A law against teaching the truth

Idaho has made it illegal to teach about slavery in schools and universities.

Idaho’s governor, Brad Little, has a bill signed into law that aims to restrict critical race theory from being taught as a subject in schools and universities.

We know there’s some dumb critical race theory out there, such as the Robin DiAngelo version for instance, but Idaho apparently interprets it very broadly.

The bill, H 377, prevents teachers from “indoctrinating” students into belief systems that claim that members of any race, sex, religion, ethnicity or national origin are inferior or superior to other groups. Signed into law last week, H 377 also makes it illegal to make students “affirm, adopt or adhere to” beliefs that members of these groups are today responsible for past actions of the groups to which they claim to belong.

The issue isn’t that contemporary people are responsible for what people did in the distant past, it’s that some of us benefit from it while others continue to be profoundly ripped off by it.

Since the publication of The 1619 Project in the New York Times, a number of school districts and school boards across the US have begun to adopt elements of critical race theory in their curricula.

As a result, Republican state legislatures have begun to push back, sending bills through statehouses that attempt to quell the momentum of teaching slavery and other such moments of American history as dark periods of the country’s past that continue to affect American life today.

Because what, they were actually bright happy periods that don’t continue to affect American life today?

Here’s the thing: the former slaves were never compensated for the generations of stolen labor. That’s all you need to know, really. Reconstruction was defeated and after that the former slaves and their children and grandchildren and so on were treated all too much like slaves, except without the protection that an expensive investment usually gets. It’s just idiotic to try to pretend that slavery doesn’t “continue to affect American life today.”

The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, has recently spoken out against The 1619 Project specifically, as the Biden administration is considering $5.3m in American History and Civics Education grants for anti-racist scholarship.

In a letter to the US secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, McConnell wrote that families in the US. “did not ask for this divisive nonsense”, and that a decision to move forward was not made by voters.

“Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil,” McConnell wrote.

You know who’s inherently evil? Mitch McConnell.

H/t Studebaker Hoch

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