The president of the nation’s second-largest teachers union claimed that critical race theory is not being taught in public K-12 institutions and blamed anti-CRT activists for “bullying teachers” from “teaching students accurate history.”
During a press conference with American Federation of Teachers (AFT) members, President Randi Weingarten said that critical race theory is a theory used only in law school and colleges to “analyze whether systemic racism exists.” She denied that public schools and K-12 institutions writ large were pushing critical race theory on students.
AFT President Randi Weingarten:
“Critical Race Theory is not taught in elementary schools or middle schools or high schools.”
“Culture warriors” are “bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching accurate history.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 7, 2021
Critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools, or middle schools, or high schools. It’s a method of examination taught in law school and in college that helps analyze whether systemic racism exists, and in particular, whether it has an effect on law and public policy. Culture warriors are labeling any discussion of race, racism, or discrimination as CRT to try to make it toxic. They’re bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching students accurate history.
Weingarten blamed the “bullying” on “culture warriors” who wish to “suppress the truth.” She vowed to defend members who get in trouble “for teaching honest history” and noted that the AFT has a legal defense fund.
“Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong,” Weingarten said. “Distorting history and threatening educators for teaching the truth is what is truly radical and wrong.”
In May, AFT tweeted out that it does not believe that critical race theory is “divisive.”
“Critical race theory isn’t ‘divisive,’” the union tweeted. “It’s an irreplaceable lens with which we can view our difficult history.”
Critical race theory isn’t “divisive.” It’s an irreplaceable lens with which we can view our difficult history. https://t.co/FKpcUme33V
— AFT (@AFTunion) May 11, 2021
Weingarten’s comments come after the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), passed — and then removed — a business item that pledged to teach critical race theory in all 50 states across 14,000 school districts.
The Daily Wire reported:
The NEA pledged to “share and publicize” information already available on critical race theory (CRT) — what it is and what it is not.” There will also be a team of staffers dedicated to providing members with information about how to “fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members as well as their community members.”
In what the NEA claims to be the inclusion of “accurate and honest teaching,” it vowed to “oppose attempts to ban critical race theory” and the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which has been scrutinized by historians as ahistorical.
Following backlash from national media outlets and Democratic colleagues who claim that critical race theory is merely a figment of Republican’s imagination, the NEA scrubbed its website of the agenda item.
Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said that critical race theory is “another right-wing conspiracy theory” that was “totally made up by Donald Trump.
Mainstream media, particularly MSNBC, have perpetuated the idea that critical race theory is a hoax as well. Anchor Joy Reid accused Manhattan Institute scholar and leading anti-CRT activist Chris Rufo of “making up your own thing, labeling it something that already existed as a name, slapped that brand name on it, and turned it into a successful political strategy.”