A coalition of more than six dozen scholarly and educational groups have signed onto a statement decrying the spread of proposed legislation limiting classroom discussion of race, racism and other so-called “divisive concepts,” calling such laws an infringement on “the right of faculty to teach and of students to learn” and a broader threat to civic life.
“The clear goal of these efforts is to suppress teaching and learning about the role of racism in the history of the United States,” says the statement, whose signatories include the American Historical Association, the American Association of University Professors, the American Federation of Teachers and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
“The ideal of informed citizenship necessitates an educated public,” the statement continues. “Educators must provide an accurate view of the past in order to better prepare students for community participation and robust civic engagement.”
The statement, which was spearheaded by the free expression group PEN America, comes as more than 20 states including New Hampshire, Michigan, Texas and South Carolina have introduced legislation restricting teaching about race.
Some of these laws have taken aim at “critical race theory,” a framework used to look at how racism is woven into seemingly neutral laws and institutions. Originally developed by legal scholars, it has recently been repurposed by Republican politicians and activists as a catchall term for discussions of race.
Others laws have sought to prohibit classroom use of the 1619 Project, an initiative of The New York Times Magazine that explores the history of slavery, positing the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Virginia that year as the nation’s “very origin.”
Proponents of the bans present them as efforts to teach facts rather than ideology, and to counter efforts to turn Americans against one another.
Read the complete article at: MSN