President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten took to Twitter to claim critical race theory, the idea that racism is systemically embedded in American institutions and culture, isn’t being taught in K-12 schools after the teachers union she leads had publicly bragged about the supposed benefits of teaching critical race theory.
“Critical Race Theory is not taught in K-12 schools,” Weingarten tweeted on July 6, adding that the right is “bullying teachers to try and keep them from teaching the truth,” all while arguing that the term “critical race theory” has been used by the “right’s culture warriors” to obscure the truth about “race, racism or discrimination.”
#CriticalRaceTheory is not taught in K-12 schools. The right’s culture warriors are labeling any discussion of race, racism or discrimination as such to try to make it toxic. They’re bullying teachers to try and keep them from teaching the truth. https://t.co/Plz2inkLke
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) July 6, 2021
“We don’t teach critical race theory in grade school. We teach history,” Weingarten said in another tweet.
We don't teach critical race theory in grade school. We teach history. We want kids to be able to understand and analyze history after hearing diverse perspectives, to be engaged citizens. And according to recent surveys, students want that too. https://t.co/fZ4AABJXt7
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) July 7, 2021
Just weeks before, however, the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second-largest teachers union where Weingarten is the current president, boasted that “critical race theory allows educators to give our students the opportunity to understand the full breadth and depth of the American society.”
Watch AFT Secretary-Treasurer @fedingram on ABC's @GMA about how teaching critical race theory allows educators to "give our students the opportunity to understand the full breadth and depth of the American society." Watch the full clip now pic.twitter.com/7LSwPLJbGA
— AFT (@AFTunion) June 14, 2021
In another tweet, the union Weingarten leads argued, “Critical race theory isn’t ‘divisive.’ It’s an irreplaceable lens with which we can view our difficult history.”
Critical race theory isn’t “divisive.” It’s an irreplaceable lens with which we can view our difficult history. https://t.co/FKpcUme33V
— AFT (@AFTunion) May 11, 2021
The American Federation of Teachers also hosted a live stream conversation with infamous critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi, whom the union called an “anti-racism scholar.” The teachers union even created a special-edition version of Kendi’s book “Stamped,” while stating in the live stream that their “goal is to get copies of this book into the hands of middle- and high-school students across the country.”
“We live in a dangerously racist society,” Kendi said during the live stream, where there are “ideas that are teaching darker skin kids that there is something wrong with them” while “teaching white kids that there is something right about them because of the color of their skin.”
Meanwhile, affirmative action policies specifically and systemically disadvantage white and Asian students, while white children in some school districts have been taught how to “confront whiteness” and that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism.” Third-graders in California have been instructed to rank themselves on scales of “power and privilege.”
As backlash from parents and state governments has mounted against critical race theory, the American Federation of Teachers has simultaneously claimed that critical race theory is not taught in K-12 education while defending the presence of the theory in the classroom and purposefully working to distribute the literature of critical race theory to schoolchildren.