Politics

Gov. Kay Ivey, who once donned blackface, claims to have ‘banned critical race theory in Alabama’

Fast-forward to Ivey today: Fighting tooth and nail against Critical Race Theory (CRT), a lesson plan never taught or intended for classrooms outside law class or graduate-level courses, but certainly, one that is important to teach.

Either Ivey is the blackface-donning racist she appears to be, or she doesn’t understand that teaching American history in its full and horrifying truth is important. 

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), and Kimberlé Crenshaw, who coined the term “CRT”:

“CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation.”

The governor added in her tweet that, “We’re focused on teaching our children how to read and write, not HATE.” What the governor should be focused on is public schools in Alabama, as the state ranks number 46th overall in education, according to a study by Wallethub.

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But, Ivey, like so many in the GOP, has followed in the clumsy and bloodstained footsteps of two-time impeached and one-term former President Donald Trump who weaponized CRT and even ridiculously lumped it into diversity and inclusion training, even excluding federal contracts that offer diversity and inclusion training interpreted as containing ‘Divisive Concepts,’ ‘Race or Sex Stereotyping,’ and ‘Race or Sex Scapegoating,’” the ABA wrote. 

In Ivey’s mind, October was a winning month. The Alabama State Board of Education—over which Ivey presides as president—did pass a “permanent ban” on CRT, but since CRT isn’t taught in schools, it’s like banning people from walking on water. 

Alabama NAACP Chapter President Benard Simelton spoke during the public hearing held in August. He attempted to get through to school board members and explain the reality that the ban “has no merit.” But, when white people are on a mission to stop people from learning the truth, there’s no reason to be had. 

“I think the governor and board members who are supporting this resolution are speaking on behalf of other groups out-of-state,” Simelton told AL.com after the meeting. 

But, the truth and we all know it, is that CRT isn’t about anything more than race and white people terrified that folks in the Black and brown communities will learn the truth about subjects in their true, historical context.

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