Critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion are the new bogeymen in today’s culture wars, as observed in contentious school board meetings across the country. In Ohio, there are proposed bills to censor teachers who don’t stick to the “traditional American history” that has been the standard.
That traditional curriculum lacks the horrors of slavery, voting restriction, redlining and housing discrimination, the racist war on drugs and current prison industrial system, all of which illustrate the way systemic racism has been present in American history from it’s inception.
Imagine if Holocaust education was taught by former Nazis, and suggested that Jews liked being sent to concentration camps, didn’t have it that bad, and are playing the victim card every time they defend Israel. Germany has excelled in reflecting on the horrors of its past and German children do not appear to have a self-esteem problem.
Educating myself about the contemporary landscape of inequality and how it exists through public policy did not turn me into a Marxist. It did make me want to properly educate my own children – not so they will hate their country, but so they will love their fellow citizens.
It’s important to give students the truth. There needs to be racial literacy enabling teachers to educate students who will grow up to be adults that strive to create a just society. By keeping DEI curriculum, we will be arming Ohio’s students with the skills and knowledge they need to become successful, empathetic and empowered adults.