Memphis City Council Adopts Resolution Opposing State Ban on Critical Race Theory

Memphis City Council Meeting


On Tuesday, the Memphis City Council adopted a resolution opposing the state legislature’s ban on critical race theory.

The item was added last-minute to the council agenda. Council members Martavius Jones, Michalyn Easter-Thomas, JB Smiley, Cheyenne Johnson, Rhonda Logan, Jeff Warren, Ford Canale, Frank Colvett, Edmund Ford, and Chase Carlisle sponsored the resolution. The council voted unanimously in favor of the resolution without discussion.

As The Tennessee Star reported, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the bill effectively banning critical race theory earlier this month after much debate. The legislature had to create a conference committee in order to resolve conflict over the outright ban on critical race theory.

The committee not only approved the legislation – it added three more provisions concerning the prohibited types of conclusions typically advanced by critical race theory. All of the provisions are reproduced below:

  1.  One race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
  2. An individual, by virtue or the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
  3. An individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual’s race or sex;
  4. An individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex;
  5. An individual, by virtue or the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
  6. An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or another form of psychological distress solely because of the individual’s race or sex;
  7. A meritocracy is inherently racist or sexist, or designed by a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex;
  8. This state or the United States is fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist;
  9. Promoting or advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government;
  10. Promoting division between, or resentment of, a race, sex, religion, creed, nonviolent political affiliation, social class, or class of people; or
  11. Ascribing character traits, values, moral or ethical codes, privileges, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex; or
  12. The rule of law does not exist, but instead is a series of power relationships and struggles among racial or other groups; or
  13. All Americans are not created equal and are not endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; or
  14. Governments should deny to any person with the government’s jurisdiction the equal protection of the law[,]” read the added provisions.

State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) introduced the amending language at the beginning of the month. Since introducing the legislation, Ragan expressed some deep and varied criticisms of critical race theory. He called those who implement and support it “hucksters, charlatans, and useful idiots peddling identity politics.”

Schools in violation of this ban would be disciplined by Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. The legislation outlined Schwinn’s role as the one who decides how much of state funding would be withheld from a school if they violated the law on teaching critical race theory.

The council didn’t clarify if they intended to take further action beyond a resolution opposing the critical race theory ban.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].






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17 Thoughts to “Memphis City Council Adopts Resolution Opposing State Ban on Critical Race Theory”

  1. Harriett Podraza

    If you want CRT taught in school, I believe I should be able to opt out of paying part of our city taxes because I do not want this taught. I believe all children should be taught to be their best. This theory is all demeaning. The city’s government is letting all citizens down.

  2. Jay

    Leave East Tennessee alone. We have our own problems.

  3. Nibroc

    Congressperson Cohen is so excited that (s)he went out and bought a new dress for the occasion.

  4. Did we expect difference from Memphis and Shelby County?
    Darkness, Division,Terror, Lawlessness, Destruction, Delusion, Poverty and Misery rides a Democrat horse!

  5. Chris

    This is rich.

    The same Memphis City Council which abandoned the Memphis City School System a few years ago is now concerned about the same students they previously turned their backs on.

    If the City Council was worried about its students, you would think it would be about their abysmal standardized testing scores and not their political inculcation.

    With the exception of a few high schools with AP classes, public schools in Memphis are little more than day care for gang bangers.

    But the City Council certainly doesn’t care about that.

  6. I’m sure Steve Cohen (TN’s biggest embarrassment – even bigger than the meth addiction issue) is down with this 100%. Memphis isn’t satisfied enough having the worst school system in TN, not satisfied with having one of the highest poverty levels and not satisfied having one of the worst quality of life environments. It isn’t bad enough, yet. They want more.

    1. 83ragtop50

      SO right except that Nashville now has the honor of having the worst public school system. A possible cause could be that Memphis dumbed down their grading criteria before Nashville figured out how to accomplish that.

    2. Truthy McTruthFace

      moron cohen drools when he thinks of all the chaos creating marxism being implemented

    3. Chris

      You left out violent crime.

  7. EdC

    Proponents of critical race theory could care less about critical race theory. It’s simply a vehicle used by the left to gain control and expand their corruption. Better they move to a blue state .

  8. M. Flatt

    This should be interesting.
    What we’re seeing is the setup for Shelby County Schools to be sued for teaching CRT, in violation of state law. After a number of appeals, such an issue will eventually end up on the docket of the Supreme Court of the US.
    Unfortunately, I’m not sure who would win, there. I suspect machine politics and mafia-style pressure may keep any real justice from happening.

  9. Karen Bracken

    So Memphis has become a bastion of marxism and hate. Perhaps it is time for them to secede from Tennessee and create their own state. CRT perpetuates racism and hate which are the cornerstones of marxism. They use race to destroy and at the end of the day if marxism wins out all those that got sucked into the lies will be standing in the same bread line as those of us that see CRT for what it really is all about.

  10. Kevin

    So, 13 members of the Memphis city council, 5 of whom appear to be Caucasian, all think that it’s OK to teach that those 14 statements are in fact true and should be taught to kids? Let me play this back for you all.

    Martavius Jones believes that, “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.”

    JB Smiley thinks that, “an individual’s moral character is determined by the individual’s race or sex.”

    Frank Colvett is “promoting or advocating the violent overthrow of the United States government.”

    I certainly now fully understand who the racists, sexists and anarchists are. Do you?

  11. mikey whipwreck

    CRT is marxism at its core and designed to keep us divided and at each other’s throats.

  12. rick

    Please allow the citizens of Tennessee to vote for the removal of Memphis as a city in the state to form their own country and it shall be called the Nation of Memphrica!

    1. Nibroc

      Post of the thread award winner.

  13. Some Dude

    Memphis and Nashville… leading Tennessee’s charge into the Democrat Party… and Tennessee’s destruction. Do what you will, but people adopting this insane policy… IS racism. To the core. And will ONLY lead to MORE racism, NOT less.