The mayors of Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville declined to say Monday whether they support public schools teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT).
This, even though those four mayors — Jim Cooper, Jim Strickland, Tim Kelly, and Indya Kincannon — belong to the United States Conference of Mayors, which recently adopted a resolution supporting CRT in K-12 public schools.
The Tennessee Star contacted the communications staff for all four mayors. A staff member for only one of them — Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly — replied to our request when we asked whether he supports CRT in public schools.
“The City of Chattanooga is not involved in any way in K-12 school curriculum choices so we must defer to Hamilton County Schools,” said Kelly spokeswoman Mary Beth Ikard.
The resolution, passed this month, says historical racism and racist systems have discriminated against people of color and “have created racial inequities in all facets of life in the United States.” The resolution said these racial inequities continue to the present day.
The resolution describes the basic tenets of CRT by the following criteria:
• “Recognition that race is not biologically real, but it is socially constructed and socially significant as a product of social thought not connected to biological reality.”
• “Acknowledgement that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, that replicate racial inequality, meaning that racist incidents are not aberrations but instead manifestations of structural and systemic racism.”
• “Rejection of popular understandings about racism, including claims of meritocracy, colorblindness, and arguments that confine racism to a few bad apples, in recognition that the systemic nature of racism, which is codified in law, embedded in structures, and woven into public policy, bears primary responsibility for reproducing racial inequality.”
• “Recognition of the relevance of people’s everyday lives to scholarship, embracing the lived experiences of people of color, including those preserved through storytelling, and rejecting deficit-informed research that excludes the epistemologies of people of color.”
“CRT transcends a Black/white racial binary and recognizes that racism has impacted the experiences of various people of color, including Latinx, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and other racial groups,” according to the resolution.
Breitbart.com described CRT as “a Marxist ideology that embraces the concept that all American institutions are systemically racist, with whites as oppressors and blacks as victims.”
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