Does Teaching CRT Violate the Constitution?
There are First and Fourteenth Amendment considerations, as well as the Civil Rights Act.
Just when we thought life had returned to normal, a sinister and dangerous virus is spreading through our social, academic, and political institutions. It threatens to leave the United States unrecognizable. But this isn’t another coronavirus. We’re talking about Critical Race Theory.
We know that those adhering to CRT are attempting to undermine our institutions and tear apart the fabric of our society. More than just being a divisive ideology, however, Dr. Carol Swain, former professor at Vanderbilt and Princeton universities, believes CRT provokes some serious constitutional questions. According to The Epoch Times, she says that “Critical Race Theory training, which pressures people not to say certain things, take a certain stance, or forces them into some segregated settings, may infringe on people’s constitutional rights and even violate civil rights laws.”
“[Whites] are blamed for setting up a system of systemic racism,” she said of CRT’s premise. “The demonization of a group of people because of the color of their skin is something that is discriminatory.”
As Swain puts it, “We’re not a country where it’s acceptable to bully and shame people because of the color of their skin.”
Yet in many schools and workplaces, CRT programs require students and employees to confess their “white privilege,” to participate in activities segregated by race, and to fear speaking out against it. Thus, CRT is a direct threat to the First Amendment, which protects free speech and association; the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, and disability.
Fortunately, some steps are being taken at the local, state, and federal level to stop the advancement of CRT. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas introduced a bill this week banning federal funding for CRT training in the workplace. In a press release, Cruz remarked, “The federal government has no right to force a political agenda onto Americans, especially one that aims to tear down our institutions and divide us based on race.”
The text of the bill also bans federal agencies from promoting ideas such as “one race or sex is inherently superior to another,” “the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist,” “meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist,” or “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
The bill further informs the public of the broader objectives of CRT, including its connection to Marxist ideology, its discriminatory nature, and its ultimate objective of destroying and replacing “Western Enlightenment Liberalism” with a “Marxist-influenced government.”
Finally, parents and even some teachers across the country are beginning to wake up and realize the impact of CRT on their children.
Loudoun County, Virginia, has made national headlines in recent weeks as parents battle a “woke” school board pushing CRT. Now, a Chicago middle school teacher has filed a lawsuit against her school district, alleging that, according to The Wall Street Journal, “teachers and students are required to participate in racially segregated antiracist exercises and that teachers are required to teach material depicting white people as inherently racist oppressors.”
The lawsuit claims that the district’s policies violate the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection and Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which, again, prohibits discrimination by race, color, or national origin in public schools.
Let’s hope the pushback against Critical Race Theory isn’t too little, too late. Clearly, the Marxist foundations of CRT are incompatible with our Constitution or a society that values freedom of speech and equal treatment of all citizens.
Those pushing CRT claim that it’s all about racial and social justice, but there’s no justice in using hate and racism to divide a country that’s come a long way since Martin Luther King Jr. challenged us to judge others by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
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