Amplifying progressive voices

Tag: Systemic Racism

Blocking discussions about racism maintains white privilege

What don’t they want you to know, and why (ASALH)


Allison Wiltz

Too much emphasis has been put on the “fears” of White parents who do not want students to learn about America’s legacy of racism. In recent years, numerous school districts put their voices on a pedestal, drowning out the voices of Black parents and those from other marginalized groups. They act as if children who learn about figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ida B. Wells or historical events like Tulsa Race Massacre will melt like the wicked witch when Dorthy tossed a bucket of water on her. In all reality, no one has ever died from learning black history, nor has anyone turned into a puddle on the floor. So why are so many White parents treating black history like the villain in American society?

While personal motivations may vary, White people benefit from maintaining the status quo in America, where they are more likely to own a home, run a business, and have access to clean air and water, properly-funded schools, and hospitals. Privilege shields White people from the harsh realities that Black people experience, and by banning books that shed light on these disparities, some are hoping to stitch a quilt of plausible deniability. As long as White people can claim they’re unaware of Black Americans’ second-class citizenship, they can justify blocking any effort to close the Grand Canyon-sized gap as a product of their ignorance rather than cruelty. If students learned about Black history and understood how the chattel slavery system perpetuates racial disparities in American society, it would be much more difficult to (1) openly oppose restorative justice for descendants of enslaved people and (2) demonize diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

The Real Reason White Parents Claim Black History is Scary

How The War On Woke Became an Excuse to Pass New Racist Laws

Allison Wiltz

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.

How The War On Woke Became an Excuse to Pass New Racist Laws

© 2023 CounterPoint