An essay by a former Democrat congressional candidate published in Newsweek on Monday called on readers to listen to black parents who oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT) “indoctrination” in schools, while calling on black Americans to reject the Democrat Party’s race narrative and, instead, realize “that their skin color is not a barrier to their progress,” adding that Democrats use race to galvanize black electorate support though many black Americans actually “have conservative ideals.”
The opinion piece, titled “Listen to Black Parents Furious With Critical Race Theory” and penned by Barrington D. Martin II, a special educator and a former congressional candidate for the Fifth District of Georgia, began by acknowledging that though racial prejudice, to a degree, will “never be truly eradicated” and that “ugly deeds” will never cease, the enormous progress made must be recognized.
“We have done an excellent job as a country in substantially minimizing these attitudes socially, and even ensuring racial prejudices are eliminated at an institutional level within government,” Martin wrote.
Listen to the Black parents who are furious with critical race theory | Opinion https://t.co/hyhNrI0rG1
— Newsweek Opinion (@NewsweekOpinion) June 21, 2021
Regarding race and opinions on the subject, Martin declared “we are living in the best of times,” writing that “our nation is not recognizable as the place where segregation ruled throughout the South as recently as the 1960s.”
“I should know, as a black man who has lived his entire life in the South,” he added.
Despite living in a time “when Americans have never been more united about the evils of slavery,” Martin blasted Democrats for “working overtime to keep race ideology alive and well.”
He then blamed CRT for serving as the “life support for race ideology,” adding that the theory is “big business” which provides “valuable political capital to Democrats wishing to keep black Americans believing in the omnipresence of racism.”
Martin claimed that “indoctrinating” the next generation of youth through CRT limits their understanding of themselves and history.
“Lesson plans have been emerging which teach our children to see themselves through their skin tones and indoctrinating them to view history as well as American jurisprudence not as it is or was, but from a perspective that is centered strictly around their race,” he wrote.
Claiming “it’s not just Democrats,” Martin also criticized Republicans for not making a clear enough case against CRT.
“The GOP are also complicit, because even though they don’t support CRT, they are going about rejecting it in the wrong way,” he wrote.
“Instead of making a clear case for why they are not racists, explaining how the smears are false, they seem to just ignore them, or hurl their own insults back,” he added.
He also wrote that black Americans continue to suffer as a result of Republicans not doing enough to counter Democrats on this issue, leading him to conclude that “both parties” have failed the black electorate.
“[T]he GOP never takes the time to defend itself from these attacks. Republicans don’t spend the time in our communities to show why they are the better political party to support,” he wrote. “Therefore, the cycle of empty Democratic support continues, and black Americans suffer.”
Noting that black Americans “vote overwhelming for Democrats” in every national election, Martin claimed that they had little to show for their support.
“What do we have to show for it?” he asked, adding that many black people actually embrace conservative values.
“Not only have we not seen the kind of economic policy that would truly help our community, but there’s an ideological mismatch, too: Many black Americans have conservative ideals. We believe in hard work, family, Christian values, and self-reliance,” he wrote.
He also attributed black electoral support for the Democratic Party to the false narrative that the GOP is “the party of racists” because “people with a vested interest in our votes have made it their mission to make sure” that black Americans continue to believe it.
“Race has always been the crown jewel used by Democrats to galvanize black support,” he wrote. “The Democrats constantly and consistently remind black Americans that race is a barrier to their progress, and that [Democrats] are the answer to this problem.”
Calling CRT “the latest iteration of this vicious cycle” of “empty Democratic support,” Martin explained that it also leads to interracial conflict and adds “an element of divisiveness that sets our kids up for failure.”
“Black children will learn to resent white children based on history viewed through a racial lens, and white children will learn to dislike who they are or be resentful of being told their skin color makes them inherently tyrannical,” he wrote.
Martin then cited two recent incidents, the first which occurred last week at a Florida school board meeting where a concerned mother, Keisha King, “demolished CRT,” arguing it was racist.
“It is sad that we are even contemplating something like Critical Race Theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently oppressors or oppressed in 2021.” — Keisha King, mother of two, and member of @Moms4Liberty #StopCriticalRaceTheory pic.twitter.com/OFrfVJ13d7
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) June 11, 2021
“Telling my child or any child that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are black is racist, and saying that white people are automatically above me, my children, or any child is racist as well,” King is filmed saying. “This is not something that we can stand for in our country.”
The second incident shows “another angry parent” asking members of an Illinois school board meeting, “How do I have two medical degrees if I’m sitting here oppressed?”
Watch this parent absolutely obliterate Critical Race Theory at an Illinois school board meeting:
“How do I have two medical degrees if I’m sitting here oppressed?” pic.twitter.com/gmCRJaphXt
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) June 17, 2021
Martin used these incidents to call on people to listen to such black voices over Democrats and the mainstream media that represents them.
“These black parents furious at what critical race theory are who you should be listening to, not Democratic operatives and their representatives on the mainstream media,” he wrote.
He concluded by demanding that black Americans start forcing both parties “to earn their support,” and that they come to realize “that their skin color is not a barrier to their progress.”
The essay comes as the battle over CRT in schools has resulted in nationwide tension.
The theory, which is promoted by many on the left, claims that American institutions — the government, economy, and culture — are based on racial hierarchy, with white people at the top and black people at the bottom, and even that which appears race-neutral is, on closer inspection, rooted in racism. As a result, it urges reform in virtually all of its institutions.
Last week, Jason Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale University, claimed that the Republican Party’s fight against the teaching of CRT in schools is akin to neo-fascists in Germany seeking to revise history and put an end to Holocaust education.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.