Michael Matteo: CRT, PART III – so now what?

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Most actions people take in life are to bring about positive change either for themselves or for society.  No one ever gets into their car and looks forward to getting into a car accident.  No one ever gets married because they are anxious to experience a divorce.  So, what is the upside for critical race theory and why are so many people defending it?   For some it is a cash cow.  Leading proponents of CRT have made a lot of money by promoting it through the sale of their books as well as charging outrageous speaking fees for seminars and lectures. Kimberly Crenshaw (who is given credit for coining the terms intersectionality and critical race theory) has a net worth of between 1 million and 4 million dollars.  Peggy McIntosh (responsible for coining the phrase, “White Privilege”) has a net worth of approximately 6.72 million dollars.  Robin DiAngelo’s (author of White Fragility) net worth is 32.8 million dollars!  Ibram Kendi’s net worth is approximately 1 million dollars, but in fairness to the others, he hasn’t been race hustling as long as the others. Evidently, being an anti-racist pays quite well.  

For those not seeking financial rewards, there are emotional rewards.  Some feel that it is their quest to “tell their truths” about American evils.  Unfortunately, there isn’t your truth or my truth, there is only THE TRUTH.  These misguided naysayers believe that by teaching that America is systemically racist, it can relieve their personal guilt about the past.  Many of these people make the claim that schools don’t teach students about the evils of the slave trade, Jim Crow laws or the struggle for African Americans to achieve civil rights.  Others embrace the teachings of the victim culture because it exculpates them from anything that they may have done to cause them to fail; it’s not their fault, it’s the deck being stacked against them, which resulted in their failures.  The emotional catharsis that these individuals get from blaming everything on racism and pointing fingers at those evil white people may not be financially rewarding, but it must make them feel as if they are accomplishing something, even though it actually makes things worse.  

Anyone who seeks to enflame racial relations to make a profit is evil.  They take responsibility for every crime perpetrated against someone that is racially driven due to the hatred that their words have evoked by those incapable of discerning fact from fiction.   They spit on the accomplishments and achievements of great people, like Martin Luther King who died attempting to get people to embrace the ideology of a color-blind society (an idea challenged by those who embrace CRT).  

CRT has been tied to Marxism as well.  Last year, the Zinn Education Project organized pro CRT rallies, and they asked educators to sign a pledge to continue the commitment to teaching CRT.  More than 5,000 educators signed the pledge to break anti CRT laws (which is interesting because so many have denied that CRT is being taught) most notably in response to a Texas law that “bars any form of race or sex stereotyping or places blame on the basis of race or sex.”  I fail to see what is wrong with a law that bars blaming them for things they didn’t do.

The Zinn Education Project was founded by Howard Zinn, a leftist educator who wrote the book, A People’s History, which was voted the 2nd least credible history book by the History News Network, due to its biased reporting of history to fit Zinn’s anti-American agenda and leftist leanings.  Zinn may be long dead, but his education project is alive and well and preaching the evils of America. 

The largest teacher union in America, The National Education Association opposes the efforts to ban the teaching of CRT and the 1619 Project (a distorted view of American history that has been condemned by numerous historians due to fallacies, distortions and omissions).   The 1619 Project was developed by Nikole Hannah Jones (her net worth is approximately 3 million dollars).  

I have been a history teacher for over three decades, and I’ve never seen a history book that didn’t teach about the slave trade, Jim Crow laws or the efforts of good people of all races to end segregation and promote a color-blind society.  It is impossible to teach American history without mentioning these evils, however, those who advocate CRT want to go far beyond teaching what happened and make suppositions that implicate all whites as being privileged, white supremacists and promote a narrative that is both false and serves to encourage hatred for people based upon race. 

Another movement that is grounded in CRT is the movement to ban books written by white males.  Literature is now judged by who wrote it, not by its literary merit.  Shakespeare, an old white guy, is at the top of the hit list for many institutions because it’s more important to provide students with diverse authors, than the greatest works in literary history.  I recently read an article about efforts to ban the book To Kill a Mockingbird because it had a “white savior” representing a black defendant who was falsely accused of raping a white woman.  Thus, even a “good” white person, isn’t good enough because there will always be a way to spin the situation in a negative way if it involves a white guy.    

In August of 2020, The U.S. Department of Education promoted a link to the abolitionist’s teaching network titled: Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning.  In this link is a page of Abolitionist Teacher’s Demands and some of the following were listed:

  • Free, antiracist therapy for White educators and support staff
  • Hire, support, retain, and develop Abolitionist educators
  • Remove any and all police and policing from schools
  • Reparations for Children of Color stolen by the school-to-prison pipeline
  • Teaching standards, learning standards, and teacher evaluations that are grounded in the pursuit of Black, Brown, and Indigenous liberation, criticality, excellence, and joy (Muhammad, 2020) 

Co-founder of the Abolitionists Teaching Network, Bettina Love, said, “If you don’t recognize that white supremacy is in everything we do, then we got a problem,” and she continued, “I want us to be feared.”  Is this the kind of mentality that we want promoted by the U.S. Department of Education?  

Don’t be fooled by those who claim that CRT isn’t being taught or isn’t being pushed by educators throughout the U.S.  Parents need to be ever vigilant at what is being taught to their children and have every right to speak out at school board meetings. As the evidence in my 3 articles suggests this is a war against children of all races.  It is an attempt to polarize people based on race through the educational system.  Parents must continue the fight and elect school board members who want the best educational outcome for ALL children and expurgate anyone whose idea of social justice is to indoctrinate children to believe that injustice and illogic are sources of knowledge because it suits their warped agenda. 

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