Critical race theory controversy has decades-old roots

You, as an individual, are not responsible for the past, but you are responsible for what happens now and in the future.

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November 29, 2021 - 9:49 AM

People talk before the start of a rally against critical race theory being taught in schools in Leesburg, Virginia, on June 12, 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

The current controversy over critical race theory in the schools is nothing new. Thirty-seven years ago, I published an article with the headline “Book Banning and the New Right: Censorship in the Public Schools.”

In the introduction, I wrote: “The charges made by the new right are all too familiar: Many prize-winning works of contemporary fiction are said to be obscene, immoral and too negative. Textbooks are said to devote too much space to criticizing racism, sexism and other social problems and not enough space to ‘emphasizing the positive,’ especially with regard to patriotism and the nuclear family.”

Sound familiar?

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