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The New Segregation
1619 Project merges into Critical Race Theory

On August 18, 2019 The New York Times published an article titled “ the 1619 Project”.

The article begins with a first-person story told by Nikole Hannah-Jones of her father who proudly flew the American flag: “my dad felt so much honor in being an American". Hannah-Jones goes on to explain that she felt like this was a marker of his degradation, his acceptance of subordination. The author blames slavery, not on the English pirates that stole people from a Portuguese slave ship and sold them at Jamestown, but on the buyers, the Jamestown colonists. The article went on to document the pervasiveness and cruelty of African slavery in the English colonies that became the United States, and the study of the American past should begin with the event that birthed racism to fully explains the racism of the American present.

The 1619 Project encountered fierce push-back, both from conservatives and historians. John G. Turner, in the National Review, points to the author’s statement that “one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery.” Never mind that Britain was the original market for slaves. But some academic historians were ready to tell a new story about America’s past and to kick the Pilgrims out of their God ordained place in American history.

Out of the 1619 Project grew a new academic curriculum that is now being married with critical race theory (CRT). CRT has been around since 1989 and gained traction in legal studies out of a recognition that the law was not inclusive of people who are not white. A controversy arose when it became weaponized as anti-American or anti-white.

USA Today quotes, Cleveland Hayes, associate dean of academic affairs and a professor in the Indiana University School of Education, who has done research on critical race theory, admits it has caused division and made some people feel bad or ashamed. He’d like to see it as an inclusive study, and “not about you as a white person, it’s about recognizing the humanity and erasure of people of color.” But, as humans will do, they have used CRT to elevate one race by putting another down.

Asra Nomani, vice president for strategy and investigations at Parents Defending Education, opposes critical race theory in schools and said “using a lens of race to look at society is superficial and divisive and creates a hierarchy of human value that separates and demonizes people based on race.”

Oregonians for Liberty in Education is attempting to make parents aware of the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) flooding our school system in an attempt to change history by scheduling events on the 1619 Project. Building on critical race theory, on May 10, ODE sponsored and paid $25,000 for “An Evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones,” and invited Oregon’s teachers statewide. They suggest parents watch the 90-minute webinar, billed as “1619: Centering Black History and Black Futures in Oregon.” Don’t expect to learn about the “1619 Project” because it was aimed at CRT. Hannah-Jones criticized historians, spoke on the legacy of slavery, and when asked about her status she justifies her privileges by having legal rights now but we can’t forget the past. Bringing the past to bear on the present was her overall influencing theme. (See Northwest Observer article)

ODE has taken it one step further, May 13, Hannah-Jones has been invited back to deliver another ODE-sponsored webinar, this time speaking directly to Oregon’s schoolchildren. Parents need to watch it with their children and not put it off as another class assignment video.

Hannah-Jones’ own video on the power of storytelling, she titled “What drives me is rage.” Apparently her rage is her invisible heritage, as she calls it. She begins her dialogue on history by saying, “before there was a United States, we had decided that black Americans were not going to be treated like human beings and they were going to be treated as property and owned and not have any rights in the country where they lived and the country where their children would be born.”

Critical race theory is showing up in legislation as “equity” and was codified as Governor Brown’s agenda when she asked that HB 2030 be introduced, which changes the mission of each commission from "equality" to "equity." Changing equality to equity is a totally different approach. Equality means every person has the opportunity based on their hard work to achieve what they want. Equity says we can’t allow anyone to get further ahead than the next person. That means holding the brightest and smartest students back to a common level. Some of the education bills taking the “equity” route are:

SB 732 Requires school districts to establish educational equity advisory committee on educational equity impacts.

HB 2935 Limits authority of school district to become member of voluntary organization that administers interscholastic activities unless organization implements equity focused policies that prohibits discrimination.

HB 3363 Establishes Racial Equity and Justice Student Collaborative.

HB 2166 Directs Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene advisory group to review equity in education system.

SB 232 Modifies requirements of report on Educators Equity Act that is prepared by state agencies.

Martin Luther King said “do not judge a person by the color of their skin, but by their character.” Critical race theory is the total opposite.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-14 13:52:34Last Update: 2021-05-14 18:34:34



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