• Sarah Jackson

Protect Critical Race Theory

South Carolina is one of 12 states in the United States where legislators have proposed bills to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from teaching in schools. For me, these political maneuvers are very personal.

This topic is not just a matter of race or politics. As a person of color adopted by white parents, I did not have an understanding of how to navigate the world around me within a raced body. I am thankful to the faculty at CCU for giving me the opportunity to learn more.

CRT states race is a social construct. This construct was built and embedded in legal systems, policies and public education. According to the theory, races and racism are not the product of people’s individual bias or prejudice but instead something embedded in legal systems and policies.

There are five tenets of CRT: (1) the notion that racism is ordinary and not aberrational; (2) the idea of an interest convergence; (3) the social construction of race; (4) the idea of storytelling and counter-storytelling; and (5) the notion that whites have been recipients of civil rights legislation.

Legislation that would prevent CRT-related curriculum is currently being considered by the South Carolina legislature. Two bills, S.C. 4799 and S.C. 4325 propose banning CRT and imposing limits on the teaching of subjects like the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movements, slavery, incarceration and more. This theory informs multiple fields at the college level and K-12.

Faculty and staff in the Edwards Humanities and Fine Arts College and the Spadoni College of Education and Social Sciences are among those who could be impacted should the legislation impose a ban on teaching CRT. These bills will limit students’ education. We want to learn the truth and have a better understanding of what happened in the past. We do not want our education to be limited by bills moving through the legislature.

There is no guarantee either bill will pass, but if one of them becomes law, it would severely damage public education in South Carolina as if it was not in bad enough shape already.