In Virginia, Republican governor Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned on an anti-woke, anti-CRT agenda, signed an executive order banning critical race theory and “divisive concepts” in public education and has spent time advancing his position “against DEI programs.” According to Education Week, at least forty-four states “introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers” discuss race, racism, and history. They developed a map highlighting the systemic nature of conservative efforts to ban or limit discussions about racial inequality.
The anti-civil rights movement is an ongoing effort by conservatives to silence productive conversations about race, racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and there hasn’t been enough attention on the systemic nature of their attack. This isn’t a case of one angry White parent at a school board meeting demanding that teachers remove Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from the curriculum; this is a wide-sweeping attack by conservatives throughout the country who want to deprive future generations of the opportunity to learn about Black history, and Black experiences, who want to pretend as if racism does not exist, and who intentionally prioritize the comfort of White students, at the expense of Black students. The anti-civil rights movement is exceedingly harmful because it attempts to legalize systemic racism.