My son Gage will not be taught that he is held back because of the color of his skin. Gage has every opportunity that anyone else in America has, and the only thing standing in the way of his success is himself.
I voted to ban critical race theory in Tennessee because Gage is his own artist of his own masterpiece, and so are you. Your circumstances don’t define you. Your actions and pursuits will define you.
The Tennessee General Assembly makes laws that protect the integrity of our state and defend those of us who are the most vulnerable. This time, the group in desperate need of defense is our children as critical race theory, a dangerous theory, is sweeping through our schools.
CRT teaches our children that each of them is either inherently racist or inherently oppressed based on nothing but the color of their skin. This is a dangerous idea to be teaching second graders.
Also being taught is that America’s institutions are designed solely to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between the “privileged” and the “minoritized.” There is no blind justice, there is no equality under the law, and there is no free market. Equality of opportunity is no longer the goal in America under critical race theory. Instead, it is equity of outcome, which it deceptively calls “fairness.”
The tenets of CRT are based on the Marxist ideals of critical theory. Communist Karl Marx developed the idea of critiquing all societies as inherently racist and oppressive, classifying all people as either “privileged” or “minoritized.” Not only are some people born with a better shot in life, but those with “privilege” inherently exploit others, he said.
The intent is to divide, to make our children demonize each other and bear the mistakes of the past. Have there been wrongs we have had to make right? Absolutely. But our system of government is designed to give more power to the individual instead of the government so these issues can be resolved. Tyrants do not control us; we control ourselves.
One step at a time, we as a nation crafted the Declaration of Independence, fought the Civil War, and passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act. America has the ability to change. We course-corrected our mistakes and should be proud of that. Our strides as a country toward progress, however, are not accurately taught under critical race theory. This is why the Tennessee General Assembly stepped in to defend our citizens’ values.
House Bill 580 outlaws these kinds of teachings about CRT in Tennessee schools. If something is not in a Tennessee standard, it doesn’t make it to your child’s desk.
Our children deserve to be individuals and grow up with a blank slate, not be discriminated against based on race. They should not be used as the guinea pigs of progressives or be taught to hate each other based on the color of their skin.
In Tennessee, we believe in truth. We believe in equality of opportunity. We are proud of our history. Thanks to the 68 Republican “yes” votes in the General Assembly, we ensure the Tennessee of tomorrow will be proud of Tennessee today.
This article was originally published by the Tennessee House Republican Caucus.