Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics

State representative introduces bill to ban what he considers critical race theory

Classroom
Pixabay
/

A Republican state representative has introduced a bill that bans the teaching of what he considers critical race theory.

Critical race theory is an academic methodology to study endemic racism in American institutions.

State Representative Andrew Beeler's bill appears to ban teaching misconceptions about race.  For example, one provision bans teaching that individuals are born racist or sexist by accident of their race or gender.

Another of the provisions in the bill bans teaching that any racial or ethnic group or gender is in need of deconstruction, elimination, or criticism, and another bans teaching that individuals bear collective guilt for historical wrongs committed by their race or gender.

But academics who teach critical race theory say that's not what the theory says. They say in reality, critical race theory is a way to study how racism is a common and normal part of American institutions.

Keith Kindred teaches social studies at South Lyon Community Schools.  He says it's not unusual for students, especially white students, to be uncomfortable when learning about racism, but that the bill has no relationship to what is actually taught in classrooms.

"It is essentially unenforceable," Kindred said. "If you look at the language that's being proposed, it's so vague that no one would agree on some of what the provisions actually mean."

Kindred says the House should skip hearings on this bill and focus on bills with a chance of being signed into law by the Governor.