This clip is from The Trials of Critical Race Theory, a deep dive into critical race theory and the febrile persecution fantasies of the deludenoids who are alarmed by it. Even though, you know, it’s taught in basically no public elementary schools anywhere. In the clip, reporter Adam Yamaguchi interviews Moms for Liberty Williamson County (TN) Chair Robin Steenman, who is apparently determined to keep (white) kids from learning about racism until after they’ve heard their uncle casually use the N-word about 400 times during Thanksgiving Day football broadcasts.
STEENMAN: “Martin Luther King and the March on Washington, a story that should be told. It’s an example of how the curriculum chooses to teach the history is you’ve got this photo of the fireman spraying the Black children. And it’s a different voice is exercised, and it goes through three points of view …”
YAMAGUCHI: “The first point of view that you have highlighted here, the issue is this is violence and it’s just not appropriate for second graders?”
YAMAGUCHI: “And the second POV you have highlighted, ‘We have to protect our citizens.’ Our white citizens, that is. What’s the issue there?”
STEENMAN: “Well, it’s highlighting racism, you know, that a police officer would discriminate based on skin color. Most kids would have no idea that a police officer could or would do that. Then you’re teaching that this policeman is and has no problem with violence against children.”
YAMAGUCHI: “So is this an objection based on age appropriateness?”
YAMAGUCHI: “So could a sixth grader read this?”
STEENMAN: “I’m not sure where the line is but, yeah, an older child absolutely could.”
YAMAGUCHI: “So this is highlighted.”
STEENMAN: “Yeah, they took issue with that because it’s saying Black and white people are still not treated equally. ‘There’s been no slavery for a long time, but does that mean they’re treated equally? No.’ And we feel that that’s too heavy for a second grader.”
YAMAGUCHI: “And we don’t want them to …”
STEENMAN: “I don’t want them to see racism yet, to engage in it, to learn racism. I mean, they can learn history, but let’s not teach racism.”
Okay, that’s all pretty absurd, but here’s the bit that jumped out at me like a coked-up spider monkey: “Well, it’s highlighting racism, you know, that a police officer would discriminate based on skin color. Most kids would have no idea that a police officer could or would do that.”
Uh-huh. You know who does want their kids to learn about police discrimination based on skin color? Any Black parent who would like their kid to live past the age of 10. But God forbid we let children know about the history of racism in our country. Those firehoses were real. Those traumatizing photos are genuine. And those experiences—awful as they were—were nothing compared to actual slavery.
And, hey, news flash! Black people and white people still aren’t treated equally. That’s just obvious. Teaching kids that undeniable fact isn’t teaching them how to be “racist.” It’s teaching them perspective and compassion, and perhaps how to do better with intention.
I fear for our future if people are so delicate they can’t even accept self-evident truths about our country’s history.
This is also a great point:
Yeah, me neither. Why is that, you think?
Oh, and this, too:
Listen, I grew up in a pretty racist town in Wisconsin. Sadly, it was fairly representative of other Wisconsin towns, and I can only assume, based on further observation, that it was fairly typical of other predominantly white small towns in America. There’s no age that’s “too young” to teach kids about racism. They’re already learning it—only the lessons they’re getting at home and on the playground are decidedly not worth learning.
If we don’t teach them about Jim Crow, Bull Connor, and the Middle Passage when they’re young, they’ll already be well on their way to internalizing racist attitudes before they can absorb more responsible lessons.
And then we all lose—all people alike.
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