Discovery Institute Board Member Walter Myers III discusses Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum and Critical Race Theory at Orange County Board of Education Public Forum:
While I support Ethnic Studies, I do not believe Ethnic Studies should in any manner associate itself with Critical Race Theory. Though proponents of Ethnic Studies claim there is no relationship between Ethnic Studies and CRT, a cursory reading of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum demonstrates this statement to be as disingenuous as it is false. In Chapter 3 of the ESMC, it specifically states CRT as a key theoretical framework that can be used in ethnic studies research and instruction, citing an article from the American Bar Association titled “A Lesson in Critical Race Theory.” Interestingly, the referenced ABA article makes mention that CRT grew from Critical Legal Studies but makes no mention of its underlying neo-Marxist ideology, Critical Theory. I believe the intent is to obfuscate the core of CRT ideology and would assert that you cannot separate CRT from its underlying Marxist philosophy.
While CRT provides some interesting critiques on race, particularly during the time in which it was first developed, its prescriptions are utterly divisive and destructive. It is backward looking and does not consider the tremendous progress in race relations over the course of the past 50+ years since Civil Rights legislation. It is, and has always been, a tool to inculcate Marxist ideology behind a thin canard of race relations. While we must teach on our horrid past of racial oppression, so we do not repeat it, continuing to rub salt in old wounds serves no one. It does not behoove black and brown children to hear in a classroom that if they perform well at school their hard work will be all for naught due to systemic racism, which is a false assertion.
The specter of white male oppression is the least of my worries for black and brown children. Instead, my greatest worry is a California public school system that promotes a divisive ideology discouraging black and brown children from aiming high, and further fails to educate them to give them a fighting chance to be successful regardless of the obstacles they may face in life. In my view, these are the people who truly oppress us, and we as blacks take part in our own oppression by voting in those who would oppress us. Ironically, in California we have voted in a black superintendent of public instruction who leads a public school system among the worst in the country, yet he is hostile to school choice since his customers are clearly the teacher unions and not the students. It is about time we all accept responsibility for our part in the lack of our children’s educational success in California and jettison any further consideration of CRT in California public instruction, which is at best an unworthy distraction.