RELIGION CORNER: A teachable moment about critical race theory

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The DC Democratic Women’s Club (DCDWC), under the leadership of President Jeannette Mobley, hosts its annual Black History Month event.

The public is invited to participate in a virtual panel discussion on Critical Race Theory, or CRT, on Tuesday, February 8 from 7-9 p.m.

Visit the Club’s website (www.dcdemocraticwomensclub.com) to find the Zoom link. Here’s your chance to get a scientific understanding of what CRT really is.

Confirmed panelists include:

– Ayo Sakai, host.

– Sharon Pratt, lawyer and former mayor of Washington, DC

– Rev. George Holmes, a political and social activist.

– Frank Smith, former DC Council member and founder of the African-American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation.

– C. Patrick Burrowes, historian specializing in Liberia.

– Emira Woods, specializing in foreign policy and history.

The Brookings Institution wrote in a November article that Fox News mentioned “critical race theory” 1,300 times in less than four months. Why? Because CRT has become a new boogeyman for people who don’t want to acknowledge our country’s racist history and how it affects the present.

Opponents fear that the CRT is blaming all white people for being oppressors while categorizing all black people as hopelessly oppressed victims. Not true! Those fears sparked lengthy discussions in meetings of school boards and state legislatures from Tennessee to Idaho, suggesting a ban on teaching about racism in classrooms.

There is a fundamental problem with this, and that is that these CRT stories are grossly exaggerated. Academics and activists who discuss the CRT are not claiming that white people living now are to blame for what people have done in the past. They are saying that white people living now have a moral responsibility to do something about the way racism still affects all of our lives today.

Proponents of CRT bans often cite Martin Luther King Jr.’s proclamation that individuals should be considered by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, ignoring the context of the quote and the true meaning behind it. implies, which the King family disagrees with.

“I don’t think we can ignore race,” says Martin Luther King III. “What my dad is asking is to create a climate where every American can achieve their dreams. Now what does that mean when you have 50 million people living in poverty?”

Bernice King doubts that her father is trying to ignore the differences.

“When he was talking about the beloved community, he was talking about everyone bringing their gifts, their talents, their cultural experiences,” she says. “We live in a society where we may have differences, of course, but we learn to celebrate those differences.”

An assessment of anti-CRT legislation by the Brookings Institution found that nine states – Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Arizona and North Dakota – passed such legislation, while Arizona’s legislation was struck down in November by the Arizona Supreme Court.

“None of the state bills that have passed even explicitly mention the words ‘critical race theory,’ except for Idaho and North Dakota,” the institute wrote. “The laws primarily prohibit discussion, training, and/or orientation that the United States is inherently racist, as well as any discussion of conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression.”

The DC Democratic Women’s Club is located in the District of Columbia and was established in 1966. It has at the heart of its existence the purpose of preparing and training women for elected office and supporting Democratic candidates and the party.

The club’s website shows all officers and committee chairs, including Kim Greenfield Alfonso and Valca Valentine, who co-chairs the event. Saymendy Lloyd and I are planning co-chairs. DCDWC is a member group of the National Federation of Democratic Women, which is recognized by the Democratic National Committee.

Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the DC area. His radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email [email protected], or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.

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