Every Republican governor and state lawmaker should copy Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision last week to block a major company from selling critical race theory-promoting high school curricula to public schools.
The College Board is privately pitching state officials on its experimental new African-American Studies high school curriculum but has so far refused to publicly release the materials that taxpayers would end up paying College Board millions for public schools to use. Leaks of those materials have shown them to be stuffed with critical race theory, an ideology that labels some racial groups victims and others oppressors based solely on skin color and ancestry.
As Stanley Kurtz reported Wednesday, DeSantis’ administration therefore rejected College Board’s application to release the curriculum in Florida. Florida’s Department of Education wrote to College Board, “as presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
Florida has banned government support for teaching critical race theory. Kurtz previously obtained a copy of the College Board curriculum and found it rife with critical race theory documents that are not counterbalanced by opposing views. In addition, he wrote, the secret curricula “clearly proselytizes for a socialist transformation of the United States.”
On Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris went to bat for the College Board, claiming that preventing teachers from teaching kids to judge each other by skin color and filtering history through a Marxist lens amounts to “ban[ning] American history.”
Every Republican officeholder with any power over education policy should go even further, and investigate K-12 schools and colleges for using public resources to promote racism and racial division, which violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Missouri’s attorney general has set up an investigation portal that other states can copy.
Public Schools Violate Equal Protection Constantly
After such investigations, all violations of the 14th Amendment must be rectified and defunded by state legislatures. This includes all use of skin color or ancestry to grant or deny college entrance; all use of skin color or ancestry to punish or absolve students of any school infraction; all use of skin color or ancestry to hire, screen, or fire government employees; and the like. This is all blatant racism, and it happens all the time, most often at the hands of people who claim to be “anti-racists.”
We know such applications of critical race theory are rampant in public institutions. We know it not just because of the last several years of constant reporting, showing blatant racism being taught and practiced in public institutions, sponsored by public funds. Even College Board openly confirms that racism is rampant in U.S. high schools and colleges by insisting, as Kurtz notes, that its experimental African-American studies curriculum “faithfully represents the content of African American studies courses at the college level.”
College Board also embeds these racist and divisive perspectives in its other classes that bright high school students take to get early college credit, according to scholarly analyses. Banning its new course should be just the beginning — several of its others need to be investigated for equal protection and critical race theory violations.
College Board’s representation of college classes in African-American studies is that these courses are essentially Marxist, which means anti-American and anti-equality. The vast majority of these classes at the university level are publicly subsidized, if not directly in public universities then indirectly through student loans. This is something state governments have a vast amount of control over, and therefore the responsibility to rectify.
No, Americans Don’t Need to Sponsor Racist Ideas
It’s as simple as this: Taxpayers are not duty-bound to subsidize ideologies that attack not only our Constitution but human dignity. It’s unjust and evil to force Americans to sponsor the proclamation and enforcement of ideologies that attack our rights, liberties, and equal protection under the law.
Yes, the people who believe these evil ideologies may speak their evil ideas freely. They may stand on the public corner and shout and wave signs all they like, just like the rest of us. They may write letters to the editor and publish their ideas online. They can self-fund all the speech they want.
But none of their anti-American speech is owed one penny of public funding or institutional support. In fact, any people who preach these ideologies deserve to be stripped of any public funding they receive. Public funding is a privilege, not a right. It should never be given to individuals or entities who slander the very institutions and people who pay their salaries.
Further, those who would abuse their public positions in these ways should be censured for doing so. As Scott Yenor recently outlined in American Reformer, legislatures should “Make those who would implement DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion, or CRT] policies pay a steep price for allowing the heckler’s veto or hiring on the basis of racial preferences or using their government offices for political purposes.”
As one example, he suggests “a Texas legislature should starve the DEI beast, through combinations of lower tuitions, tighter budgets with targeted DEI cuts, general budget cuts, and mandated program prioritization. An activist review board would audit universities for compliance.”
Will Elected Officials Back the Actual Anti-Racists?
This all should be so basic and obvious it’s already been done everywhere. That DeSantis is a standout in this regard is an utter embarrassment to the rest of his party and yet another reflection of the huge amount of resentment against elected Republicans among their base voters. If Republican officeholders want to energize voters to get out for them to combat the increasing waves of ballot-harvesting their weak and lazy party has also largely allowed, ending public sinecures for preachers of racial division is one very obvious vote-winning strategy.
It’s no coincidence that DeSantis has presided over a major vote-integrity effort as well as worked hard to defund race Marxists in schools, and was among one of the few Republican electoral bright spots in the 2022 midterms. Making fake politician promises doesn’t do it for voters anymore. Keeping promises, however, does. And one major promise voters want to see kept is the one in our Constitution that every American citizen will receive “equal protection of the laws.”
It’s not equally protecting any American citizen to approve or deny his application to college based in any part on his race. It’s not equally protecting an American citizen to, while in public employment, attribute crimes to a fellow citizen based on her sharing a roughly similar skin color to someone who committed such a crime in the past. It’s not equally protecting any American citizen to give lighter or harsher school discipline or civil penalties based in any part on that citizen’s skin color.
All this is abhorrent and must be abolished. Any Republican who refuses to use the due powers of his or her office to punish such frequently perpetuated and often publicly funded acts of racial injustice in our society is a tacit participant in systemic racism and deserves all the shame that label carries. Republicans who want to energize their voters should just copy everything DeSantis does until they figure it out, starting with his righteous use of his authority to stop wicked idealogues from teaching American children to hate each other based on outward appearances.
This article has been expanded since publication.