For months, parents have raised the alarm about the left's effort to brainwash our children by injecting critical race theory (CRT) into public school curriculum. One Tennessee mom recently warned Williamson County parents that her 7-year-old daughter came home from school saying, "I'm ashamed that I'm white." Her daughter asked, "Is there something wrong with me? Why am I hated so much?"
This reaction is reason enough to start asking questions, but those who have yet to investigate the tenets of CRT will be shocked to know that this child's distress was the desired result of her lessons. If left unchecked, this mental and emotional trauma will worm its way into every classroom in America.
Although promoted as "anti-racist" civil rights education, CRT actively encourages discrimination. At its core, CRT segregates people into two main categories: oppressors or victims. The calculation is based solely on skin color. The tenets of CRT stretch far beyond the humanities. In some classrooms in Oregon and California, students operate under the understanding that "finding the right answer" in mathematics is racist. "Right" and "wrong" answers are deemed a product of white supremacy. The woke gymnastics required to reach such a conclusion would be amusing if this destructive ideology didn't pose such a danger to education in America.
We can all agree that racism and discrimination are wrong and have no place in the classroom — but neither does racially motivated propaganda. In the U.S. Senate, I've been leading the charge for true equality in the classroom. I led legislation prohibiting federal funding of the "1619 Project," which reframes American history in terms of racial conflict and oppression. I also joined my Senate colleagues in demanding that Critical Race Theory's prejudicial influence be kept out of K-12 classrooms.
Many on the left have tried to dismiss this as a political non-issue, but here in Tennessee, we see opposition to CRT is coming straight from parents and educators. In response, the Tennessee state legislature passed and Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill banning CRT in schools.
Still, we must continue to stand firm at a local level. Children should not be forced to endure this latest round of revisionist history, but it will take more than letters and legislation to keep CRT out of the classroom. Parents need to keep showing up to school board meetings and reporting discriminatory conduct.
The last thing educators should be doing is encouraging our children to be ashamed of the color of their skin. That same Williamson County mom who warned about the dangers of CRT was left with no choice but to put her 7-year-old in therapy. Why? "She is depressed. She doesn't want to go to school."
While parents struggle to help their children manage the mental and emotional damage inflicted by this dangerous ideology, the left will continue to re-write our education system to fit their woke agenda — and they won't stop until CRT is in every classroom in America. I will gladly stand with Tennessee parents to demand an end to this latest, unhinged attempt to brainwash our nation's children.
Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, is the senior U.S. senator from Tennessee.
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