Many parents are unaware of this abstract theory and how it threatens to undermine the quality of the education provided to students.

I am well aware of the danger posed by this policy, which is why I am co-sponsoring legislation to combat the spread of critical race theory in Pennsylvania schools.

To give you just a taste of what is at stake, let me ask you this:

• Do you believe elementary school students should be forced to celebrate “black communism” and simulate a “black power” rally to free a prisoner accused of murder?

That is what happened 
here in Pennsylvania at a Philadelphia elementary school according to this report.

Critical Race Theory: What is it?

Critical race theory is a way of defining and describing the world through the lens of race-based identity. Race is the critical part of critical race theory.

Perhaps this will help explain it. Karl Marx saw the world through the prisms of capital and power. Those who had the capital – business owners – also had the power. Those who didn’t have capital – the workers – were powerless. His answer – in a very simplified form, of course – was for the powerless workers to rise up and take away power from the business owners. However, western democracy obviously proved Marx wrong,, because power was vested in the votes of the people.

Critical race theorists see the world similarly to Marx, however, instead of capital and power, they view the world through the prism of race. Regardless of the question, the answer is race.

Why it matters

Many school districts in Pennsylvania are considering the implementation of educational “equity” policies based on critical race theory.

I put the word “equity” in quotation marks because I do not want people to confuse it with the far more traditional and popular concept of equality.

“Equity” is one of the cornerstones of critical race theory.

• Equality means we each get the same opportunity to succeed or fall short based on our own efforts, aptitudes and beliefs.

• “Equity,” by comparison, is focused on outcomes and suggests that if two people experience different results, it must be explained based on the concept of race.

Many school districts’ proposals are filled with critical race theory buzzwords and phrases like “fair and just allocation of resources,” “barriers,” “opportunity gaps,” “explicit or implicit biases,” “collective responsibility,” “equity audit,” “inclusion,” “equity lens,” “inclusion strategies,” “cultural proficiency” and “social-emotional learning,” just to name a few.

Fighting Fire with Fire Burns Down the World

Critical race theory argues racism is the lens through which all of us should view our world. In what can only be described as irony, it considers racism to be both the problem and the solution.

Critical race theory attempts to “fight fire with fire” by combating racism using equally or even worse racist policies.

Have you ever noticed when someone says they are going to “fight fire with fire,” they essentially are ceding the moral high ground? It is an admission that the person saying it is no longer willing to stand by conviction, but rather is ready to descend to their opponent’s level to seek victory.

The problem is that critical race theorists are descending to the level of racists.

They argue America’s racist past can only be overcome by an equally – but obviously inverted – system of racism.

Undermining Our Students’ Sense of Self-Worth

Perhaps worst of all, critical race theory can undermine our students’ sense of self-worth. School – especially middle school and high school – can be a very difficult time for some students. They struggle with issues related to peer pressure and fitting in. On top of all of that, critical race theory tells them they are now and will forever be defined by their race and sex.

• Males are considered oppressors over females.

• Whites are considered oppressors of a diverse group of other students.

• Boys and white students may learn to believe any success they achieve in life is only due to undeserved preferential treatment they received based on their identity.

• Girls and minority students may learn to believe no matter how hard they work, they will always be held back or incapable of succeeding based on their identity.

What I’m Doing

In addition to sharing this information with you, I also have co-sponsored legislation (
House Bill 1532) that would prevent any Pennsylvania school district from teaching racist concepts like ones that are found in critical race theory.

The bill would withhold state funding from school districts or other entities that adopt racist policies or teach racist curriculum.

It also would enable private citizens – like parents or concerned citizens – to initiate lawsuits against school districts that adopt racist policies, procedures or programs. The citizen could seek an injunction from the court and also would be eligible to be reimbursed for legal fees.

America must continue to work to heal the great wound of racism that too often divides our citizens. We can do that by continuing to focus on Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of advancing equality under the law and protecting the integrity of every human life. Pennsylvanians recently voted overwhelmingly to approve a state constitutional amendment ensuring a person’s rights could not be denied based on race or ethnicity.

Instead of fighting a racist fire with more racist fire, it’s time to allow the cooling waters of time, compassion and empathy to extinguish the flames of racism.