Black mother Shawntel Cooper was whisked into the national spotlight after she delivered a one-minute takedown of critical race theory to the Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) district board.
On May 11, Cooper expressed concern that the board was pushing theories of oppression on her biracial children. She dubbed critical race theory — commonly referred to as CRT — as “racist” and “abusive.”
“CRT is racist; it is abusive; it discriminates against one’s color. … Think twice before you indoctrinate such racist theories. You cannot tell me what is or is not racist,” Cooper said. “Look at me. I had to come down here today to tell you to your face that we are coming together and we are strong.”
#Loudouncounty parents brought the 🔥🔥🔥 at the school board meeting tonight.
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) May 12, 2021
Cooper told The Daily Wire that LCPS is making biracial students “confused” because critical race theory teaches them that they are oppressed, though her children and many others do not feel that way.
“I have a biracial family and right now, [the school] is putting all children in an awkward situation and leaving biracial children feeling confused,” Cooper said. “The kids in school don’t feel like they are being targeted, they don’t feel like they’re experiencing this … When I speak with people of my descent — black Americans — we are asking each other, ‘is this how you feel?’ This is not how I feel.”
LCPS claims that it has not implemented critical race theory into the district’s curriculum, though Cooper claims that the district is “trying to slide it through the backdoor.” Cooper said that the theory is incredibly unpopular among parents in the area and she has “not met a parent that says CRT is good.”
Cooper came under fire from activists for wearing a face shield in place of a face mask indoors. Her critics painted her as an “angry” mother who failed to touch on the nuances of CRT. The school board meeting allotted community members 60 seconds for comments.
The mother told The Daily Wire that she is still recovering from surgery and the recovery process is made more difficult by impediments to her breathing. She claims to be “mask exempt,” though the district insisted she wear a face shield in lieu of the mask.
Cooper encouraged other parents — particularly mothers — to research critical race theory and understand its impacts on children.
“We have to defeat who’s trying to divide us,” Cooper said. “I want to encourage the mama bears out there … research CRT.”
Cooper told The Daily Wire that she found the confidence to speak out against the school board after researching critical race theory and connecting with other parents who had similar feelings about the curriculum. She encouraged parents to reach out to one another and share resources for successfully fighting back.
She hopes to find a more unified approach to teaching children tough history lessons.
“What unites us is our Constitution, not the color of our skin. That’s what we have to reflect on,” Cooper said. “There were courageous human beings, black and white fighting together years ago to fight against oppression and prejudice. So why wouldn’t I do that? CRT is exactly what we have to fight against.”