Race theory has unfortunately been a controversial subject in America for nearly as long as our nation’s history stretches. The history of critical race theory extends past generations and demands intuitive thinking to truly dissect the motivations behind racial discrimination.
However, this vast history of race is beginning to be swept under the rug by various state legislatures. For example, Texas has recently passed a bill to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in schools, which has caused quite the uproar, and it is not difficult to see why.
For centuries, minority groups, specifically black people, have suffered in America due to the color of their skin. It began 400 years ago when black people were chained, enslaved, and traded as if they were goods. Following slavery, there was the Jim Crow era when African Americans were mocked, ridiculed, and stereotyped in the media until, finally, a breakthrough arrived with the Civil Rights Movements in the late 1960s.
Exploring these moments in history as a black child growing up was devastating, but it was reality. Our people have faced these tragedies and triumphs first-hand. To attempt to erase these moments from history is a slap in the face to all they have suffered through. More importantly, learning these moments in history is a reminder of how far the black nation has come as a whole.
The saddest part of it all, however, is that this history is very recent within scale. Many people that I know have great-grandparents that were born on plantations as a result of enslavement because their parents were slaves.
Some try to make it seem as if slavery was such a long time ago, but the effects of slavery still impact society today. Systematic racism is fundamentally based on keeping African-Americans chained to poverty and labor, never being able to climb the socioeconomic hierarchy.
Failing to condemn and criticize the immoral and racist institutions of the past is blatantly disrespectful on the part of state legislatures. If students today aren’t taught about the wrongdoings of the past, how will they know how to prevent these acts in the future? Instead of trying to rewrite and erase history, maybe legislatures and school officials should implement more constructive incentives in regards to handling the subject of race in schools.