Pushing to ban CRT is an uncontrollable attempt to protect the status quo


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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Monica Wilbur voices her opposition to Critical Race Theory at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Behind her is Betty Sawyer, who takes an opposing view.

The sweeping push in Republican-led states to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) in K-12 and college education in some states (e.g. Idaho) is a misguided attempt and, frankly, messy to protect the status quo of white supremacy and patriarchy. It is a violent reaction against the movements for racial equity and justice, women’s rights and LGBTQ +. It takes the language of the critical race and critical theories of the genre and turns it into confusion, anger and fear. This is nothing new. Any attempt to expand equality of opportunity for blacks, aboriginals, people of color, women and gays is usually met with uncivil and violent repression: “You are trying to take away something that is rightfully mine. title and give it to others who don’t deserve it. How dare you?”

It’s no coincidence that this surge comes after large rallies of mostly peaceful protests proclaiming that black lives matter, women’s rights and experiences matter, and queer lives matter. Critical theories that inform our understanding of inequalities and injustices and demonstrate the need to dismantle systemic and institutional oppressions cannot be put back in a box. They illustrate the need to move forward against racism, sexism and heterosexism.

The decision by the Utah Republican Legislature to ban the CRT, believing it can block the tides of progress against oppression, is a foolish task. At least know it for what it is before putting up signs that say, “Don’t teach my kids to be racist.” The misunderstanding of CRT’s analyzes is clear here.

Heather E. Bruce, Salt Lake City

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