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CRT from a Black perspective

by William T. Robinson, Jr
William T. Robinson, Jr.

A lot of emphasis is being put on whether we should teach CRT (Critical Race Theory) in our schools. CRT historically explores how race has played a pivotal role in contributing to racial discrimination in all our major institutions and businesses. You have opponents who claim systemic racism doesn’t exist or is highly exaggerated and that by teaching it only promotes ill feelings or hate among the races.

 This contention is highly contested by most African Americans and leads one to look at the real underlying motives of why some of our White counterparts are so adamant about not teaching what we all know is history. In fact, most African Americans feel that those Whites so adamantly opposed to the teaching CRT in our schools are literally showing the results of institutionalized racism explained in teaching CRT. We are referring to Whites who inherently feel so privileged and entitled that their actions manifest that their feeling are all that count and the feelings of African Americans and others are irrelevant and inconsequential.

The cry for so many African Americans is” Why does it always got to be about what White people want”. Why can’t they see it is not all about them and not making them feel uncomfortable? Why can’t they open their eyes and try to understand the pain, hurt, and suffering of those that have been oppressed and subjugated, that don’t look like them.

 Avoiding talking about our country’s uncomfortable past is like hiding an ever present cancer that festers and grows, instead of being acknowledged and possibly cured. Don’t our children have a right to know the truth and be able to decipher for themselves what they personally feel, going forward? I would be quick to argue that theirs would be feelings of contempt and disdain for the insidious historic treatment of African Americans and a feelings of compassion and empathy for the descendants of those enslaved.

 The truth of the matter is that honestly and properly teaching CRT would aid in our children being staunch advocates of the need to respect everyone and to work to make amends for the mistakes of the past. The argument by some White parents and demagogues that teaching CRT in our schools will make White students feel guilty and Black students to harbor hate against their White counterparts are seen by some as a hyperbole, initiated by race baiters promoting racial division. 

 Many African American have deducted that most Whites just don’t care about the feelings of African Americans and other people of color and are impervious to the truth of what so many of them already know. And you still have Whites who have the audacity to show their true colors, that it is all about them, even with the illusion of teaching diversity which all too often only promote Euro centric assimilation.

CRT when taught correctly is necessary to enlighten an upcoming diverse generation, promoting a need for compassion, understanding, and unity. One can argue that those that don’t want their children to feel uncomfortable are transferring their own personal insecurities and biases to their child. That can be seen as understandable, but it is unfair to deny other children the right to the truth because you personally feel uncomfortable. You’re Idiosyncrasies or shortcoming shouldn’t be transferred to your children.

 First of all, a lot of our country’s history in general, can lead many people to feel uncomfortable, because whether you like it or not, it involves a lot of stealing, killing, and destroying by our White forefathers, although the narratives portray a lot of the culprits in a positive light. In fact some of the most nefarious and racist White Americans are celebrated and honored in our history books.

Telling the truth about our tumultuous and horrendous history, especially as it relates to this country’s treatment of African Americans is not to elicit hate or ill will, but to encourage us to make amends if possible and forgo the mistakes of the past. It is from learning from our past that we are able to go forward in a more positive and productive direction, respecting the humanity of everyone.

You can only attempt to undo the dire consequences of toxic acts or practices paralyzing a society by first acknowledging the problem; second, learning the effects or outcome of the problem; third making amends or eradicating the problem if possible; fourth, making sure you learned not to repeat the problem going forward.

You can refrain from teaching CRT in our schools if it makes some Whites feel uncomfortable, but remember the saying,” What’s done in the dark will come to the light.” CRT is history.

 Let’s stop teaching about The Holocaust in our schools. Is that even an option? Do Germans feel uncomfortable and Jews hate Germans because of the Holocaust. In all honesty, we will continue to teach about the Holocaust, but CRT is debatable.

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