Christian Curriculum

Examining the “ 1619 Project ” and Critical Race Theory


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I am suspicious when people take strong positions for and against programs and “facts” they have only heard about online or on cable. Two examples are the hysteria and the deep lack of background around the “1619 project” and the critical theory of race.

“The 1619 Project” is a series of articles, essays, podcast and multimedia presentations published in the New York Times Magazine. As you may have heard, the NYT is a liberal-leaning newspaper that has written most of its pro-leftist reporting for the past few years.

“1619” was designed, in part, for use as a curriculum in schools. This unique take on our history seems more appropriate for college and higher level courses. Nikole Hannah-Jones won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for the project’s introductory essay. It is the story seen through a specific opinion filter.

The central theme of the project is that this place we now call America was built on the premise that “some people deserve more power than others”. It is not just a country built on the backs of black slaves, but a country that consecrates the powerful to the detriment of the powerless through economic, societal and racial mechanisms.

According to this view of history, every aspect of “building a better life in America” ​​is a lie because of that first ship that landed 20-30 black slaves in Virginia in 1619. The Revolutionary War was to integrate white supremacy , making slavery a key to our national foundation. The truth behind the brutality of American capitalism begins at the plantation.

According to the “1619” vision of our founding principles, historic progress in favor of equality is a misdirection on the part of those in power to continue the economic sustainability of a useful disadvantaged class.

Many parts of “1619” highlight little-known historical facts. A photo report of today’s street corners where slave auctions were held two centuries ago is compelling. Reminders of the evil parts of our history help us understand how casually we have accepted and integrated human slavery into the fabric of our national life.

I believe some mention of slavery abhorred in colonial New England should have been included. The anti-slave mentality of the Quakers and the Pilgrims dominated the New England area. Not all communities of white Europeans on this continent in the 1600s embraced the slavery of Africans and others as a path to economic freedom.

Will parts of “1619” find its way into classrooms via a teacher, school district, or state school board who accepts the core message of the project? Yes, that is why parents and guardians should be involved in what their students learn.

The discussion around critical race theory, meanwhile, has come to a head. A school district in Washington state recently adopted CRT as part of its programs. School board elections are won or lost due to CRT acceptance or rejection charges. It is in our corporate and military culture. But what is CRT and where does it come from?

CRT was first organized at a workshop in 1989, but has its roots further back, in the critical legal studies movement of the 1960s. CLS, the result of a Marxist view that the legal system serves only the rich and the powerful to the detriment of the poor and marginalized. Much knowledge has been devoted to researching court decisions and legal results to adopt this conclusion.

“Critical Race Theory: An Introduction”, was written by jurists Richard Delgado (a founder of CRT) and Jean Stefancic. They established that these basic tenants were true:

  • Race is a social construct, not based on natural biology.
  • Racism in the United States is a normal and common experience for most people of color.
  • All legal advances like Brown vs. Board of Education for People of Color tend to serve the interests of dominant white groups.
  • No individual can be properly identified as a member of a single group due to “intersectionality” (an example would be an African American who identifies as female, lesbian, feminist, Christian, etc.).
  • Only people of color are qualified to speak on behalf of other members of their group or groups regarding the forms and effects of racism.

CLS and CRT say political liberals are unable to address the fundamental issues underlying injustice in American society. Advancing the goals of the civil rights movement, such as equal treatment before the law, means that society will only recognize the most overt acts of racism. Supporters of the CRT believe that action must be taken to combat any expression of racism, whether overt, implied or accidental.

Like all movements, not all members agree on the path to success for CRT. The Marxist-leaning CRT defenders are part of the Tear It Up and Rebuild Better Team. Right now, CRT strategists believe that “educating” young people to know they are genetically doomed to be racist is the best path to change. You can’t make real changes until you are in total control. You can’t have complete control until people who believe that you and your ideas deserve it control it. This is the long CRT game that is played in our schools.

Groups derived from CRTs based on gender, race, ethnicity, and gender identity come together to replicate the success of the African-American CRT movement.

There is a great deal of truth to the anecdotal history of open and secret racism in America. We have passed laws and fought killing wars to uplift people and restrain others. But do any of our attempts to change this path deserve credit?

It seems to me that adopting CRT nationwide would drastically change America’s vision and promise: come here, work hard for a better life, and be treated equally. If this story is deleted, what replaces it?

I surveyed all school districts in Victor Valley regarding CRT and “1619”. Second, Hesperia and Apple Valley responded that they had no plans or programs, ongoing or pending, based on these materials. Only those adopted and approved by the California Department of Education are used. All parents have the right and are encouraged to review school materials at all levels if they wish.

Do you have a high school student leaving for college? Visit critiquerace.org for a state-by-state list of colleges that incorporate CRT into their courses.

Contact Pat Orr at [email protected]

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