The day Glenn Youngkin was sworn in as Virginia’s 74th governor, he kept one of his campaign promises by banning Critical Race Theory (CRT) from being taught in Virginia Schools K-12.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) was formulated by college professors and scholars some 40 years ago, theorizing that racism can exist without racists being present.
Those embracing CRT maintain that racism is embedded in America’s institutions, the criminal justice system, education system, housing market, labor market, and the healthcare system.
Proponents of CRT see those institutions as being laced with racism that serves to oppress black people via laws, regulations and rules that determine outcomes.
In a nutshell, scholars and sociologists have perpetrated CRT as fact and advocated for its perpetuation as a way to bring about social change by changing hearts and minds to capitulate to their ideas embodied in CRT.
Opponents of CRT, many of whom helped Youngkin become the first Republican to be elected governor in Virginia since 2009, view CRT as a way of brainwashing their children into believing that America is not the land of opportunity for all and that the color of one’s skin remains a determining factor due to racism that has been embedded into America’s institutions and society’s systems.
Many parents who prefer to have their children form a positive view of America as the land of opportunity where all can pursue the “American Dream” despite the color of their skin have chosen to embrace the teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rather than embrace the view that because many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners who caused America to become a racist nation via racism becoming laced throughout its culture that gave rise to Jim Crow laws after the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves on Jan. 1, 1863, many oppose the views of the proponents of CRT.
While those who embrace CRT push for the discussion of the subject of racism in public schools, those who oppose CRT being incorporated as part of a school’s curriculum advocate that it is the responsibility of parents to address such issues.
Texas, Okla., Tenn., N.H., and S.C. have passed laws via their legislatures banning the discussions in their public schools about conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression without naming CRT.
Two states, N.D. and Idaho have passed similar bills with CRT added in the language.
According to sociologists and professors who have embraced CRT as a vehicle for bringing about change in society that will improve race relations, CRT’s political opponents have distorted CRT to be a way of teaching youth that all white people are oppressors and all black people are being oppressed in a racist nation due to racism being embedded in the criminal justice system that favors white people over black people.
While the debate has become a flashpoint in Virginia and other states, K-12 students will not be taught CRT at least while Youngkin occupies the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond.
Many on the political left of the Democrat Party deny that CRT is being taught in schools, and former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) made the grave mistake during his televised debate with Youngkin of telling Virginia voters that parents should not be telling schools what to teach.
Youngkin, a businessman, made McAuliffe pay for his misstep and won the race for governor in the process.
Those in favor of teaching CRT voice their opinions that by banning discussions of race/racism and gender/sexism in public schools, educators are just sweeping the issues under the rug, an act that is preventing further progress in the civil rights arena.
Their view of laws banning the teaching of CRT lends proof to their belief by confirming the point that societal laws are passed to oppress black people, to prevent reforming the police and to impede the movement to get a voter-rights law passed.
Along with preventing Virginia Schools from teaching CRT in K-12, Youngkin took aim at Loudoun County’s public school officials by launching an investigation into the cover-up of a rape that took place in one of the schools.
The father of the victim was arrested at a school board meeting after he had been told that his daughter had not been raped. The incident pitted school officials who were verbally battling with parents over CRT, against parents who were protesting at school board meetings.
The ongoing battle wound up with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issuing a letter that basically authorized the Justice Department and federal law enforcement agencies to treat parents who were protesting at school board meetings as potential domestic terrorists.
Governor Youngkin rendered two executive directives on day one in office. One cut job regulations by 25 percent, and the other rescinded the coronavirus vaccine mandate for state employees. He also issued nine executive orders as well.
Speaking to the crowd at his inauguration, Youngkin said, “The spirit of Virginia is alive and well, and together we will strengthen it.”
He offered Virginians hope by concluding, “Together we’ll renew the promise of Virginia, so it will be the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”
After issuing his ban on teaching CRT in K-12 and launching his investigation into the schools of Loudoun County, Youngkin was verbally attacked by critics who pointed out that there is no course titled “CRT” in Virginia’s schools, but Youngkin countered that tenets of CRT are being taught, and that the ban will prevent the spread.
Ray Allen is the Editor of the Virginian Review. Mr Allen received his A.B. degree in English and physical education (1963) and M.A. degree in secondary education (1965) from Morehead State University before earning his M.F.A. degree in theatre arts from UCLA (1980) where he majored in writing for motion pictures and television. He retired as an educator in 2004, having taught 11 subjects and having coached five varsity sports during his 41-year-career that led him to teach and coach in Ky., Mich., Calif. and Va.