Campus Reform | New Hampshire universities defend their ability to teach Critical Race Theory

New Hampshire universities defend their ability to teach Critical Race Theory

Several leading New Hampshire universities — including Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire — signed a letter denouncing a bill that would ban Critical Race Theory education in the state.

The letter claims that the legislation would have a “chilling impact on our workplaces and on the business climate in New Hampshire,” causing the state to be perceived as “regressive and intolerant.”

Several leading universities in New Hampshire signed a letter condemning a bill that would ban Critical Race Theory in the state.

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility drafted a letter opposing House Bill 544, “An Act Relative to the propagation of divisive concepts.” 

Among the signatories were Dartmouth College, Colby-Sawyer College, the University of New Hampshire, and Southern New Hampshire University.

[RELATED: Tulane hosts anti-racism teach-in with profs divided by race]

The bill — which was introduced by State Rep. Keith Ammon (R-NH), State Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-NH), and State Rep. Jason Osborne (R-NH) — says that no public institution in New Hampshire shall “teach, instruct, or train any employee, contractor, staff member, student, or any other individual or group, to adopt or believe” divisive concepts, such as the notion that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex” or that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

The New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility letter claims that the bill would have a “chilling impact on our workplaces and on the business climate in New Hampshire.”

Declaring that the bill would create an image of New Hampshire as “regressive and intolerant,” the letter alleges that the bill “would not only harm the ability of New Hampshire businesses to be competitive, it would severely harm the state's image as business-friendly, since it stifles the ability of organizations who do business with the state to foster diverse workforces as they see fit.”

[RELATED: University of California academics say that 'structural and everyday racism' killed Jackie Robinson]

“It is important to explore, inquire and learn from our past as we move to the future.  We cannot shy away from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training,” continues the letter. “It is critical to our understanding and ability to build strong workplaces.”

Rep. Ammon provided Campus Reform with his statement on House Bill 544.

“We are all Americans, and the diversity of our citizenry is one of our greatest strengths as a nation,” read the statement. “Placing people into groups of ‘oppressors’ or ‘oppressed,’ based on qualities we are born with and cannot change, is antithetical to individual liberty and our cohesiveness as a country.”

Southern New Hampshire University Assistant Director of Media Relations told Campus Reform that “at Southern New Hampshire University, we are committed to building a culture that discourages discrimination and that encourages a celebration of individuals for all their differences.” Accordingly, “promoting and enabling diversity and inclusion are essential to the long-term strength, and economic competitiveness of our state.”

“New Hampshire HB544 will limit the ability for SNHU, and other higher education institutions, to advance and support the conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion in our state,” the statement added.

The legislation and resultant letter occur as other states push to ban Critical Race Theory in their education systems.

Iowa, for example, passed a bill that would bar government agencies and public universities from teaching "race or sex stereotyping" and "racial scapegoating" in diversity and inclusion training courses.

[RELATED: Trump banned Critical Race Theory. Biden reversed it. Now, Iowa lawmakers are taking things into their own hands.]

Campus Reform reached out to the mentioned universities and representatives for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft