UT profs fire back at lawmakers, write that Critical Race Theory 'needs to be in our schools'
Two University of Texas at Austin social work professors pushed for the continued usage of Critical Race Theory in public schools.
The column comes after Texas and other states advanced measures to ban CRT curriculum.
After Texas advanced bills discouraging Critical Race Theory in the state’s schools, two University of Texas at Austin professors advocated for the ideology’s continued use.
Social work professors Esther Calzada and Cossy Hough wrote an op-ed published by UT News — the school’s official news outlet — claiming that the legislation will “restrain discussions about race and racism in the classroom.”
The professors insisted that the bill is rooted in the goal of protecting “white people from critical conversations about race” due to the “fear that white people are and will be victims in the dredging up of an unjust past.”
Though the professors admit that atrocities such as slavery “took place centuries ago, and most Americans view them as abhorrent,” they emphasized the importance of White people leveling with the sins of their ancestors in the face of purported contemporary discrimination: “Considering these disparities in the context of our history, is it too much to ask white people to critically reflect on the past?”
“Critical race theory is designed to focus attention on the realities of people of color by illuminating the pervasive elements of racism that permeate societal systems and structures in the U.S. today,” they continued. “The history and current structures of racial oppression must be included in the narratives that students learn about in schools. Voices and experiences of people of color throughout U.S. history must be amplified.”
The professors concluded by rejecting the “neoliberal premise that teaching children to be kind, accepting and colorblind, while ignoring race and racism, fosters equity and equality.”
As Campus Reform has reported, lawmakers in states like Louisiana, Iowa, and Rhode Island have introduced bills to limit the use of Critical Race Theory and its tenets — including the idea that people can be “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously” by virtue of demographic — from government classrooms.
Campus Reform reached out to Calzada, Hough, and the University of Texas at Austin for comment.
J.B. Bird, the institution’s Director of Media Relations & Issues Management, stated that “the university strongly values and protects free speech, which is central to our academic mission. Members of the university community hold and express a wide array of opinions.”
Calzada and Hough have not responded to requests for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft