Well before Governor Stitt signed it into law last week, Oklahoma’s House Bill 1775 was controversial. The Oklahoma PTA (parent-teacher association) urged the bill’s veto, as did “[d]istrict leaders from Millwood to Mid-Del to Oklahoma City Public schools.” The chair of the OKCPS board, quoted by KOCO News, expressed what appears to be a common opinion of HB 1775, claiming, “[I]t’s just a flagrant attempt to limit conversations about race and accurate history, and mostly because it makes Americans that look like me – white – feel uncomfortable.” That board has unanimously denounced HB 1775.
Television news and various articles about HB 1775 emphasize people’s opinions about the new law, but there has been a good deal of spin twisting its actual contents. So, looking at the actual language of the new law, where it comes to public education, HB 1775 prohibits “critical race theory” (CRT) concepts from being taught in public schools. HB 1775 doesn’t prevent discussion of the Tulsa Race Massacre or attempt to sweep the ugly face of racism and bigotry under a rug. It does not prevent teaching about American slavery or its ugly close cousin, Jim Crow. It does not prevent honest conversations about our legal system and policing practices. The new law lists prohibited CRT concepts so that they cannot merely be re-named and taught anyway. In opposing HB 1775, the Oklahoma PTA, OKCPS, and other school district boards are saying they want to teach the following things (indented, quoting directly from the bill/law):
a. One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
Nazi Germany explicitly taught that one race was superior to another. As Jonah Goldberg persuasively argued in his book, Liberal Fascism, liberals/progressives and Nazis have much in common with Marxists; the desire to teach this sort of disgusting tripe, regardless of the race(s) denounced or put on a pedestal, just proves it. The new racism we see in CRT is traceable to academic Marxists (more on this later).
b. An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
CRT teaches that European Caucasians are exclusively pre-programmed from birth with racist attitudes. This is the same sort of idea racist whites have expressed in the past – that people of other races were inherently lazy or dishonest.
c. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.
This teaches that it’s not only okay, but downright virtuous, to discriminate against someone from the “right” group.
d. Members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex.
To be virtuous, one must raise up a member of one group, whether they deserve it or not, and push down members of another group, again, whether those individuals deserve it or not.
e. An individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex.
To put it bluntly and succinctly: White – bad; Black – good. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, only the Ku Klux Klan was never successful in inculcating its hate-based ideology throughout the nation’s public education systems.
f. An individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
The Bible has passages that say the sins of fathers will be visited on their children as an admonition that the bad attitudes and habits of past generations get passed on. Nevertheless, the Biblical (and classically liberal) principle that individuals should only be held accountable for their own actions has held sway in this country throughout its history. Under CRT, our children would be taught an old pagan and unjust notion that they are guilty of, and must suffer for, the actions of people generations before them, even if their ancestors were not present in this country at the time of past offenses, and when the offended are long past living.
g. Any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex.
You are guilty, and must feel guilty, purely on account of skin color. This leads to the sort of kangaroo-court confessions last seen in Stalinist show trials in the Soviet Union and especially during China’s Cultural Revolution.
h. Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.
Think about what you just read. It’s a shocking example of gross bigotry that teaches some races cannot compete on the basis of meritocracy, and apparently cannot develop a hard work ethic. This racist notion that some minorities are incapable or lazy, as portrayed in movies like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lincoln Lawyer, and Fried Green Tomatoes, has been proven false by Thomas Sowell, who has pointed out that Blacks who immigrated to the U.S. from the West Indies have done quite well in this country. Clearly, the issue is culture, not blood or skin color.
Again, the lettered quotations above are what the HB 1775 law prohibits from being taught. They are, therefore, what those who denounce the new law want taught.
CRT is a product of academic Marxists (academics being the only people stupid enough to stay Marxist after the fall of Communism) whose economic and historical views were proven false by reality. In an effort to preserve meaning in their Marxist beliefs, the class conflict described by Marx as being between the proletariat and capitalists was restructured to be between downtrodden races (Blacks and other minorities besides Asians) and whites (and Asians). The end desired by these Marxists is the same as always, the destruction of capitalism, because the “equity” demanded under CRT is equality of results, NOT equality of opportunity. The only way to get equality of results (equity) is through redistribution, which means some government entity must fundamentally violate the U.S. Constitution, forcibly taking without recompense, and granting without consideration in return.
Again, HB 1775 doesn’t prevent discussion of the Tulsa Race Massacre or attempt to sweep the ugly face of racism and bigotry under a rug. It does not prevent teaching about American slavery or its ugly close cousin, Jim Crow. It does not prevent honest conversations about our legal system and policing practices. It does, however, prevent the teaching of the Marxist-authored, bigoted concepts enumerated in the quotations above to impressionable youths. Frankly, anybody who wishes to teach these concepts is either too empty-headed or malevolent to have any business deciding what is taught in any classroom, anytime, anywhere.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of 1889 Institute.