Sen. Rick Brattin’s Capitol Report for the Week of May 31: Critical Race Theory, the 1619 Project and the Indoctrination of America’s Children

The last few years has seen the introduction of one deceptive and destructive cultural idea after another. First it was “wokeness,” or extreme political correctness, which places more value on how “woke” you are to a problem rather than looking at the problem objectively and considering the facts. This lack of free thinking is leading inexorably to another sinister tool of political radicals: cancel culture, which is the Marxist-style denouncing and public shaming of any opposing thought one finds offensive, or that doesn’t fit the narrative or aims of a particular political group or movement. Now, a close cousin of wokeness and cancel culture is attempting to sneak its way into one of the most influential institutions in our society – our schools – and that threat is Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Critical Race Theory has its origins in Marxism and has found its modern expression in the “1619 Project,” an anti-American alternative history that teaches the United States didn’t start in 1776 but, rather, with the arrival of slaves in the New World in 1619. Its spiritual antecedent, CRT, is an academic discipline based on racial theory and class struggle that blames societal problems on “whiteness” and teaches that our law and the history of our country is “inherently racist.” The goal of CRT is not equality of opportunity, which is something at which America thrives. After all, more people in the United States have been lifted out of poverty than in any nation at any time in modern history. Rather, the goal is to distort American history and overturn the ideals on which this country was founded – imbued in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Take, for example, the teachings of one of Critical Race Theorists biggest cheerleaders, Ibram X. Kendi, who directs the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. According to Kendi, “(I)n order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.” Doesn’t this sound like the Marxist goal of destroying capitalism through CRT and identity politics? The author of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, had this to say about her motivations: “(T)he white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager and thief of the modern world.” Is this the message we want to send to our kids about equality and coming together as a country?

That’s really the issue, isn’t it? How this affects our children. Critical Race Theory is not about equality, social justice or any other dressed up rhetoric. It’s an attempt to indoctrinate our children into a false ideology that is its own form of discrimination. Students all over the country would be taught they are responsible for events that happened centuries before they were born and that the answer to discrimination against others in the past is discrimination against them in the present. It’s wrong and it can’t be allowed to continue.

Why, then, is CRT going forward, seemingly unabated? It’s because too many Americans are afraid of speaking out about political and social issues, especially when race is involved. If someone does speak out, they are attacked with the cynical political tool I mentioned above – cancel culture. Action is the answer and that’s why I filed Senate Bill 586 in the Missouri Senate. This bill would ban the teaching of divisive concepts like “any race is superior to another” or that “any person’s moral character is determined by their race or that the United States is fundamentally racist.” We all know these are lies and that the logic and underpinnings of these concepts is flawed. In fact, teaching one race is superior to another or a race should feel guilt or psychological distress because of their race is the very definition of racism, and it has no place in classrooms.

We can’t erase the history of country and the sins of our past by creating new ones. And teaching a new form of racial discrimination in our schools would be doing just that. Critical Race Theory must be combatted for the subversive and politically-motivated movement that it is and that starts with passing public policy like SB 586. This can’t wait until next year when the Legislature meets again. The governor should call an extra session, and we should join the likes of Texas, Tennessee, Arizona and others, and say “NO” to Critical Race Theory in our schools.

If you have any ideas, questions and concern, please feel free to contact me at the State Capitol: (573) 751-2108, or by writing to Sen. Rick Brattin, Missouri State Capitol, Room 331, Jefferson City, MO 65101.

God bless and thank you for the opportunity to work for you in the Missouri Senate.