For those that don’t know—or don’t want to know—critical race theory is an intellectual movement of Civil Rights scholars who critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race. It explores the broad legal inequities that many non-white people have to deal with on a daily basis, so, of course, Oklahoma has to put an end to that shit quickly.
A revised House Bill 1775, which restricts what topics and theories can be taught in schools on the subject, is sitting on Gov. Stitt’s desk. Patchy beard-grower Sen. David Bullard—a proponent of arming teachers in schools, mind you—is the author of the bill and claims race theory is a “growing problem” in Oklahoma.
“What we are saying is that you cannot teach a child that they are themselves racist just because of the color of their skin,” said Sen. David Bullard.
The Republican from Durant, himself a former history teacher, drafted the reworked bill. He says it would prevent concepts like critical race theory from being taught, but actual historical events involving race would still be covered.
Bullard saying, “This is talking about the actual idea of furthering racism by saying that you are automatically or inherently racist just because of the color of your skin which has been false in 1860 and it’s false now.”
It sounds like, according to Bullard, race theory is just going to make it harder for white kids to grow to actually be racist and take responsibility for it, something that many Republicans apparently don’t want. But that’s why Trump was elected, I guess.
Like many laws that Stitt and his legislative frenemies pass, House Bill 1775 will hurt Oklahoma’s minorities even further by teaching the history of this state’s racist actions—like Indian Removal, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and so on—but not the how’s and why’s that racist actions like that would occur, which is—let’s be honest—typically done through white legislation.
Thankfully, there are people like Sen. Kevin Matthews that see the dire problems with this bill and hopes to fix it, making sure future generations are fully educated on the state’s wrongs.
“The critical thinking around how things happen to keep them from happening again is so important to our history and so important to young people to understand,” said Sen. Kevin Matthews.
The Democrat from Tulsa is on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. He says this bill is a slap in the face as it comes in the first year that Oklahoma schools were required to teach about the atrocity.
It is a slap in the face. Many Oklahomans need to take responsibility and educate themselves about this wrecked history—and, sadly, wretched present—of racial hatred and how to prevent it from ever happening again.