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John Oliver talks debate about important racial theory teaching in schools – The Hollywood Reporter

Last week tonight with John Oliver returns Sunday night for the season nine premiere, where the presenter dissects the debate over the teaching of critical racial theory in schools.

Oliver said on his HBO show: “A lot of people are getting very frantic about critical race theory right now, and you instinctively know it’s a created panic, but the fact that the fear surrounding it is having a real impact. He pointed out that Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governor’s race last year after delivering on a campaign promise to ban CRT instruction in schools, coupled with the fact that several states have passed legislation banning the teaching of CRT in schools. CRT in schools and Republicans have the capacity to do that. the focus of the upcoming midterm elections.

“When it comes to CRT, think of it like Rihanna’s pregnancy: Even if you think it has nothing to do with you, trust me, you’re going to hear a lot about it this year,” Oliver said. .

He went on to explain what a CRT is, saying it is “the name given to a legal academic institution that began in the 1970s that tried to understand why racism and inequality existed. behind the civil rights movement”.

He quoted a Education week The article described it as follows: “The core idea is that.. racism is not just a product of personal prejudice or prejudice… but something embedded in systems. legislation and policy.” He went on to criticize Tucker Carlson and other CRT opponents for arguing that it teaches that some races are superior to others or teaches children to hate America.

Oliver showed a clip by CRT scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw explaining that the CRT “just said let’s pay attention to what happened in this country and what happened in this country is continuing to create different outcomes so that we can become the country we say we are. Critical racial theory is not antipatriotic. Actually more patriotic than protestors because we believe in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments[s]. We believe in the promise of equality, and we know that we cannot achieve it if we cannot speak head-to-head and speak honestly about inequality. “

Oliver noted how CRT has become a big topic on Fox News, citing Critical Mention data showing that “critical race theory” has been aired 4,707 times in 2021.

He then reverts to his original stance that addresses teaching “bad, clumsy lessons” in CRT in schools, including examples of how it went wrong, from “privileged BINGO card” to a teacher who teaches about prejudice by dividing the class. by eye color, where brown-eyed students were the lowest level assigned and were treated horribly.

“And if you do that in a diverse class and think for even a second who is more likely to have brown eyes, you can immediately see how badly that lesson can go, ‘ said Oliver, noting that it happened at a school in the Chicago area that one of his writers, who was black, attended. He asked her what she thought of the lesson: “It was pretty bad,” she said.

Oliver notes that many educators are trying to find appropriate ways to talk about race and racism in schools. “But the panic about CRT risks shutting down those conversations,” he said. “And that’s not all it can do because some of the people pushing this panic the hardest are actually using it to advance a much larger agenda they’ve been wanting. it’s been a long time, and it’s been school choice – basically letting parents take the tax money off of their kids going to public school and use it at any school they like. “

He cites Florida as a state that allows public money to go into voucher, or private, schools, where curriculum and books “downplay the horrors of slavery,” according to a statement. Orlando Sentinel the story he quoted. He produced a textbook that said that “a slave who knows Christ has more freedom than a free man who does not know the Savior.”

Calling it insulting and “deeply stupid,” Oliver said: “Any kid who reads that sentence that fails the trombone will immediately drop two full marks. It sounds less like something you’d find in a textbook and more like something you might find crocheted on a throw pillow in Paula Deen’s living room. “

By June 2021, Oliver noted, 37 states had taken steps, including the introduction of bills, to limit the teaching of critical race theory in schools or restrict how teachers can talk about racism in the classroom.

He then screened an interview with a woman in Loudoun County, Virginia, who stated that her community is not racist; Oliver then issued a report stating that students in the county’s public schools used the word n ​​to a “shocking” degree.

“I think as a society, we’ve agreed that white people shouldn’t use the n-word ‘shock’ over and over again – unless, that is, they have a lucrative podcast deal with Spotify,” said Oliver, referencing Joe Rogan.

He summed up his segment: “The debate around critical race theory is both very noisy and very very stupid, but unfortunately it’s important to get into it because otherwise, the point The bottom line we’re aiming for is to be honest Racial discussions will be shut out of public schools even if some parents go to voucher academies where their kids can learn a lesson. the historical version is basically fan fiction before the novel. “

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