Critical Race Theory Reveals Racial Bias

Written by Emma Fischer, News Editor

  Institutionalized racism is the “differential treatment of individuals on the basis of their racial group by religious organizations, governments, businesses, the media, educational institutions and other large social entities,” according to the American Psychology Association.

  Critical race theory is a methodology for teaching United States history. According to a Reuters article, “The theory rests on the premise that racial bias — intentional or not — is baked into U.S. laws and institutions.” In other words, its aim is to teach students that racism is enforced by societal and governmental systems. 

  A main argument against critical race theory is that racism is not institutionalized — that racism is not enforced by the government or society as a whole — but is rather the product of individual bias. 

  However, this is simply not true. If racism is just based on people hating other people, then why are millions of Black people all over the country affected by the same things?

  If racism isn’t a systemic issue, then why do Black women have a maternal mortality rate 3.55 times higher than white women? 

  If racism isn’t a systemic issue, then why are Black people more likely to be killed by police than white people? 

  If racism isn’t a systemic issue, then why are Black people incarcerated 3.5 times more than white people?

  Racism may be affected by individual bias, but it does not mean that the sole perpetrator of racism is individual hatred.

  Another common argument against critical race theory is that if history is taught truthfully, then there is no need to emphasize institutionalized racism. However, not every student is taught history. Individual differences between history teachers, as well as differences from state-to-state education guidelines, do not ensure that every student is taught about all aspects of American history, and many students may have gaps in their knowledge of racism. 

  Several news articles over the past few years have featured teachers giving younger students assignments which minimize the brutality of slavery. These range from having students write pro-slavery tweets as if they were part of the Confederacy, to having them “make a slave.”  

  These lessons are racist and disrespectful to not only Black students, but all oppressed people in America. If public education gives teachers a space to make light of important topics, many of which have direct and hurtful consequences for real people, how will Americans ever learn how to address serious issues and sympathize with those who have different experiences?

  Besides that, allowing teachers to blatantly lie to their students and choose which topics are important or not important diminishes a student’s ability to appreciate American history in its full capacity. Many of America’s historical figures made an impact in countries around the world and will be remembered internationally. 

  Lastly, racism being a systemic issue does not inherently encourage people to hate those in power. People should not hate white people because they have societal advantage, and society cannot blame current and living generations for things done in the past. However, that does not mean that society cannot hold those in power accountable for maintaining racial bias.

  Critical race theory does not mean that teachers have to blame white students in the classroom or tell Black students that they are victims and will always be victims. Critical race theory does not need to be about presenting the United States negatively or positively. Critical race theory is necessary to teach students about the United States’ history and to eventually achieve a world in which racism is a thing of the past.

 

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