Critical Race Theory should be taught

This framework is essential in tackling racism


Illustration by Madison Wilber / Times Staff

If we all can put a hand into learning and listening to the truths of each other’s pasts and origins, a change will come.

The conservative belief that Critical Race Theory should not be taught is disrespectful and wrong.

The main issue CRT is facing is conservatives pushing misinformation on what CRT teaches.

CRT is, “a practice of interrogating race and racism in society and the ways in which it impacts people,” as defined by the California School Boards Association.

In simpler terms, CRT teaches that race is not a biological trait but rather a fabricated social construct. It educates students that the concept of race was created for social and economic power for those of European descent, allowing for discriminatory legislation and social restrictions for people of color.

Examples of this type of language and power can be traced back to the very origins of the country.

“I advanced it, therefore, as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time or circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind,” Thomas Jefferson said in his “Notes on the State of Virginia.”

This is the man that drafted the Declaration of Independence. A declaration we hold at the center of our country and celebrate each year. From the core of the United States’ founding ethos, white supremacy is ingrained in our bylaws.

CRT offers people of color an opportunity to give their perspective and truth on history.

It teaches that it was not until Emperor Constantine of Rome changed the depiction of the Christian God to be of European description, did people of color begin to lose status.

It teaches that Christopher Columbus did not arrive in a new land and break bread with the Indigenous, but rather brought famine, slaughter, rape and countless other atrocities.

CRT offers a chance for minorities in the country to share their perspective of living in a White majority, White-privileged nation, one which has been left unheard for generations.

People of color have a right to have their struggles be seen and validated. San Jose City College President Rowena Tomenang, a Filipino immigrant herself, said she felt the curriculum helped her learn about herself and why she endured such racial struggles growing up in the United States.

I myself was raised in a very conservative area. I grew up exposed to racism all around me and I was too ignorant to recognize my privilege. That is precisely why this is so important; I hold shame for the passes I gave those around me and myself and I refuse to do that any longer.

If I had just been taught the entire truth of our nation’s history, then I could have recognized my privilege a lot sooner.

Sure, White people today are not the ones that owned slaves, but by not recognizing that their ancestors did, they look just as guilty.

The insane tendency to defend someone just because of a blood relation is absurd. Racists are racists, family or not. It is our job as White people to hold our ancestors accountable for their actions and be the first people on the street to advocate for change.

This concept that CRT is going to teach students to hate White people is not a fear based in reality. White people today just need to take responsibility for the past and prove that it will never happen again.

Tomenang highlighted this topic in her analysis behind the curriculum.

“Just like any other discipline, we are teaching critical thinking skills across our curriculum, and so what CRT does is it shows you how the different structures of our society have been informed by white supremacists culture,” Rowena said. “And so it does not say all white people are oppressing or oppressive, it is just saying that systemically when you look, even at our educational institutes, they have been designed through a Euro-centric lens.”

It all begins by recognizing the White privilege we have had by holding the pen, microphone, or whatever medium used to write that white supremacist narrative. Now is the time to step back and allow people of color to tell their truth; and CRT is one of those ways.