Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation Tuesday banning critical race theory from being taught and promoted in government agencies, schools, or state-funded universities.
“Critical Race Theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education. It teaches kids that we should judge others based on race, gender or sexual identity, rather than the content of someone’s character,” Reynolds said in a statement, according to the Des Moines Register. “I am proud to have worked with the legislature to promote learning, not discriminatory indoctrination.”
The new law will go into effect across the state on June 1. The legislation does not specifically name critical race theory, but outlaws more specific concepts often associated with the study. Critical race theory analyzes how race and racism shaped the United States and continue to influence the U.S. today in the form of alleged inequalities among races.
Critics of the theory say that it oversimplifies and misdiagnoses the causes of inequality in the United States, and also promotes damaging falsehoods such as the existence of widespread, systemic racism in the United States. The new law bans government agencies, schools, and public universities from teaching that the U.S. or Iowa is systemically racist.
The legislation also outlaws a number of other “specifically defined concepts” summarized by WOI-DT:
That one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
That the United States of America and the state of Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist.
That an individual, solely because of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
That an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race or sex.
That members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex.
That an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by the individual’s race or sex.
That an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
That any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of that individual’s race or sex.
That meritocracy or traits such as hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.
Any other form of race or sex scapegoating or any other form of race or sex stereotyping.
State and local governments, as well as concerned parents, are acting to purge critical race theory from schools, colleges, and other institutions across the United States. Several states such as Florida have already taken steps to ban it in schools, and parents in states such as New York are fighting on the local level with school boards drafting plans to implement such curriculum.