Critical race theory debate comes to Buncombe

June 3 school board protest
CRITICAL COMMENT: People in a group of about 60 opposed to requiring masks for schoolchildren and teaching critical race theory were initially denied admittance to the June 3 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Education because they wanted to enter as a group, which school officials said was contrary to their policy. After some argument, shown in a frame from a video of the event taken by a member of the group, members eventually spoke to the board by entering one at a time. Screen capture courtesy of Tamara Parker

It is much easier to find discussions of critical race theory in the world of right-wing media and political activism than in Buncombe County’s public school classrooms.

Yet CRT, a set of ideas about the ways race influences society, got plenty of attention at a recent county school board meeting, figuring prominently in criticism, mostly from conservatives, of public education.

“You’re teaching racism in our schools,” Black Mountain resident Pauline Orban told the Buncombe County Board of Education June 3. She was one of 13 speakers at the meeting who opposed CRT and voiced worries about schools’ handling of racial issues.

But officials at both the county and Asheville City school systems say they do not explicitly teach CRT. Instead, they say educators try to teach students to make their own judgments about the roles race has played in American history and occupies in American society today.

“It is not my job or any other teacher’s job to tell students … what their judgments, beliefs, opinions, perceptions, positions and prejudices are or should be,” says Brian Gonzales, who teaches civics and economics at Erwin High School.

And Reid Chapman, an instructor in the education department at UNC Asheville, frequently visits Western North Carolina classrooms through his work certifying UNCA students to teach social studies in grades 6-12. “I have never heard the term critical race theory in a classroom,” he says about those visits. “Frankly, I think the term critical race theory has been weaponized for the culture wars right now,”

From ideas to argument

CRT began in the 1970s among legal scholars as a view of how racial issues help structure the law and social institutions. The approach has expanded into other academic disciplines, including education, political science and sociology.

Adherents suggest that racism affects people of color regularly and provides material and psychological benefits to whites. Some proponents say racism guides individuals’ thoughts without their awareness, a concept known as implicit bias, and permeates many institutions that outwardly purport to be colorblind. Other tenets include the ideas that race is a cultural and social construct and that colorblind standards only remedy the most obvious examples of discrimination.

The question of how these ideas may shape what kids learn in school has in a short time become as controversial as the ideas themselves. A September 2020 executive order by former Republican President Donald Trump banning certain types of diversity training in federal government, at federal contractors and for recipients of federal funds — since revoked by Democratic President Joe Biden — helped boost the issue’s visibility. Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, reported in June that mentions of the phrase “critical race theory” on conservative Fox News had jumped from almost none in June 2020 to more than 500 in May 2021.

The N.C. General Assembly is one of several Republican-led state legislatures that have passed or are considering bills this year to add restrictions  on how schools teach about race. House Bill 324, whose co-sponsors include Republican WNC representatives Mike Clampitt and Mark Pless, passed the House in May along party lines, but not by a wide enough margin to withstand a possible gubernatorial veto. Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger introduced a proposed replacement bill July 14 that contains a longer list of views that schools cannot promote — such as that “A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist” — and says schools must give 30 days’ notice in some cases if listed concepts are to be discussed.

And the state Board of Education only narrowly adopted new social studies curriculum standards in February following a debate over how they deal with issues around race and discrimination. State legislators are considering delaying implementation of at least some of the standards until the 2022-23 school year, citing concerns that teachers have not enough time to prepare for a new course on personal finance.

Fear factor 

It is difficult to know to what extent the concerns about local schools and race that Buncombe residents raised at the June 3 school board meeting stem from happenings in the county, as opposed to reporting about CRT in a national context. None of the commenters cited any examples of CRT being taught in county schools or described specific shortcomings in what schools teach about race.

The most common issues raised by those in the group of about 60 were opposition to requiring students to wear masks and complaints that a smaller group had not been allowed to speak at the board’s May 6 meeting. (There was a dispute then over the board’s public comment rules, which had been modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Many who spoke said they home-school or, like Jay Pfeil of Black Mountain, don’t have school-age children.

