The showdown between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and the College Board, the nationwide testing organization, is the most recent and prominent battle being fought over education, Black history and race in the U.S.
Over the last three years, 18 states have adopted laws restricting what teachers can say about race and the U.S. history of race relations, according to The Washington Post. Classrooms have become the front lines of the “culture wars” being waged between liberals and conservatives in the U.S., and critical race theory––and race more generally––are at the center of the battlefield. Critical race theory is a framework for understanding race in America, focused on the idea that in the U.S., racism is a systemic issue that impacts every aspect of society.
“It’s disinformation, and when you’ve got disinformation that maligns the values, history and experiences of entire racial groups under the guise of something else, that’s a nightmare for inter-group relations”
Northeastern University experts say the push to silence or minimize Black history and to misrepresent ideas like CRT presents a seismic threat not only to education but to youth development and race relations in America.
“It’s disinformation, and when you’ve got disinformation that maligns the values, history and experiences of entire racial groups under the guise of something else, that’s a nightmare for inter-group relations,” says Adrianna Crossing, assistant professor of applied psychology and health sciences at Northeastern University. “There are all these little ways where trust and empathy between groups isn’t getting its best chance to thrive if we’re depriving students of racially realistic education.”
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