No divisive concepts

Georgia Senate passes bill that limits how schools can teach about race.

House Bill 1084, the “Protect Students First Act”, was approved by the Georgia senate. The measure requires local school boards and administrators to ban discrimination on the “basis of race” by limiting how race can be discussed in classrooms.

Under the bill, discussion topics that would be banned include teaching that “one race is inherently superior to another race” or that the US is “fundamentally racist”, reported CNN.

“We can teach US history, the good, the bad and the ugly, without dividing children along racial lines,” said the Georgia senate president pro tem, Butch Miller, of the bill that passed 32-21.

Can we though? Maybe it’s not actually that easy.

Here’s the bill itself.

Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to education, is amended in

23 Article 1 of Chapter 1, relating to general provisions, by adding a new Code section to read

24 as follows:

26 (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
27 (1) ‘Divisive concepts’ means any of the following concepts, including views espousing
28 such concepts:
29 (A) One race is inherently superior to another race;
30 (B) The United States of America is fundamentally racist;
31 (C) An individual, by virtue of his or her race, is inherently or consciously racist or
32 oppressive toward individuals of other races;
33 (D) An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely
34 or partly because of his or her race;
35 (E) An individual’s moral character is inherently determined by his or her race;
36 (F) An individual, by virtue of his or her race, bears individual responsibility for
37 actions committed in the past by other individuals of the same race;
38 (G) An individual should feel anguish or any other form of psychological distress
39 because of his or her race;

And so on. You can see what they’re hinting at. Don’t dig too deep. Don’t say the whole problem was not solved when the Civil War ended or when Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee or when MLK gave the “I have a dream” speech or when Obama was elected. Don’t teach the truth about the defeat of Reconstruction. Don’t talk about prison plantations. Don’t talk about Jim Crow laws. Don’t talk about voting rights. Don’t talk about the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Don’t talk about mass incarceration and what color most of the mass is. Don’t talk about redlining. Don’t talk about the GI Bill. See appendix for several thousand more examples.

(3) ‘Race scapegoating’ means assigning fault or blame to a race, or to an individual of

49 a particular race because of his or her race. Such term includes, but is not limited to, any

50 claim that an individual of a particular race, consciously and by virtue of his or her race,

51 is inherently racist or is inherently inclined to oppress individuals of other races.

52 (4) ‘Race stereotyping’ means ascribing character traits, values, moral or ethical codes,

53 status, or beliefs to an individual because of his or her race.

It’s cute, that one, because it’s crafted to sound like anti-racism but of course the point is to shut down anti-racism.

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