“If I had kids, I would not be sending them to school because of what’s being taught,” Pfeil told the board. “The critical race theory teaches people that they’re bad. You’re either an oppressor or a victim.”

Xpress was able to reach four of the 13 commenters on CRT after the June 3 meeting. Only one, Vickie Cook of Barnardsville, claimed specific knowledge of CRT being taught in local schools, but her example did not clearly establish that assertion. She said she had seen a “very racist” photo in one of her grandchildren’s textbooks but could not remember what the photo showed or give any details.

One organizer of the group, Tamara Parker of Arden, is a member of the Buncombe County Republican Party Executive Committee and attended a Jan. 6 rally in Washington that led to an invasion of the Capitol. (Parker says she did not enter the building.) But she emphasized that at least one or two of those who came to the June 3 meeting were Democrats, including David Hurley, who is running to replace Quentin Miller as Buncombe County sheriff in 2022. (Hurley voted in the Republican primary in March 2020, meaning he was either a Republican or unaffiliated at that time.)

Other commenters said either during or after the school board meeting that they are simply worried that CRT may come to local schools.

“I hope it’s not being taught,” Hillary Brown of Black Mountain, who home-schools, said in an interview. She said she was worried by hearing that some local middle students regularly watched CNN in class — “CNN does use a lot of the race-baiting narrative,” she said — but couldn’t say whether that’s an indication CRT is prevalent locally.

And Tara West, a professional mediator who spoke June 3, wrote in response to questions from Xpress, “I can’t speak to what’s currently happening in Buncombe County schools.” However, she was concerned that new state standards appear to require teaching of CRT concepts. She describes herself as politically moderate and says she does not have children in local public schools.

Members of the group who had not been allowed to speak in May filed a bizarre document with the county Sheriff’s Office saying that school board members and other officials involved in the dispute over public comment must resign within three days and that failure to respond would be an admission of treason. It says anyone who “suppresses” the document agrees to pay $250,000 in gold bullion to be divided among U.S. citizens in Buncombe County.

“This is not a legal document” and has no effect, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Aaron Sarver said.

Questions or answers?

The CRT debate touches on questions like to what extent is racism baked into U.S. laws and institutions, if incidents like the murder of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by a white police officer result from a few racist outliers or systemic problems, and how much does the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws affect society today.

Some local educators say teachers and students should and do discuss these questions in class. But teachers expect students to develop their own answers, not respond in accordance with CRT or any other theory.

“Our goal is that the kids … become critical thinkers,” says Eric Grant, the county schools’ head of curriculum for social studies for grades 6-12. “We’re going to ask students to come up with their own opinions about things.”

Brian Gonzales
NO RIGHT ANSWERS: Erwin High School teacher Brian Gonzales says he encourages students to form their own opinions when discussing issues of race and society. Photo courtesy of LifeTouch

Students may ask what a teacher’s opinion is. Gonzales, the Erwin teacher, and Grant, who spent 15 years in the classroom before taking his current job, say they handle that situation in similar ways.

“I always smile and provide the exact same answer for the past 16 years: ‘It doesn’t matter what I think, it matters what you think,’” Gonzales says.

Asheville City Board of Education Chair James Carter provided a statement noting that he spoke with the school system officials responsible for curriculum. “I have been told that we do not explicitly teach critical race theory,” he wrote. “Please know that our staff craft lesson plans to promote a culture of acceptance, understanding and achievement for all students and families.”

A comprehensive examination of what students in local schools learn about racial issues would require monitoring hundreds of classes and consulting dozens of online learning plans or textbooks. That was beyond the scope of this story; however, Xpress did find one use of the phrase “critical race theory” in local history and social studies textbooks.

