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Teaching critical race theory could bring about equality, and that’s what they’re afraid of

A few years back, when I learned that my high school classmate, Dr. Tim Golden, had gone from lawyer to philosopher to critical race theorist, I sought his opinion on everything when it came to race. From police shootings of unarmed Black people to the fight for reparations, Dr. Golden broke it all down with a brilliance all his own.  

 

So, when I heard conservatives talking about critical race theory like it was going to destroy America, I found it strange, because all I’ve ever known to come from critical race theory is truth. But that’s not how former secretary of state Mike Pompeo sees it. This week, Pompeo tweeted, “If we teach that the founding of the United States of America was somehow flawed. It was corrupt. It was racist. That’s really dangerous. It strikes at the very foundations of our country.”

 

And if the foundations of our country are lies, then he’s right. Because nothing is without flaw. Not me. Not you, and certainly not America. Was it a great idea to found a country where people could vote on their leaders and rise with hard work? Yes. But when we skip the fact that America was built on the backs of slaves who got none of the rights our founders claimed for themselves, we are lying to ourselves, to our children, and to the world. 

 

Racism is baked into America’s laws, and those laws have always been used to maintain a social order that keeps Black people at the bottom. That’s the gist of critical race theory. And if that truth is told, maybe we can create laws that treat everyone equally. Maybe everyone can finally get a fair shot. Maybe we can give everyone a piece of the American dream. Come to think of it … maybe that’s what Mike Pompeo is afraid of. 
Photo: Classroom

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