Critics criticize an essay published in the New York Times Magazine this week that sought to enact anti-criticism laws on racial theory across the country.
In the article published Tuesday titled “The war on history is a war on democracy,” Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder compared opposition to the CRT to “the laws of memory. “Russians who have essentially erased the imperfections of the nation’s past.
This spring, memory laws have arrived in America. Republican state lawmakers have proposed dozens of bills designed to guide and control America’s understanding of the past. As of this writing, five states (Idaho , Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, and Oklahoma) have passed laws that direct and restrict discussions of history in classrooms. The Department of Sixth Education (Florida) has passed guidelines with the same effect 12 other state legislatures are still considering memory laws, âSynder wrote.
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He argued, âHistory is not therapy, and discomfort is part of growing upâ¦ High school teachers cannot rule out the possibility that the story of slavery, lynchings and voter suppression makes some non-Black students uncomfortable. The new laws on memory invite teachers. to self-censor, based on what students might feel – or say they feel. Memory laws place the power of censorship in the hands of students and their parents. It is not really unusual for whites in America to express the opinion that they are being treated unfairly; now such an opinion could put an end to history lessons. “
Snyder then pointed to Florida’s policy, which reads: “Examples of theories that distort historical events and are inconsistent with standards approved by the State Council include denial or minimization of the Holocaust and l ‘teaching critical race theory, which means the theory that racism is not simply the product of prejudice, but that racism is ingrained in American society and its legal systems in order to maintain the supremacy of [W]people hit. ”
“This is a striking repetition of the rhetorical tactic of the 2014 Russian Remembrance Act: in both cases the crimes of the Nazis are deployed to silence a history of suffering – in Russia to deter criticism of the era. Stalinist in Florida to ban racism education. And in both cases, the measures in question actually make the Holocaust impossible to understand, âresponded Snyder. âIf it is illegal in Florida to teach systemic racism, then aspects of the Holocaust relevant to young Americans are not being taught. German race laws were modeled on the precedent set by Jim Crow in the United States. But since Jim Crow is systemic racism, having to do with American society and law, the subject would appear to be banned in Florida schools. “
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National Review Editor-in-Chief Rich Lowry took to Twitter Thursday with a long scolding against the NYT Magazine essay.
“It’s hard to overstate how good this New York Times magazine article from @TimothyDSnyder compared the anti-CRT rules to Russia’s ‘memory laws’ is,” Lowry began on the Twitter thread. “He didn’t take the time to understand these rules or is deliberately distorting the truth.”
Lowry denounced Snyder’s claim that Florida was attempting “to ban racism education” and Jim Crow’s topic “would appear to be banned in Florida schools.”
âThis is a blatant lie,â Lowry said. “He interprets this ban on teaching a controversial theory about contemporary American society as a ban on lessons on the history of racism in this country. He must know that this nonsense if he looked at the rule that was actually adopted . “
He then pointed to the policy of the Florida State Board of Education, highlighting a phrase not found in Snyder’s essay that reads: “Instruction on the required subjects should be factual and objective, and should not suppress or distort significant historical events such as the Holocaust, slavery, civil war and reconstruction, the civil rights movement and the contributions of women, African Americans and Hispanics to our country. “
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“Again, this is the sentence immediately before!” Lowry exclaimed. “And the sentence immediately after * says,” The instruction must include the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments. “This obviously includes the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments.”
“How could @TimothDSnyder miss this or leave it out when he’s directly tied to a key accusation in his article and he’s lying about who he is?” Lowry wondered. “Indeed, if a state like Florida doesn’t ban instruction on racism and Jim Crow, its whole argument collapses.”
The editor of the National Review also cited a Florida law that states instructors must teach “effectively and faithfully, using required books and materials that meet the highest standards of professionalism and historical accuracyâ¦ The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the experience of slavery, abolition and the contributions of African Americans to society. Educational materials should include the contributions of African Americans to American society. “
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“This is * the law * in Florida. Nothing has changed, and in fact the new board of education rule is obviously written to comply with it, hence the references to slavery, civil war and reconstruction, and the civil rights movement, âstressed Lowry. “The question now is whether @TimothyDSnyder or the @NYTmag will correct his lie, which is probably wrong and would have been revealed as such with competent fact-checking or just a little curiosity.”
Lowry continued, “If @TimothyDSnyder doesn’t correct his blatant bias, it would unfortunately show like the authoritarians he rightly denounces, he considers a practical political narrative to be more important than the truth.”
Chronicles Magazine deputy editor Pedro Gonzalez, deputy editor of Chronicles Magazine, also criticized Snyder’s work.
“Idgaf, what effeminate egg heads like ‘totalitarian scholar’ Timothy Snyder say because CRT’s core narrative is that [W]hites are only bad – woman is [W]hite my son is halfway this trash is a threat to my family so Snyder et al can push it, “Gonzalez tweeted.
Sullydish Columnist Andrew Sullivan mocked the Times, writing “NYT Magazine Strikes Again”.
Washington Free Beacon reporter Joe Gabriel Simonson suspected that even if the New York Times Magazine corrected Snyder’s essay, they wouldn’t be so open.
“They can fix it, but don’t expect them to admit it. Remember their shadow changes from Project 1619?” Simonson wrote.
The Times did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.