The 24 words are part of a lengthy timeline of educational developments included in a book used for a “Pathways2Teaching/Introduction to Socially Just Education” class taught to roughly 15 students per year at Asheville High School. The context does not promote CRT, and the phrase does not appear in the book’s index. The Colorado-based program that developed the template for the course lists CRT as part of the program’s “theoretical framework.”

Rules from Raleigh

Grant says state standards play a crucial role in determining what teachers teach when it comes to race. “Critical race theory is not in our standard,” he explains. “We’ll teach the history that our standards ask us to teach.”

That won’t change with the new standards, he says, adding that they “have been written to ask students to do more of the thinking.”

A comparison between the new language for high school classes on U.S. history and founding principles and the previous standards, adopted in 2010, does not show a huge increase in references to race. The subject comes up in fewer than half of the objectives listed in either the 2010 and 2021 standards and the country’s founding principles and often is one of only several factors related to an objective.

The new standards have somewhat more pointed language and could force students to grapple more with questions of racial discrimination in the country’s past and present. Grant says they say teachers must “pay attention to underrepresented voices more than the old standards” require.

One standard directs students to “compare how some groups in American society have benefited from economic policies while other groups have systematically been denied the same benefits.” West, the Buncombe County commenter, says that language would “seem to require that students be taught ideas” stemming from CRT.

However, the standard doesn’t specify whether differences have occurred only in the past or in the present. It also does not say whether the groups in question are races or classes, genders, sexual orientations or people in different occupations.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican and member of the state Board of Education, called the standards “divisive” when the board adopted them in February. “Conservative voices have been pushed from education at every turn,” he said.

He has objected to language that says students should be able to “explain how individual values and societal norms contribute to institutional discrimination and the marginalization of minority groups.”

James Ford, an educational consultant and state board member, responded during the state board discussion that there’s nothing wrong with making students think about racial issues.

“The flawless, exceptionalist characterization of our country is well represented in our education. It has been historically,” the former state teacher of the year said. “However, telling other people’s stories requires us to think critically about that.”

Chapman, the UNCA instructor, admits that teaching about race is difficult and is sometimes bungled. He cites “well-intentioned simulations” of slavery or discrimination in elementary school classrooms elsewhere that have garnered headlines. But that doesn’t mean race should be ignored or that legislators should impose restrictions on classroom discussion.

“I don’t see any place for limiting those conversations within a freedom-loving democracy,” he says.

Editor’s note: This story was updated on July 23, to more accurately reflect the type of bills that have passed or are being considered by Republican-led state legislatures. 

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16 thoughts on “Critical race theory debate comes to Buncombe

  1. Ed ROTHBERG

    The following quote from the standards establishes that the intent is to teach CRT.

    “students should be able to “explain how individual values and societal norms contribute to institutional discrimination and the marginalization of minority groups.”

    This so called standard assumes that individual values and societal norms actually have contributed to institutional (i.e. systemic) discrimination. If you really want to teach students to think critically about something, then the issue needs to be in the form of a question. In other words, “Have individual values and societal norms contributed to systemic racism?” If done this way, students must think, based on their experience, whether or not this assertion is true. Students can then argue both sides of the issue and come to a reasoned conclusion based on their own experiences. If they think there is systemic racism, then they can come up with ways to stop it. But if they think there is no such thing as systemic racism when such a thing is assumed, actual debate will be inhibited because a student might feel like he or she will be “cancelled” if they disagree with a proposition assumed to be correct.

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    • luther blissett

      “If you really want to teach students to think critically about something, then the issue needs to be in the form of a question.”

      It’s not ‘Jeopardy!’

      “If done this way, students must think, based on their experience, whether or not this assertion is true. Students can then argue both sides of the issue and come to a reasoned conclusion based on their own experiences.”

      Is pure subjectivity in education good now? Wasn’t “cultural relativism” the big bad thing not so long ago?

