CRT proponents create new word: “minoritized”
One of the things we hear from teachers and school districts is that Critical Race Theory is not being taught in the schools. That insults the intelligence of those of us who understand that CRT is a philosophy that guides districtwide planning, not a subject taught to fourth graders. Look no further than White Bear’s Equity Audit Report found here.
In the audit presentation, they refer to minority students as “minoritized” students. What does that even mean? A minority student is someone not in the majority group in the district. A minoritized student had something happen to them. They’ve been minoritized, presumedly by the majority. Someone decided that the very act of being in the minority group automatically makes you a victim. The new word choice appears to have its origins in trauma-informed care, where clients are reminded “you’re not a bad person, something bad happened to you.” That works great for people who have experienced trauma in their lives, but it’s unnecessary to apply a “minoritized” definition to every minority.
The word choice moves a student’s status from a fact to an action. A racist action taken by a systemically racist organization (in this case the school district). See how this works? Language is everything in the fight over CRT.
Doing an “equity audit” of a school district is not inherently a bad idea – it’s valuable to know where we stand and how we’re treating people (although most of the “data” in the White Bear Lake audit is unscientific survey results from students and staff). But what are the action steps? That’s where the CRT philosophy creeps in.
Among the action items from the White Bear Lake Equity Audit:
- Examine and enhance curriculum in US History and K-12 Science — if this means telling the whole story of America, warts and all, good. If this means teaching that America’s institutions are permeated by “systemic racism.” then no thanks. By the way, that’s CRT in action.
- Racial, cultural, ethnic student groups, affinity groups — focusing on affinity groups instead of individualism is CRT in action.
- Anti-racist professional development — what will this look like? If they go to the premier source of anti-racist teaching, Ibram X. Kendi, they will learn the only cure for past discrimination is more discrimination. That’s CRT in action and should not be practiced in White Bear Lake or any school district.
- Examine practices that contribute to inequities including grading, dress code and student discipline — one White Bear Lake middle school already eliminated the “F” grade, in a glaring example of the soft bigotry of low expectations. By calling the new policy “equitable grading,” the school district is asserting that it’s unfair to expect minority students to hand in their work on time or even behave in class. Talk about racist.
White Bear Lake, like many larger districts, has a full-time Director of Equity and Engagement. After the auditing and surveying and ‘defining the problem’ stage, it’s unclear what this person will do all day. What structurally racist policies and procedures are occurring in this school district that need to be changed? Who put them there in the first place, considering most school districts are run by well-meaning, enlightened liberals?
There are racist human beings living in White Bear Lake; I’ve experienced them as a member of the City Council. But to divide everyone into groups and apply the actions of a few knuckleheads to an entire population is wrong. And it’s the very essence of Critical Race Theory.