The Mississippi State Senate passed a measure to prohibit the teaching of critical race theory in public schools on Friday, despite a walkout by members of the chamber’s Black Senators in protest of the proposal, which is part of a wave of similar legislation in Republican-controlled states.
Black Senators Stage Walkout Over Bill Banning CRT
According to Mississippi Today, the 14 Black Senators did not vote. The measure, which would outlaw critical race theory at Mississippi’s public institutions and colleges, was approved by a vote of 32-2. Black Senators are against the bill.
The bill is anticipated to become law since it has the support of the state’s Republican House Speaker and Gov. Tate Reeves (R).
Last year, Republicans around the country made banning critical race theory a legislative priority as it became a culture war talking point among the right media. According to the thesis, American political organizations are naturally prejudiced towards persons of color, and racism is structurally rooted in American institutions. Critics, like former President Donald Trump, have slammed critical race theory. They have argued that it is politically motivated by left-wing activists, and does not reflect American history.
Late in his presidency, Trump signed legislation to promote “patriotic education,” which minimized slavery’s role in American history while honoring the nation’s Founding Fathers (many of whom owned slaves). Last year they claimed that teaching critical race theory is “psychological abuse” of children. The widespread right-wing critique arises even though critical race theory is ill-defined as an academic paradigm, and there is no indication that it is even taught in American classrooms.
According to the most recent Census Bureau numbers, Mississippi’s Black population is 38.7 percent, by far the highest percentage of any state in the US. The state with the largest percentage of Black people in Louisiana, where 33.6 percent of the population is Black.