      Personal experience is beyond irrelevant here: certain facts do not actually care about your feelings. The experience of teenagers does not change the existence of redlining maps or literacy tests for voting or the evidence of segregated facilities or the texts of racist covenants for suburban development or before-and-after photos of neighborhoods demolished for freeways or “urban renewal” projects.

      Students don’t get to put their experience ahead of why most Cherokee are now in Oklahoma and not North Carolina. They don’t get to prioritize their experience over the history of the Americans With Disabilities Act, or the fact that women couldn’t open bank accounts without the permission of their husbands or male relatives until 1974.

      Even literature students are taught that how they feel about Hamlet or Holden Caulfield or Atticus Finch doesn’t matter if there’s nothing in the text to support it.

      Personal experience can be a pedagogical starting point: asking students whether they have felt unfairly treated because of where they live or how they look or how they dress or how they talk introduces the broad concept of discrimination. But the real education comes from exposing students to primary source material — the facts on the ground, the laws on the books, the ways those laws were enforced, the things that people said and wrote and did — and then letting them work out what kind of society existed.

      Across the country, state legislatures have made clear that they don’t want students exposed to primary sources, while protesting parents — and non-parents — simply don’t know why they’re protesting.

      • LowerCrust

        Thank you for an excellent set of comments (including the additional one below). I was going to prattle on about why learning objectives are not written in the form of questions, but you did some seriously schooling here (and the “Jeopardy” line is priceless).

      • G Man

        You are speaking of past events as the definition of this country while ignoring recent events. I was taught in school that we did bad things in this country in our past but we have a track record of trying to fix them. It might not have been a speedy process nor is it a complete process, but it is a process that I believe has been moving in the right direction for quite some time.

        Yes, there was a time when black people in this country were bound in slavery. Was that right? Of course not. We fixed it. There was a time, even after slavery was abolished that black people could not own land, or vote, or sit in the front of the bus, or drink from the same water fountains as white people, etc. etc. I am not ignorant to these facts. I am also not ignorant to the fact that ‘we’ as a country learned that these things were bad and we fixed them. I cannot argue any point about every single ‘system’ in this country because I do not have that much knowledge and neither does any one person, but, I can clearly see that a lot of progress has been made to right past wrongs and I can also see that there are a lot of happy and successful black people in this country. I have had many friends and co-workers (and even bosses) over the years who were black and certainly seemed to have every opportunity that I had. Some had more opportunities. Some made more of the opportunities that they had. I would be more inclined to believe in some kind of ‘systemic’ problem if it weren’t for the fact that I see so many examples of exceptions to that theory.

        I have never judged people around me by the color of their skin. It has nothing to do with anything other than appearance. It was actually years after the fact that I realized I was part of the ‘desegregation’ effort when I was in middle school and junior high school (yes there is such a thing in FL where I grew up) which explained why I had to ride a bus for so many miles to go to certain schools when there were other schools offering the same grade levels closer to where I lived. I would actually have to say that more of my school friends were black than white. But I digress…

        My real point is that I have no problem with kids in school (who will soon include my grandchildren) learning about the bad things that have happened in this country, just like I did when I was young. I just want them to also learn that we have learned from our mistakes and can still move forward as we have been for decades. We do not need to erase our past our tear down our country because of our past. Instead, we need to remember, and be reminded of what we were and how far we’ve come. Tearing down statues and monuments and re-writing history books does not make those bad things that never happened. The only purpose served by that attitude is to allow us to forget, which we should NEVER do. We will not have the incentive or see a benefit from continuing to move forward if we are taught that we are broken beyond repair because of the color of skin we were born in.

        Your idea that personal experience is irrelevant is just crazy. Without our own personal experience we have nothing. Everything you have learned in your life has been a product of your experiences. What is taught in schools is not separated from personal experience, it is a unique and formative personal experience for each and every person involved. Society is not a static thing. Just because things happened in the past, during previous generations, doesn’t necessarily mean that all of those things define who we are now, and some of the past events that DO help define who we are now do so because we learned what not to do in the future.

