For many years there has been a decline in teaching important truths about Black history. As it stands today, many schools in the U.S are attempting to cut out critical race theory from their curriculums, while other schools have begun cutting down Black history teachings to a few weeks rather than the entire month. Having experienced the latter happening myself, I have come to ask how we deal with this as we approach a more conscious way of living. Then I asked myself, are we really moving toward a more conscious way of living if Black History and critical race theory are being attacked on a legislative level? According to an article by the The New York Times, teachers are limited to what they can say in regards to race in the classroom and are worried about their jobs if they choose to approach it truthfully and honestly with their students. How, then, do we come up with a solution for these issues?
I will start by saying that there is no one solution that can be provided as of right now. This merely acts as an examination of the issue and a criticism of how schools are handling Black history as of late. With the shifting collective body of students entering schools at this time, to deny certain students the right to be educated on issues of the past is selfish and cruel. Legislators like Ted Cruz have called for critical race theory to be struck down while other schools have made it increasingly difficult to talk about race in the classroom. The need to preserve the United States’ image is damaging students of color and denying them the right to learn their histories in schools. This is a definite regression and it stifles years of progression that students and teachers have made as we approach a more accepting and conscious way of life. It is particularly problematic that the histories being washed out or being petitioned to be washed out are all for students of color, while white and westernized history are not up for any sort of debate.
This is particularly harmful to students of color in these schools. This promotes the idea that a white western history is the default, but it also promotes the idea that these other histories are void because they make a white audience uncomfortable. This is not only harmful, but it is disgusting that in a school system we are moving to uplift one voice while belittling and quieting another for the sake of comfort. Laws like the one coming out of Florida that would make it illegal to make a white person feel uncomfortable are eerily similar to Jim Crow era laws that denied Black and Brown people the right to fully express themselves in white dominated spaces. As the goal of schools is to empower and educate students, this move to homogenize education is wrong and is deserving of nothing more than criticism and pushback.
It is completely unfair to students of color and teachers that certain aspects of history are being pushed to be washed out due to the wants of a particular group. It is unfair to students that they would be learning a history that benefits one group, and denied the right to learn about other groups out of selfishness and notions of supremacy. As critical race theory has been able to help students become more aware of the issues of the past and has helped students approach their understandings of other cultures differently, it is disgusting that there would even be discussion surrounding what can and can not be said about certain histories.