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Issue Brief

Education: Anti-Critical Race Theory Issue Brief

Small Group Meeting - Styled Media Resources

Safeguarding Comprehensive Education: Oppose Anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) Legislation and Book Bans

Protecting accurate and inclusive education is critical to the progress of the entire nation. Alarmingly, in recent years, we have seen more than half of states signing anti-CRT measures into law. The number of measures increases exponentially when local government measures are also factored in. We must combat efforts to silence diverse voices and erase Black history. Ensuring our children learn a comprehensive and truthful history, free from censorship and bias, is key to building an equitable future. We urge state legislators to oppose or repeal any legislation that seeks to restrict or ban the teaching of CRT in our educational system, as it undermines our educators' ability to provide a comprehensive, historically accurate, and inclusive education. CRT offers critical tools for understanding the complex role of race and racism in American history and contemporary society. Banning these discussions hinders our students' ability to gain knowledge and engage in meaningful conversations about history, race, justice, and equality.

Background:

According to the Legal Defense Fund, "CRT is an academic and legal framework that denotes that systemic racism is part of American society – from education and housing to employment and healthcare. Critical Race Theory recognizes that racism is more than the result of individual bias and prejudice." Recently, and today, there are efforts to prohibit CRT teachings in schools, often based on misconceptions about the theory's content and purpose. These efforts risk sanitizing historical truths and limiting the scope of education to exclude vital perspectives on racial dynamics.

Legislation against CRT threatens to:

  • Censor educators and restrict academic freedom.
  • Deprive students of a well-rounded understanding of American history and society in general.
  • Ignore the systemic nature of racism, making it impossible to address the racial disparities that persist in the US.

The NAACP's Stance:

  • Education should include diverse perspectives and encourage critical thinking.
  • Understanding historical and systemic racism is necessary to create an informed and empathetic society.
  • Banning CRT or similar content is antithetical to the principles of free inquiry and education's role in promoting social progress.

Recommendations

  1. Reject Anti-CRT Bills: Legislators should vote against any bills that aim to restrict the teaching of CRT or similar frameworks. In state legislatures where anti-CRT measures have passed, legislation should be passed to repeal the enacted measures.

  2. Promote Inclusive Curriculum Development: Support policies that encourage the inclusion of diverse perspectives in educational materials.
  3. Foster Community Dialogues: Advocate for forums and discussions within local communities about the importance of comprehensive education in fostering racial understanding and reconciliation.
  4. Support Educator Autonomy: Uphold the professional judgment and expertise of educators in choosing how best to present complex historical and social issues.

The NAACP believes that an informed approach to education, which includes historically accurate perspectives offered by CRT, is essential in preparing our youth to be thoughtful, engaged citizens, and creating a better nation that centers equity by understanding the systemic nature of the racial problems we continue to face. We urge legislators to stand against any measures that would dilute the quality and inclusiveness of our education system.

  • Education: Anti-Critical Race Theory Issue Brief

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