        • luther blissett

          — The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

          Of course things are better than they were, but the past carries weight. The redlining maps still correspond to disparities that still affect the city. You can pick out the Southside and Shiloh and Emma; you can pick out Kenilworth and the area around the Country Club and GPI. Nasty Branch is still nasty because of decisions made in the 1950s; there’s a chain link fence that divides the neighborhood; the residents don’t have the power to clean it up any more than the residents of Hillcrest have the power to add more ways in or out, to connect their lives to the rest of the city. These are facts on the ground.

          https://www.bpr.org/post/southside-voices-play-vital-role-plans-revitalize-nasty-branch

          On statues: what’s symbolized by keeping a confederate monument in front of the county courthouse — the place that’s meant to judge guilt or innocence? It was put there at a particular time for a particular reason. Putting a little sign next to it that explains the motivations behind its placement doesn’t alter its ongoing symbolism. It keeps the past stuck in the present instead of being part of the past. It stops us moving forward.

          On the other side, it has taken decades to memorialize the things that were torn down quickly and without any real debate: the Block, the neighborhoods demolished under the auspices of urban renewal. Nobody who’s alive today bears any responsibility for those decisions.

          “Everything you have learned in your life has been a product of your experiences.”

          In hindsight, how much had you learned from personal experience when you were 17 or 18 years old? I look back at myself at that age and remember how I thought I knew everything when I knew next to nothing. The older you get, the more you realize that your experiences teach you some things better than anyone else, but you also realize the things it doesn’t — and can’t — teach you. You can only live the one life.

    • G Man

      I would even point out that a question such as “Have individual values and societal norms contributed to systemic racism?” is establishing up front that systemic racism exists and implies that it is a problem that requires discussion. Aside from the words “systemic racism”, I have yet to hear or read an explanation of what that even is, how we know it exists, or how we intend to deal with it other than “tearing down the whole system and rebuilding it from scratch”. This is just another way of saying that you hate your country and want to destroy it.

      If anything is “systemic” in this country, it is classism, not racism. To say otherwise is to ignore the fact that people of more than one race in this country come from poor families, have no “generational wealth”, and grew up not having some great opportunities that kids from better, richer neighborhoods had. How about some of our so-called “leaders” lead by example and give up some of their generational wealth, including the passing down of Senate seats, seats in the House, state governments, and local governments. Very, very few of the people making the rules got to where they are without riding family coattails in one way or another and many of them don’t even care to follow the rules they make for the rest of us. This is one more way to keep us common folk divided and distracted from fighting back against our real “enemy within”.

      • luther blissett

        ‘Aside from the words “systemic racism”, I have yet to hear or read an explanation of what that even is’

        Redlining maps.

        ‘how we know it exists’

        Redlining maps and the explanations for why areas were redlined. These are all public documents. You can read them.

        https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=12/35.583/-82.644&city=asheville-nc

        Kenilworth (green): “Detrimental influences: Negro settlement in area”

        Southside (red): “Southern side contains railroad depot, big negro bus district, and cheap houses.”

        Montford and Merrimon (yellow): “Along Merriman Avenue some large, expensive homes still occupied by owners, but great majority being turned into Tourist Homes by owners to increase income, or being purchased by others for this purpose…. Good negro section on Crescent, Madison and Lee, ten years ago occupied entirely by whites. Also lower type negro section on Short Street and at North end of Flint St.”

        (There’s something bleakly amusing about some federal bureaucrat reporting that Merrimon Ave was less desirable because of all the tourist rentals… in the late 1930s.)

        If you gave Asheville students that map with those descriptions and told them that getting a subsidized home loan depended upon being in a green area and not a red one, what would they think?

        ‘or how we intend to deal with it other than “tearing down the whole system and rebuilding it from scratch”. ‘

        By taxing people who are busy riding rockets that don’t go into space but go somewhere near it.

