Interior of classroom in elementary school

Interior of classroom in elementary school. Row of empty desks are in illuminated room.

The public is growing wise to academia’s latest passing fancy, “critical race theory.” Pushback is popping up in statehouse debates and school board meetings around the country. In Colorado, too.

Not long ago, Douglas County School District parents rose up against such indoctrination of their kids. As we noted at the time, the district had adopted a “No Place for Hate” curriculum, which defines racism as “the marginalization and/or oppression of people of color based on a socially constructed racial hierarchy that privileges white people.” It warns students that “microaggressions" and “seeking out like-minded people” could lead to genocide. In other words, even questioning the new dictum makes you a potential mass murderer. The district also created a new “equity policy” and paid consultants $37,000 to implement it. The consulting firm advertises its “focus is on creating Equity in all outcomes” and offers “implicit bias training” and “equity training.”

At its first in-person meeting since the pandemic this spring, the board got an unanticipated earful from parents. Public comment went on for two hours as parents pilloried the board for its flirtation with critical race theory. The board backed down and canceled the equity training.

Now, another Colorado school district, suburban Denver’s Cherry Creek Schools, is in hot water over essentially the same issue. The Cherry Creek board was slated at a meeting last week to make a presentation on how it is revising its social studies curriculum. Parents who showed up for the meeting already were on red alert because of a letter they’d received from the district earlier this spring.

The letter from Superintendent Scott Siegfried, said in part “We are working collaboratively with teachers and administrators to review existing curricular resources through a lens of racial and cultural relevance…. it is critical that we identify resources that accurately reflect the contributions and narratives of our diverse community.”

Parents in attendance spoke out — for five hours. District officials, like those in other school systems that have come under fire, denied they were utilizing critical race theory in their curriculum. Given Siegfried’s letter, the parents were understandably skeptical.

What has parents so agitated?

Maybe they see through the facade of efforts “to review existing curricular resources through a lens of racial and cultural relevance.” They get it’s really an attempt to rewrite history.

Maybe they are tired of being called racists by the public education establishment. Consider an especially galling press statement the Cherry Creek teachers union sent the media after the meeting to support the district. It read in part, “…there are those who are now stoking fears about our schools, trying to dictate what teachers say and block kids from learning our shared stories of confronting injustice to build a more perfect union. They push for outdated and inaccurate lessons, redlining the realities of our history in order to justify the harms of our present.”

Meaning, if you challenge the curriculum, you are trying to “justify the harms of our present.”

The schools can deny it is critical race theory that they are preaching; frankly, they can call it whatever they wish. They are helping propagate a world view that is at odds with itself.

It presumes to bring “equity” to people of color by outing “white supremacy” and its many racist institutions. Cops, courts, colleges, corporations — you name it. Yet, it is inherently racist in its own right. It is obsessed with only one race as the principal source of all other people’s suffering. And it is obsessed with race in general as the chief determinant of one’s status — victim or perpetrator. By the lights of critical race theory exponents, everyone is either a member of an oppressed race or a race that perpetuates racism and benefits from it. Individuals don’t count. All of which mocks Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to value the content of one’s character over the color of one’s skin.

If such glib, intellectual fraud were confined to the halls of higher ed where it was hatched, it could be laughed off — by people of every race — as just another campus fad. A hobby horse for obscure academic disciplines whose “scholars” have too much time on their hands and too few students enrolled in their classes.

Unfortunately, it becomes more than just a self-parody of a pseudo-philosophy when it is imposed on our kids as a new standard for correct thinking. In that context, it stands to do real damage.

Parents perceive that. It’s no wonder they are up in arms across the country, and school board meetings have become heated forums. It’s also inevitable lawmakers in many states, including Florida, the nation’s third most populous, would ban the teaching of such illogical gibberish.

It’s good to see parents pushing back.

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