It was not enough that 47 states have introduced over 500 bills that will limit the time, places and rights to vote in America, as well as allow states to change voter results in those elections that Republican legislatures “feel” had fraud. Without the recent attack on “Critical Race Theory,” it would be possible, for years to come, to show how a racist right wing White America abolished the voting rights of millions of Americans, many of whom happened to be people of color.
What is now being called “critical race theory” is not new. It is the very fabric of a legal system which has passed laws for over 100 years, based on limiting the rights of people based on race. It was the essence of the effort in the framing of the U.S. Constitution to count slaves as a fraction of a person rather than as a total human being. Race theory was behind the passage of the 13th,14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution in order to ensure that “all people are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” It took those amendments to include all people, regardless of race, just as it did with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts of 1965. These legislative and legal acts certainly had race as the basis of the push for equality.
The present attack on the concept of critical race theory is another attempt by the same people who brought us Juneteenth as a Federal holiday: to wipe out future discussion of race in our educational institutions. Such an effort in just a short period of time would mean, for example, there could be no discussion of the Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre which many are just learning about 100 years after the fact. There would be no discussion in our schools about Sand Creek or Wounded Knee and the slaughter of countless Native Americans, or the imprisonment of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and we dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese – but not on the Germans.
If legislatures and school boards can be successful with the abolishment of discussions of race by placing all such discussions under the label “critical race theory”, then we move closer to returning to the America of Jim Crow racism and possibly the apartheid that gripped South Africa with all the horror that came with it.
We as people of color must come off of recess. We must now sleep at attention and prepare to fight on a daily basis with all our thought processes and collective numbers. We must read, watch, prepare to march, speak up and stand; as we did during the civil rights movement which brought us to the limited freedoms of today, but not full equality, yet.
Take a look at where you live. Take a look at what is being done to people who look like you and those who agree with you, regardless of their color. Register to vote and get others registered. Check the voting records that are being purged and re-register those who are still living. Look at how you are spending your dollars and learn from the Atlanta, Georgia example of going after those corporate entities that support elected officials, corporations who finance the very people pushing voter suppression and the abolishment of critical race theory. This must be a daily battle with no time outs. Will you get involved?