        “This is just another way of saying that you hate your country and want to destroy it.”

        I think the people who love their country in spite of that country’s history of denying them the right to vote, the right to use a common bathroom, the right to own property, and the right to turn their labor into generational wealth get first call on what it means to love or hate your country.

        I will agree with you up to a point on classism. As the noted political philosopher Charles Barkley once said, America is divided strictly by class and one way to hide that is to stoke up racial divisions. Or, to quote LBJ: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

        But: America has proved itself very good at turning poor white people into middle-class white people, whether it was through homesteads and land grant colleges in the 1800s or FHA / GI Bill / USDA loans in the mid-1900s. Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans and Polish Americans and so on were finally granted access to subsidized loans that they could use because the people who drew redline maps and the builders of suburbs didn’t explicitly exclude them. They became cops and firefighters in big northern cities because those jobs were open to them even if others weren’t.

        (If you’re a first time home buyer with a moderate income you probably still qualify for a loan on better terms in Swannanoa than someone in the city.)

        So maybe look at your own family history. If you’re not especially wealthy and pay the bills through your labor, but received or expect to receive any kind of significant inheritance, you’re a beneficiary of government interventions that have been in place for maybe 75 years at most, more like 60 years. And those interventions are ones that excluded Black Americans — sometimes explicitly, sometimes just in the way things worked themselves out because it was important to exclude them.

        • G Man

          I am not doubting that racism exists. I know it does, but I see it as a personal thing. It’s still not right, but it is personal.

          For the most part (with few exceptions) the laws and regulations and…whatever that are referred to as “racist” do not specifically exclude anybody based upon their race. There are lots of white people who suffer the same consequences of being in the lower class along with black and brown people. I am white. My grandparents and my parents are all dead. I did not inherit ANYTHING from ANY OF THEM. Where the fu@( is my white privilege I am constantly accused of receiving? Nobody paid for me to go to school. I worked 2 jobs with babies at home and went to night school to get an associates degree because I saw that as my only way to advance myself. I did not do it on handouts, unless you count government subsidized loans, which I paid back in full over the next 15 years. I actually got turned down for a lot of government and other financial aid BECAUSE I WAS WHITE.

          I’m not saying my experience is the same as everybody’s, but logic tells me that my situation is not unique. I know for a fact that I have a higher IQ than 95% of Ivy League graduates, but I did not get the same opportunities that they had because I had poor, uneducated parents with no ‘connections’. I got a minimal post high school education and I’m very glad to say that my children learned from me to get a good education (which I could not afford to pay for for them), probably because they learned from me what NOT to do. My point is simple. All of the BS stories promoted by the liberal media and the well-to-do, woke crowd are all true, EXCEPT they need to replace the word ‘racism’ with ‘classism’. They don’t use that word because they know that it divides us into smaller groups to make it about race (because they split an entire societal class into 2 or 3 groups instead of one). Simple math says it’s easier to take advantage of us if we can’t unite and instead fight amongst ourselves.

          • luther blissett

            You really think that people who campaign for Medicare for All, for increased Social Security, for a higher minimum wage, for legally-mandated paid leave, for better job protection and for higher taxes on the rich are engaging in divide-and-conquer by race?

            I genuinely don’t know how you reach that conclusion, other than your dislike of liberals leads you to believe the lies conservatives tell you. They’re picking your pocket, you understand? The ones calling the shots don’t care about you. AOC wants to improve your life — the specific circumstances of your life and people who work their butts off like you, regardless of their skin color — way more than Madison Cawthorn, a manchild who has never gotten his hands dirty in his life.

            This is not zero-sum, and I’m sad that you’ve been persuaded it is zero-sum. “White privilege” does not deny individual hardships. Nobody wants you to apologize for being white. It’s not like you chose it. It’s about social structures — the sea we swim in.

