Rep. Tom McKay of Anchorage has filed a bill for the coming legislative session to prevent Alaska public schools from allowing students to be instructed in, adopt, or adhere to the tenets of Critical Race Theory. The bill, which is unnumbered until it’s read across in the House of Representatives, says:
“A public school may not direct or otherwise compel a student to personally affirm, adopt, or adhere to, or provide a course of instruction or unit of study that directs or otherwise compels a student to affirm, adopt, or adhere to, the following tenets:
- a given sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior;
- (2) an individual should be treated adversely based on the individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin;
- (3) an individual, by virtue of the individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin, is inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, or national origin.
- (b) A public school may not provide a course of instruction or unit of study that teaches, the curriculum described by the New York Times’ 1619 Project.”
The 1619 Project is a product of a New York Times, which frames United States history in a way that wholly centered on the effects of slavery. The project is being used in classrooms across America.
Critical Race Theory is a large and undefined of academic scholarship that seeks to explain the concepts of white privilege, colonialism, and whiteness as a general concept. The theory supports the idea that racism is found in every transaction in life and that people, especially whites, are racist even if they don’t know it.
The topic has been controversial because in many classrooms, white children are being discriminated against, and made to feel badly about their race or heritage, leading state legislatures across the country to debate bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom.
Legislation similar to the one filed by McKay has been proposed in at least 22 states, and five governors have signed these anti-CRT bills into law: Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee.
“The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies,” according to Education Week.