Meet Bettina L. Love, A Critical Race Theorist Coming To A School Near You

Meet Bettina L. Love, A Critical Race Theorist Coming To A School Near You

'Love’s 2019 book, 'We Want to Do More Than Survive,' is arguably the single most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the ideology of the CRT movement in education.'
Gabe Kaminsky
By

Bettina L. Love, an “anti-racist” professor at the University of Georgia, is an Ibram X. Kendi figure who is also reaching thousands of American children and paid by taxpayer dollars. In addition to preaching critical race theory (CRT) in public schools across the nation, including, as reported by The Federalist, at an Indiana conference for teachers backed by taxpayer dollars, the Biden administration quietly supported Love’s work before that became too hot to handle.

As Stanley Kurtz noted in a recent article reviewing Love’s most recent book, “Civic education that teaches children to ‘pay their taxes, vote, volunteer, and have good character’ is rejected by Love as ‘code for comply, comply, comply.’ ‘History tells us,’ Love says, ‘that dark folx’ humanity is dependent on how much they disobey and fight for justice.’”

Racism Scores Points With Biden

Back in June, top Indiana Republicans declined to condemn the state for allocating resources to a state forum that paid Love to lecture on her theories about the United States engaging in the “spirit murder” of non-white children. David Keltz, a spokesman for Republican state Attorney General Todd Rokita, who claims to oppose CRT, also declined to respond to The Federalist’s inquiry this week into whether Indiana should have allowed tax dollars to go toward the controversial event.

Something else happened in June. The Biden administration was exposed for its involvement with Love’s group, “The Abolitionist Teaching Network.”

Love’s group put out a booklet in August 2020 titled “Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning.” The 12-page manual instructs teachers to “disrupt whiteness and other forms of oppression.” Biden’s Department of Education linked to the manual as a resource in its school reopening handbook, as first reported by Fox News.

Love’s group was launched in 2020. Other board members include: Brandelyn Tosolt, associate professor of education at Northern Kentucky University; Chelsey Culley-Love, a middle school teacher in Atlanta; Martha Allexsaht-Snider, a University of Georgia professor for women’s studies; Farima Pour-Khorshid, an education professor at the University of San Francisco; and David Stovall, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor of  African-American studies and criminology, law, and justice.

Soon after Fox revealed the Biden administration’s endorsement of Love’s group, the administration backpedaled. The education department claimed “it was an error in a lengthy document to include [the] citation” and that it “does not endorse” Love’s group. It is unclear how this “error” transpired in the first place, however, Fox reportedly contacted the Biden administration several times prior to publication.

The U.S. Department of Education did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.

A Treatise on Racial Extremism

To understand the activist’s relationship with the Department of Education, it’s important to know about her 2019 book. Titled “We Want to Do More Than Survive,” the subtitle “Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom,” is a direct reference to her consulting group.

“We Want to Do More Than Survive” received glowing reviews from left-wing critics and won the 2020 Society of Professors of Education Outstanding Book Award. The book’s content forms the basis for Love’s lectures across the country on what she calls “abolitionism,” which insists “whiteness” is a plague on the United States. Due to “whiteness” being intertwined in all institutions, she argues for what she calls “equity,” which means government seizing and then redistributing income and other private property.

Love writes: “To even begin to attack our destructive and punitive educational system, pedagogies that promote social justice must have teeth. …America and its schools [are] spaces of Whiteness, White Rage, and White Supremacy, all of which function to terrorize students of color.”

As Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, pointed out in a recent column on Love’s rise to CRT stardom, she is also an advocate for “action civics.” Action civics calls for teachers to mobilize students into social justice warriors infatuated with identity politics and the intersectionality hierarchy.

The description for her book makes this clear, stating, “Bettina Love persuasively argues that educators must teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through radical civic initiatives and movements.”

