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Placentia Yorba Linda School Board discusses critical race theory

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I‘ve said it numerous times before, and I’ll say it again: The conservative war against critical race theory proves the validity of critical race theory. The anti-CRT movement is white supremacy.

CRT is an academic study that examines racial and cultural bias in American systems—such as the justice, political and education systems—that benefit white people at the expense of Black people and people of color. These are all systems that were created at a time when Black people were legally second-class citizens at best and enslaved people at worst. Why wouldn’t we study the probability that they maintain residual bias?

MORE: The Critical Race Theory Explainer Every White Person Should Read

The study has existed in academia since the late 1980s, but white conservatives discovered it around 2020, and despite the fact that none of them have demonstrated that they’ve done even remedial research on it, state legislators are banning it, U.S. legislators are openly lying about it, and school districts are banning non-whitewashed Black history and books largely written by Black authors under the guise of fighting it—all at the behest of white people who also no absolutely nothing about CRT. (Much like how they can’t define “woke” despite trying to ban it into oblivion.) That’s a picture-perfect example of how systemic racism works.

Anyway, a 7th and 8th-grade English teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina, has filed a lawsuit against Charlotte Secondary School after being fired for teaching a Black novel written by a Black author to mostly Black students during Black history month.

According to a press release sent out by attorneys for Markayle Gray, the now-former Charlotte Secondary teacher was terminated “in the middle of the school year, after white parents complained about his teaching the novel Dear Martin to his 7th Grade Honors students as part of his class’ Black History Month activities,” despite the novel being approved by Charlotte Secondary administrators and recommended by principal Keisha Rock.

From the press release:

White parents complained that the critically acclaimed novel injected what they regarded as unwelcome political views on systemic racial inequality into their children’s classroom. In its published core principles, Charlotte Secondary, whose student population is 80-85% Black, Hispanic or biracial, claims that “Diversity is not merely desirable, it is necessary for the accomplishment of our mission.”

According to the lawsuit, Rock also saw firing Gray as the only way to avoid pressure from North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as a complaint had been circulated to DPI that a Charlotte Secondary teacher was teaching Critical Race Theory.

North Carolina’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill in March that would restrict how teachers can discuss racial topics in the classroom, a political hot button for conservatives. The state legislature passed a similar proposal in 2021. That measure was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper.

“Principal Rock and the Charlotte Secondary Board of Directors seem to care more about bowing to political pressure than they do about following their own procedures and policies,” said Gray’s lead attorney Artur Davis. “All Markayle Gray did was teach a novel his supervisors had already approved and they fired him for it.”

So, basically, students in a predominately Black school can’t receive lessons from a story about racial injustice from a Black person’s perspective because white parents will put white feelings before Black people’s lived experiences every time.

To be clear, Dear Martin, written by Black woman author Nic Stone, is a fictional story about a Black high school student who was thrown to the ground and handcuffed by a white police officer, which inspired his letters to the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, asking himself, “What would Dr. King do if he were alive today?”

It’s ironic that, despite how often white conservatives exalt their sanitized version of MLK and lecture Black people about what he would think of modern civil rights movements (while being 100% loud, white and wrong about who MLK was), white parents, according to the suit, are unwilling allow Black people to contemplate the “what would MLK do?” question through reading materials that haven’t passed the white nationalist smell test.

“The lawsuit also details a disturbing pattern of behavior at Charlotte Secondary where Black students and faculty are often treated more harshly than their white counterparts,” the press release states. “Likewise, complaints from Black parents are routinely disregarded while complaints from White parents are acted upon immediately and decisively.”

If only there were a readily available, decades-old academic study that examined such circumstances.

If only.


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