Parent Power: How One of the Nation’s Toughest Anti-Critical Race Theory Laws Emboldened Angry Texas Parents Demanding Book Banning, Educator Firings | The 74 https://t.co/C9l7Y66Cv6
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 4, 2021
How a School District Got Caught in Virginia’s Political Maelstrom is from The NY Times.
The Second Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. is from The Atlantic.
Most Republicans oppose teaching kids about the lingering effects of racism is from The Washington Post.
New Hampshire governor condemns tweet offering a ‘bounty’ on teachers is from NBC News.
The Conservative War on Education That Failed is from The Atlantic.
Union asks education chief to resign over complaint form is from The Associated Press.
The Missing Voices In The Panic Over Critical Race Theory is from HuffPost.
‘A dog whistle and a lie’: Black parents on the critical race theory debate is from The Washington Post
In Texas, a Battle Over What Can Be Taught, and What Books Can Be Read is from The NY Times.
Cutting short conversations about the Underground Railroad & genocide. Avoiding saying “systemic racism.” Students of color taking on discussions about white privilege. This is how laws targeting CRT are affecting schools — w/ @matt_barnum @marta_w_aldrich https://t.co/M9RcMO3Gvl
— Kalyn Belsha (@kalynbelsha) December 17, 2021
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) December 28, 2021
Where Are Black Parents’ Voices on Critical Race Theory? is from The Nation.
Op-Ed: King was a critical race theorist before there was a name for it is from The L.A. Times.
Opinion: Take it from a high schooler who’s actually learned about CRT: Adults need to chill out is from The Washington Post.
‘Let’s ban algebra, too!’ adds Fla. legislator who is clearly not three kids in a trench coat is from The Washington Post.
The purposes of the new education “transparency” bills is by Don Monynihan.
Asked my 9 yo how she felt reading this book, as a white person; she said “I think the only white people that feel bad or mad or uncomfortable reading about the stuff that white people did in history are the people who want to do it again.” #StopBanningBooks@nhannahjones pic.twitter.com/fMn663Zlq3
— Jessica Hulick (@happyqueer) January 22, 2022
Highly recommend this piece, which reminds us that amid all of the political theatre and real-world consequences of the the CRT debate… “states’ revisions to history standards have attracted far less attention, even though they stand to affect millions more students.” https://t.co/dFHij85c2i
— Erica L. Green (@EricaLG) January 21, 2022
Especially now, with so many teachers posting lessons on Google Classroom or other LMS, it’s clear that the issue isn’t transparency – it’s intimidation and bullying https://t.co/vn94Vj72fH
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) January 20, 2022
Is this an example of the types of lessons parents should sue schools over because they provoke anguish, discomfort and a sense of inferiority, or nah? https://t.co/YGdrgsSiRd
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) January 20, 2022
To test how race-neutral the DeSantis bill and others like it are, Black, Latino and Indigenous parents should flood these states with lawsuits about lessons that make their children feel discomfort, or that one race is superior to another and see how it goes.
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) January 19, 2022
I am reminded of segregationists who justified separate restrooms, elevators, waiting rooms, restaurants, phone booths, water fountains, parks, schools, pools, and even cemeteries by claiming White adults and children felt “discomfort” around Black people.
And now this. https://t.co/PdfzXCQpQf
— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 19, 2022
Do you all know how crazily dangerous this is that Republicans have gone from pushing laws that argue white children need to be legally protected from honest conversations about racism and racial inequality to white ADULTS need to be legally protected? https://t.co/ygWt0QerQP
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) January 19, 2022
It’s always a good sign when a society conscripts its children as spies. https://t.co/iEITIBsyew
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) January 25, 2022
Youngkin’s ‘tip line’ to snitch on teachers suffers from this, too is from The Washington Post.
New critical race theory laws have teachers scared, confused and self-censoring is from The Washington Post.
This is excellent about the practical effects of educational gag orders, where laws framed as opposing CRT are instead silencing Black school officials, students and authors from talking about their experiences https://t.co/VdpU3v9WyL
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) February 13, 2022
“In the skin I’m in,” she thought, “should I be here?”
How two Black parents in Plano took action after feeling ignored in the ‘critical race theory’ fight
— Erica L. Green (@EricaLG) February 10, 2022
Parents organize to fight back against GOP’s classroom culture war https://t.co/AFd2FVRdyh
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 15, 2022
New transparency bills would force teachers to post instructional materials is from The Washington Post.
Why Teachers Are Afraid to Teach History is from The New Republic.
I’ve often wondered if we would be better served by explaining what CRT is rather than just dismissively saying that it isn’t really taught at the K-12 level. https://t.co/XSOqvwXGrZ
— Margaret Thornton, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) (@MaggieEThornton) April 5, 2022
“Educators have the moral and professional responsibility to teach and lead on issues of race and racism in schools—it’s what children need, what most parents want, and what compelling research calls for.” https://t.co/J2PxUTRLy7
— Shawntanet Jara, Ed.D (she/her)–we/us (@LeadwLovePower) April 4, 2022
It’s amazing that one person from a third-tier political think tank was able to take some 40-year-old academic theory, and package it in a way that created such a panic, that it’s now like every question in a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.https://t.co/yNM41h08pT
— m (@mayavada) March 24, 2022
Florida rejects math textbooks over ‘prohibited’ topics is from The Washington Post.
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) April 16, 2022
Florida Rejects Math Textbooks, Citing ‘Prohibited Topics’ is from The NY Times.
He Fuels the Right’s Cultural Fires (and Spreads Them to Florida) is from The NY Times.
How Anti-Critical Race Theory Bills Are Taking Aim At Teachers is from Five Thirty Eight.