by Eric Lendrum
The far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Oklahoma over a recently-signed law that forbids the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools, according to CNN.
The lawsuit represents a group of teachers and students who support CRT, and is supported by the ACLU, the Oklahoma NAACP, the American Indian Movement (AIM), and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The suit claims that the law infringes on the rights of freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
At the center of the suit is HB 1775, which declares that no educator is allowed to teach that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex” as well as the idea that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.” Any teacher or school that is found to teach such a concept could either be suspended or face revocation of their license.
The lawsuit claims that, as a result of this law, schools have been forced to remove books written by black and female authors, while leaving in place books “by White and male authors,” without citing any evidence. The plaintiffs argue that the law is too ambiguous and thus forces teachers to remove far more content than they normally would.
“Teachers have received guidance to comply with H.B. 1775 by avoiding terms such as ‘diversity’ and ‘white privilege,’” the lawsuit states, “while administrators have simultaneously acknowledged that ‘no one truly knows what (the Act) means or can come to agreement on its meaning.’”
Emerson Sykes, a lawyer with the ACLU, defended Critical Race Theory itself, declaring that “all young people deserve to learn an inclusive and accurate history in schools, free from censorship or discrimination.” He further claimed that “the bill was intended to inflame a political reaction, not further a legitimate educational interest.”
Since Critical Race Theory came to prominence earlier this year, there has been an overwhelming wave of backlash against the concept across the country. Parents have protested at school board meetings against the teaching of the theory, and numerous states have taken steps to ban it from public schools and government agencies. Critical Race Theory is the far-left and widely-debunked claim that all White people are automatically racist, and that America is an inherently racist nation.
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Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.
Photo “ACLU Membership” by Scott Feldstein. CC BY 2.0.