If this language sounds familiar, it’s because the Biden administration is on board. The education department has supported similar initiatives in the past through grant funding. Despite attempts to manage PR damage, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona does not seem to be truly backing down from this kind of extremist ideology.

Love’s book was no minor work in the left-wing academic community. The same year she released it is when she began to contribute to the large trade publication Education Week, which is read by tens of thousands of teachers and school administrators. Such successful infiltration of the 21st-century academic system has made her action civics and white privilege theories staples at major universities and schools.

At the University of Georgia, Love lists her expertise as “hip hop-based education, black girlhood, diversity and social justice, hip hop feminism, and critical media literacy.” According to her curricula vitae, she has given lectures across the country dating back to 2010.

But it was not until October 2018 at Rutgers University-Newark, in Newark, N.J., that Love first spoke about “abolitionist teaching” verbatim. Her campus lectures soon became her book tour.

A spokesman for the University of Georgia declined to immediately comment Wednesday on whether the institution endorses Love’s embracement of CRT. On Thursday, the university sent this statement from Greg Trevor, a communications vice president for the university:

Like any citizen, professors at public institutions have the First Amendment right to express personal opinions outside of work. Even in the classroom, faculty have academic freedom to discuss controversial issues related to their teaching or research. However, views expressed by faculty, whether inside or outside the classroom, do not necessarily reflect the position of the Mary Frances Early College of Education or this institution.

Taxpayer Cash For Racism

At the Virginia Department of Education’s 2020 equity summit, Love gave a keynote address on “systemic racism” and “dismantling capitalism.” The conference also featured Democrat Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, and Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane.

“And then how do we really move the needle, how do we really try to push what we should be envisioning for our new world,” Love said at the taxpayer-backed conference.

Whereas the taxpayer-sponsored Virginia lecture went largely underreported, Love’s training in January of this year before a San Diego school district became the topic of a national controversy.

As first reported by Manhattan Institute Fellow Christopher Rufo, the activist was hired by the school to lecture on “spirit murder,” which she argued in an Education Week column prior connotes how schools have participated in “the spirit murdering of Black and Brown children” since there is “a death that is built on racism and intended to reduce, humiliate, and destroy people of color.”

“School officials continue to misdiagnose the spirit murdering happening in their schools every day, even in a time when folks are screaming in the streets that Black Lives Matter, demanding immigration rights, calling to end police brutality, standing up to Islamophobia and transphobia, and demanding racial justice,” Love had written in her May 2019 column. “When schools mirror our society’s hate, educational justice becomes out of our reach.”

Instead of focusing on Love and her far-left racial ideology that Americans heavily disagree with via polling, legacy media smeared Rufo. The Washington Post, which told The Federalist it did not “correct” the article but merely “clarified” it after severe edits, backtracked on its denial of the San Diego training once the school’s principal provided the documents to corroborate Rufo’s reporting. The story has not been issued a correction or retraction to this day.

Lesser-Known CRT Prophet

According to Kurtz, this extremist professor should be taken seriously in her attempts to overhaul the system. “Love may be less well known to critics of CRT than Ibram X. Kendi, Nikole Hannah-Jones, or Robin DiAngelo, but that is our mistake,” he describes. “Love’s 2019 book, ‘We Want to Do More Than Survive,’ is arguably the single most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the ideology of the CRT movement in education.”

James A. Lindsay, the founder of New Discourses, told The Federalist Love “is more forthright than most people in the public square who espouse CRT.”

“People tend not to know who she is, I think, because she’s more honest about her views, which people mistake for being more extreme,” Lindsay said. “Critical race theory is actually more extreme than most people realize.”

Love did not respond to a request for comment.

This article has been corrected and updated in regard to the University of Georgia’s response for The Federalist’s request for comment.

Gabe Kaminsky is a senior contributor to The Federalist. His writing has appeared in RealClearPolitics, The American Conservative, the American Mind, the New York Post, and other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @Gabe__Kaminsky and email tips to [email protected]

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