Critical Race Theory and Social Emotional Learning Explained
CRITICAL RACE THEORY IS REAL, NO MATTER WHAT IT’S CALLED
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is being taught in many public schools. It’s not a myth, and it’s not just a college-level curriculum. It’s an ideology that can wear many different labels.
Because many CRT supporters recognize the CRT label carries negative connotations, efforts are made to use other terms or no terms at all. That leaves enough room to deny that something labeled CRT is taught.
All that matters is that the principles of CRT are conveyed to children, which is happening today because at the very least it permeates many colleges of education that produce today’s classroom teachers.
NOTE: There is no suggestion whatsoever that teachers should be hindered from teaching the accurate history of the United States. Students need to know about the flaws and failures as well as the successes of the U.S. This includes a clear telling of the terrible history of slavery, Jim Crow laws, the civil rights struggle and other events that are a part of our history.
What is CRT?
The 2020 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica defines it this way:
Critical Race Theory (CRT), the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color.
According to the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs:
CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society… CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy… CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy…
Since the term CRT is controversial and often avoided, look for these ideas embedded within lessons, books and general classroom interaction:
Oppressors or oppressed: where the oppressors rule society to benefit themselves. This is classic Marxism and causes division between people on racial and economic lines. The developers of CRT such as Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo and others are explicit in their contention that white-skinned people – all of them - are oppressors.
Whiteness: a set of privileges enjoyed by white-skinned people and groups that is “invisible” to those privileged by it. (Neil Shenvi, “Antiracist Glossary”)
White privilege: a series of unearned advantages that are given to white people because of their whiteness. (Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”)
White Supremacy: any belief, behavior, or system that supports, promotes, or enhances white privilege. (Center for the Study of Social Policy, “Race Equity Glossary of Terms”)
This is a new definition, supported by CRT advocates to claim all white-skinned people are white supremacists. Authors Robin DiAngelo, and Ozlem Sensoy co-wrote Is Everyone Really Equal? An Introduction to Key Concepts in Critical Social Justice Education. This won the Society of Professors of Education Book Award in 2018. It’s found in many schools of education producing today’s classroom teachers.
On page 143 the authors write: ”When we use the term White supremacy, we are not referring to extreme hate groups or ‘bad racists’”. We use the term to capture the all-encompassing dimensions of White privilege dominance and assumed superiority in mainstream society.”
White complicity: because of white privilege and whiteness, white people contribute to ongoing systemic racism. (Barbara Applebaum, “Being White, Being Good”)
White Equilibrium: white-skinned people don’t even know they are privileged racists. (Robin DiAngelo, “White Fragility”)
White Fragility: the inability and unwillingness of white people to talk about race. (Robin DiAngelo, “White Fragility”)
The claim that CRT or its principles and elements is not part of any school curriculum in Arizona is false. It is being taught to children.
“SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING” AND CRT
Many schools use Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as part of the regular curriculum. This is wrong for a number of reasons:
- SEL is a gateway method – a “Trojan Horse” - to introduce the elements of CRT into the schools. Classrooms need to be a place where students learn how to read, write, do math, and understand history and the arts.
According to the Collaborative for Social Emotional Learning (CASEL), “In the context of SEL, equity and excellence refers to every student—across race, ethnicity, family income levels, learning abilities, home language, immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other factors…” (casel.org “ In what ways does SEL advance equity and excellence”)
It is irresponsible for schools to indoctrinate children on subjects that in many cases they are far too young to comprehend.
ADE strongly supports teaching students that value of character and emotional well-being and endorses the following elements from the Character Counts program:
Character Counts focuses on the values, attitudes, mindsets, and skills that assist each student reach his/her development and understanding of The Six Pillars of Character. Developmental outcomes embodied in the character dimension of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Student Development Workshop addresses all Six Pillars traits necessary in the development of a safe and caring learning environment.
The objective of this aspect of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Implementing a Six Pillar Culture Workshop is to help each student:
- Develop moral character and commitment in its use
- Improve decision-making qualities
- Demonstrate integrity, honesty promise-keeping, and loyalty which are essential in relationship building and career readiness
- Demonstrate respect for authority figures and others without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other distinguishing attributes
- Make students accountable for their actions and the consequences of choices made
- Increase cognitive skills related to being just and fair with others
- Display compassion and a concern for the well-being of others
- Demonstrate their civic duties and social responsibilities