Two prominent Republicans issued a statement on Friday condemning Durham City Council for passing a resolution that supports the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.
Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, a Republican from Greensboro, have said critical race theory is dangerous and divisive.
The controversial academic discipline examines how American racism has shaped law and public policy. Most educators say it’s not taught in public schools.
Critics fear that critical race theory will be used to teach impressionable young students that America and whites are inherently and irreparably racist.
“I don’t know of anyone who is against teaching our nation’s racial history, but that’s not all that adherents of this dangerous doctrine are advocating,” Berger said. “They teach that ‘current discrimination’ is necessary and that a ‘post-racial’ society is ‘the most sophisticated racist idea ever produced.’ These are extreme and dangerous concepts.
Policy Watch examined Republicans’ well-orchestrated opposition to critical race theory in an article published this week.
Meanwhile, Robinson, the state’s first black lieutenant governor, who argues that systemic racism does not exist, said schools must offer a balanced look at the past.
“The dark parts of our history should be taught in schools, but they should be taught the way we overcame things like slavery and Jim Crow,” Robinson said.
Paul Scott, a Durham activist who lobbied for the Durham Resolutions, applauded the city council and school board for opposing Tories who back Bill 324, controversial legislation aimed at restricting what public schools can teach students about the racial past of the country. HB 324 has been approved by the House. He awaits the action of the Senate.
“While other cities across the country are intimidated by the anti-racial theory mob, Durham has built a wall around its borders to protect our children,” Scott said. “Conservatives would have us believe that you can have slaves without slave owners, racism without racists, and white supremacy without white supremacists.”
The city council resolution calls on state and federal lawmakers to oppose HB 324. It also calls on them to ensure that black history and “critical race theory” are taught in public schools. Durham Public Schools also passed a resolution opposing HB 324.
Berger and Robinson’s denunciation of the Durham City Council resolution follows the GOP’s condemnation of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education for hiring critical race theorists Ibram X. Kendi to speak at the its summer leadership conference.
“To those who say Critical Race Theory is not in North Carolina schools: The second largest school district in the state paid $ 25,000 to the primary promoter of Critical Race Theory,” Ibram X. Kendi, for an event last week, ”Berger said in a statement.