            I’m white. I grew up poor in a bad neighborhood. I got lucky with my education, but didn’t have the same connections as the wealthy kids around me who leaned on them to get even further ahead. I couldn’t afford the right clothes, didn’t talk like rich people talk. I got judged plenty of times. But I never worried that the cops would pull me over for a broken tail light or get followed around a store in case I stole something. Structures of privilege in society deal out rewards or punishment for things you have no control over. You can do all the right things but it’s up to somebody else to decide whether you deserve to be treated fairly.

            (For what it’s worth, that’s why I’m skeptical about the reparations movement: one-off payments are like the bonuses being offered by employers right now to new hires as a way to avoid paying higher hourly wages.)

          • G Man

            Campaigning is for getting votes. That’s it. They all talk the talk but most don’t follow through or understand how to make those pie in the sky dreams become reality, because they don’t live in reality. I’m talking about the Democrats AND the Republicans. Politicians are politicians, it’s just a family business to them.

            I don’t dislike liberals because they are liberals any more than I would dislike someone solely because of their skin color or sex. What I do dislike is the common slant that is ever-present in mainstream media. Journalism is a thing of the past.

            I know nothing about Madison Cawthorn, but I don’t see his relevance in this local discussion.

            Let’s agree to disagree. I have seen and heard plenty of the ‘woke leaders’ make it very loud and clear that they DO want me to apologize for being white. They also want to treat me differently from folks of other colors. I have seen plenty of examples of the “whiteness matrix” and various syllabus materials used to explain how being white is a failure on my part and at the very best level of my whiteness achievement I am “in denial”.

            You say you didn’t worry about being pulled over by the cops or being followed around the store as if it is understood that “cops” or whomever is following you would be white and the “you” in the reverse case would be black. I say any cop or security guard that decides to take whatever action is making a personal decision to do so. It is not “baked into the system”. Even if it is a common practice, it still is the fault of a group of individuals acting as individuals, not because they were guided by the system to do so. Root out the bad individuals and you will repair the system. Maybe the real problem is that we have too many individuals with too much power and too little accountability.

            It’s a nice idea to think that you can legislate thought and morality and good will, but it is a pipe dream. Higher minimum wage = Less workers Medicare for all sounds good as a talking point but it could only work without the waste and corruption that government administration inevitably brings to everything it touches, not to mention the price tag. I’m all for higher taxes on the rich. In fact, what I would like to see is some legislation that mandates all of these social bliss proposals be funded ENTIRELY out of the pockets of those rich a$$hats who have no clue what real life is like.

            Let’s start here. You want to see minimum wage increased? Let’s set the salary of every single politician in the country at minimum wage and not allow them to have any other source of income for the entirety of their term in office. I’ll vote for that.

  2. Jason Williams

    Do people who cook spaghetti at home feel the need to go to Olive Garden and explain how the cooks there are making spaghetti wrong?

  3. Frank

    CRT does not seem appropriate for K-12. Maybe I wasn’t a very good student, but thinking back this would just fly right over. I think in K-12 we’d be better off teaching more basic conduct/morals like self discipline, personal growth/responsibility, valuing diversity and honesty.

    • Gary

      Frank, I think you are right. And, in fact CRT is a college-level theory on race that is NOT taught in primary schools. Primary schools should continue to teach about diversity and racism and American history with age-appropriate lessons, as they are already doing.

      The funny thing is, the right-wing often complains that we’re not teaching morals in schools any more. But when they learn that morals are actually being taught, they throw a fit. I’ve been impressed with every teacher I’ve ever met. We need to stop assaulting teachers with fake crises.

  4. WNC

    CRT is a blank sheet of paper for teaching your political views. There are more than one reason why 20% of NC students pre Covid choose not to go to traditional public schools. The rate was growing 1-2% per year before the major uptick during covid . It remains to be determined how many students will return to traditional schools.
    Mean while school systems struggle with what to do with more teachers than needed for the smaller populations of students.

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