MADISON — When Gov. Tony Evers last week vetoed a bill barring the teaching of the controversial critical race theory in Wisconsin schools, he said he was doing so because he objects to new censorship rules. Critics say Evers’ veto allows school districts to continue to indoctrinate students with lessons that teach the United States of America is a systemically racist nation and that the way to fight discrimination is with more discrimination.
The Republican-led Legislature passed the bill on party lines after an outcry from parents concerned about what their children were “learning” in Wisconsin public schools.
The measure prohibits public schools from teaching the kind of race- and sex-based stereotyping replete in radical CRT. It also bars schools from providing teachers with training on such curriculum. Schools that do face a 10 percent cut in state aid.
“I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because I object to creating new censorship rules that restrict schools and educators from teaching honest, complete facts about important historical topics like the Civil War and civil rights,” Evers wrote in his veto message, issued, per usual, late on a Friday.
Evers claims he “trusts” parents, educators and schools to determine what is best for kid. But the governor left out that the radical left training that parents are concerned about is being led in part by the Department of Public Instruction, a liberal state agency Evers ran for a decade before being elected governor.
The same governor who has pushed greater state control of education is now insisting the CRT bill is “micromanagement from politicians in Madison.”
State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), co-author of the measure with Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R-Muskego), said a growing number of school districts are teaching material that employs racism and sexism. Parents from across the state have expressed concern that these lessons are causing psychological distress in students, teaching them that their race – over which they have no control – determines their destiny.
“The Governor’s veto of AB 411 makes clear that he is okay with racist and sexist instruction taking place in our classrooms, which is deeply disappointing,” Jacque said. “No one should have to undergo the humiliation of being told that they are inferior to someone else; we are all members of the human race.”
CRT and so-called “antiracist” curriculum also focus on the “privilege” of white people, demanding that students agree that white people are, by nature, white supremacists simply because of the color of their skin.
Christopher Rufo, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has done extensive research into critical race theory, its origins and its proliferation. He testified in September at a Senate Committee on Universities and Tech Colleges hearing.
Rufo notes the origins of the radical curriculum are steeped in Marxism, promoted by mostly white, highly educated and affluent liberals in academia. He said race is an essential category for the purveyors of the social, economic, and governmental revolution that CRT encourages.
“You can be reduced to an essence of whiteness or blackness. These are things you cannot change or overcome,” Rufo said. “Whiteness (to CRT apologists) is synonymous with oppression, racism, privilege, property superiority, meritocracy, which they consider to be a flaw in our system.”
Rufo described CRT as an academic discipline that maintains the United States was founded on white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalist exploitation and that those forces are still at the root of our society.
“CRT is deeply skeptical about the concept of individual rights and constitutional government and favors dividing society into oppressor and oppressed categories based on race and then advocating for the overturning of some of the key social, economic and governing institutions of our country,” the researcher said.
As Empower Wisconsin has reported, schools have assigned middle-school-aged students books such as, “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.” The book is co-authored by Neo-Marxist Ibram X. Kendi, peddler of “critical race theory” ideology which sees “white supremacy” behind every social injustice and promotes “anti-racism” through actual racism. Simply put, it indulges in widespread discrimination against white people or those of Asian ancestry as a kind of social justice reparation.
Among Kendi’s teachings, “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
The legislation Evers vetoed also included a transparency provision that would prevent school districts from charging unreasonable fees for records requests seeking information on curriculum.
The National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, last year adopted a position that critical race theory is “reasonable and appropriate” to be included in K-12 curriculum. It dedicated funding and staff to spreading its use.
“The concept that the United Sates is fundamentally racist or sexist and that any individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, must therefore be inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive is fundamentally untrue,” Jacque said. “It is especially heartbreaking to hear from parents and students of mixed race backgrounds that their children have been told that they should expect to achieve less due to racial discrimination, and that their own family members bear historic guilt for this oppression.”