Teach the Truth!
That should be a no-brainer, but we had four years of a world-leader being emboldens to spread lies across America, without fact-checking from his party. He was given so much lie latitude, that other candidates and party-mates used the same playbook — and expanded it. As lawsuits and investigations grow, there has been limited action to those who have violated our elections, voting rights and other fundamental democratic practices.
Yes, there was a leadership change in the White House, but states are continuing & expanding tactics to undermine & distort the Constitution that created their existence and the job descriptions of the office-holders employed by the people. So, the damage from four years of unchecked lies grows deeper and worse.
What have we become as a nation if teachers are now having to fight to teach the truth?
While a vast majority of voters didn’t believe the lie and voted FOR America, a concept of a new America — built upon lies, commingled with racism, absurd conspiracies & unpatriotic attacks (e.g. insurrection) — have gained traction. The American democratic beacon on a hill has been broken for the world to see. The fragility of democracy is front and center in these debates for what it truth, who can vote and, now what our history really is.
The attempts to demonize and restrict teaching the truth is unbelievable, but it is here. Kimberle’ Crenshaw and the late Derrick Bell have been key messengers for higher ed conversations around critical race theory (CRT). But, voices behind this work, but politicians, school boards and others have decided to write a new script to demonize any and all of the interest in learning and repairing systems, which has been heightened because of the global racial reckoning. Too many folks cannot handle the facts about the criminally racist truths that built and sustain America.
“Critical Race Theory”: the New Evil
George Floyd’s televised murder shifted the National and global discussion on what “justice for all” really means. We assumed that a thrice GUILTY verdict, and some legislative victories would get us to the racial justice promised land. Not.
History tells us that we cannot rest on the laurels of any victory, because where there are victors there are losers — and losers can become sore. And, sore losers can be the worst.
Virginia, Texas and Florida leaders, and other states, too, are using their lossses at the federal level to exercise their state-wide power to suppress education in the same ways they have suppressed voting rights. True American history, inarguably, depicts a checkered past of justice and injustice. Historical cherry-pickers enabled the focus on American roses, not its thorns.
Not-so-distant past policies & practices create inequities across racial red-lines. Covid-19 and George Floyd’s murder re-awakened interrogation thst should have never been slowed to sleep. So, the sore losers have decided it’s easier to erase the past histories and make it a crime to teach. If you though we were entering into a Handmaid’s Tale-esque world, under the last WH office holder, states are now wanting to recreate Farenheit 451-esque school systems, where selective teachings are relegated to the dumpster fire. Life imitating art. This is America — and not the America that the world imagined it already was.
How dare state-houses think they can criminalize teaching America’s factual history, because it makes some of them squirm in their ancestral-adjacent skin. It makes you wonder if their Ancestry DOT COM places their descendants at lynching, Black church bombings, city genocides, small pox spreading & cross-burnings.
These legislators swore to uphold the rights of ALL of the of their state. Yet, the regression towards defending policy-driven inequities is blatant and atrocious. This behavior is gaining momentum as governors and legislators in 20+ states feel emboldened to, essentially, criminalize the truth. Only authoritarian nations condone suppressing facts, like what happened in America before and since 1619. Where would we be as a planet if Germany made it a crime to teach about the Holocaust or if other human rights atrocities & genocide were withheld from our education systems, like how the Tulsa, Wilmington, Rosewood and other American Genocides were relegated to HBCU’s and Black-focused publications & educational structures.
America governors are conspiring to continue advancing education suppression to complement their voter suppression tactics. Do you know where your Governor, state board of education or local school board stands on teaching the truth? What would national tests and secondary education teaching look like if communities restrict/suppress facts?
While teachers are rallying, there needs to be much more. Where are the parents who are voting for people who vote against your democracy & your children? Call your legislators to find out what they are doing with the truth in your schools. Educators & legislators must pledge to #TeachTheTruth. It will take voters to hold them to it.
Whether you live in the U.S. or abroad, basic quality of life needs shouldn’t be a luxury. And by facing Critical Race Theory, politicians will have to admit how race plays a role in inequities across this nation (and world), as revealed in the In The Red report, recently released by The Sustainable Development Goals Solutions Network.
Face it, without a sustained doubling/tripling-down on advancing the aspiration for a more equitable, truthful and just society (seemingly, what the majority of Americans voted for in the last election), America, you’re in danger, girl.
Unless there is unilateral rejection of lies, disinformation and complacency with dismantling fundamental rights of racial equity and justice, attached to equal rights under law, we will become the dystopian reality that was imagined by fiction writers. There is no justice or equity in compromise (bi-partisanship) with those who don’t want your views, you, our your constituents around. Continued silence or weak stances will lead us to become a nation similar to those that others risk their lives to escape from around the world.
When that happens, where will YOU go for freedom?