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GOP lawmakers severely limit what Tennessee schools can teach regarding racism

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) — The state Department of Education may soon have the authority to strip funding from any Tennessee school that teaches what’s often referred to as Critical Race Theory (CRT).

The theory suggests that racist policies benefiting majority whites are built into America’s institutions, culture and economy.

State lawmakers ended their legislative session Wednesday by severely limiting what schools can teach on the topic.

In an op-ed in the Tennessean on Thursday, Guest Columnist Joseph R. Murray II called CRT “Marxist orthodoxy that views the world as the oppressed and the oppressors.” He went on to extoll “the values of the West – individualism, capitalism, freedom, and equality.”

Tennessee House Black Caucus Chair Antonio Parkinson says the legislation passed Wednesday whitewashes historical events. The Memphis Democrat concluded Tennessee needs to have “a conversation in truth to move our state forward.”

Conservative Republican lawmakers in Idaho and Oklahoma have recently passed their own legislation banning CRT instruction. The issue is just one part of a wider national debate on race.

The Tennessee measure is now waiting on Gov. Bill Lee’s desk for his consideration.

You can learn more about CRT in this article by the American Bar Association.

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