Pushback on anti-critical race theory bill continues

Pushback on anti-critical race theory bill continues
Pushback on anti-critical race theory bill continues(WLBT)
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 8:47 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Both the Mississippi Senate and House are giving the green light to a controversial bill that aims to ban critical race theory in public schools.

The bill was held on a motion to reconsider. So, it could technically see some more debate before getting the final go-ahead to the Governor.

The debate in the House may have lasted for hours Thursday, but the public debate in Mississippi started much earlier. The Speaker and Governor both featured the issue in their Neshoba County speeches last summer.

In January, the pushback came in the form of a letter and website dubbed “Teach History, Mississippi” with backing from various groups and led by the Mississippi Center for Justice. And they’re still concerned what the impacts might be.

“I believe that it would have a chilling effect on teachers in the classroom by causing them not to teach certain topics, causing them not to give a full account of certain topics that would leave our children lacking one knowledge in the areas of history, social studies and civil rights, particularly in Mississippi.”

There’s also questions about the fact that critical race theory is actually not defined in the bill, despite its title.

“Read what critical race theory is before you vote on it,” said Dr. Kathryn Green, Mississippi Valley State University History Professor. “I mean, we all want our lawmakers to have educated votes. So don’t just go on the bandwagon.”

Jackson State Political Science Professor Dr. D’Andra Orey doesn’t think it will ultimately impact anything other than elections.

“Race relations has been Mississippi’s Achilles heel,” said Dr. Orey. “And the first word that comes to mind when I think about Senate Bill 2113 is fabrication. This is a solution looking for a problem.”

“The Southern Strategy is used for campaign strategies,” he continued. “They utilize these dog whistles and it’s to mobilize their base. So this is not anything that’s expected to be substantive. This is something that is clearly political and has been used by the operatives for political purposes.”

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