Home to the largest Confederate memorial in the country, the state of Georgia took another leap in whitewashing history. The majority-white Georgia Board of Education passed a resolution declaring slavery and racism are inconsistent with America.
Calling an emergency meeting, the state board of education met Thursday to weigh in on critical race theory. A manufactured crisis of conservative origin, K-12 public school students are not learning critical race theory.
YouTube comments during the meeting questioned the validity of the so-called emergency. The resolution adopted similar language as proposals in Republican-controlled legislatures across the country.
Merely symbolic, the resolution serves as a statement of values from the state’s top education body. But it does not change curriculum or teaching standards for the time being.
By passing a resolution that falsely affirms slavery and racism were exceptions and inconsistent with American values, the board’s resolution ignores history. The Tulsa Race Massacre commemorated just a few days earlier is a prime example of the harm done by state-sanctioned white terror and the whitewashing of history.
Governor Brian Kemp congratulated the board on the latest move. Running for re-election, Kemp jumped on the anti-critical race theory bandwagon to keep ginning up support. Kemp and company see critical race theory as being “anti-American” but have no problem with burying dissenting opinions and views.
As a part of his bid for governor, Brian Kemp bragged about rounding up undocumented immigrants in his truck. He also refused to apologize for taking a photo with a known white nationalist during the 2018 election. The same supporter previously threatened a Black woman veteran at a Stacey Abrams event and threatened violence against Muslims.
Pushing back on efforts to bury history, actor Tom Hanks outlined the importance of learning about the good, the bad, and the ugly of America’s history in an essay for the New York Times. Hanks wonders how different the country may have been if people learned about events like Tulsa in elementary school.
“Many students like me were told that the lynching of Black Americans was tragic but not that these public murders were commonplace and often lauded by local papers and law enforcement,” wrote Hanks. “The truth about Tulsa, and the repeated violence by some white Americans against Black Americans, was systematically ignored, perhaps because it was regarded as too honest, too painful a lesson for our young white ears.”
Conservatives continue to distract from conversations of equity and justice by focusing on protecting people from feeling bad about racism. But people, students included, wouldn’t have to worry about feeling bad about racism if they weren’t racist.
Hanks also called out the willful ignorance of those who insist racism is inconsistent with America’s founding principles.
“When people hear about systemic racism in America, just the use of those words draws the ire of those white people who insist that since July 4, 1776, we have all been free, we were all created equally, that any American can become president and catch a cab in Midtown Manhattan no matter the color of our skin, that, yes, American progress toward justice for all can be slow but remains relentless,” Hanks continued.
You can watch the state board meeting here: