West Virginia lawmakers take aim at critical race theory, write bill to ban it in nearly all public spaces

by Peter Heck · Feb 24th, 2021 6:34 am

Last Updated Feb 25th, 2021 at 11:50 am

Lawmakers in the state of West Virginia introduced a bill that would prohibit critical race theory from influencing the state's schools, government agencies, and workplaces.

The bill specifically utilizes the phrase "divisive acts" to refer to CRT throughout the legislation. It bans "discriminatory ‘divisive acts' in the workplace," "the teaching of ‘divisive acts' in…schools," and will bar "state funding to agencies who promote ‘divisive acts.'"

The bill's authors explain that "divisive acts" incorporates several different concepts, including:

  • The idea that "one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex"
  • The idea that the "United States is fundamentally racist or sexist"
  • The idea that "an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously"
  • The idea that "an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex"
  • The idea that "members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex"
  • The idea that "an individual's moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex"
  • The idea that "an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex"
  • The idea that "any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex"
  • The idea that "meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race"

The West Virginia legislation is strikingly similar to a recent bill introduced by New Hampshire Republican state Representative Keith Ammon, who acknowledged directly his intent to target "something called Critical Race Theory."

Ammon called out the ideology for teaching that "the United States is fundamentally racist and founded in racism."

Critical race theory has found immense growth in American culture through the increasing popularity of its proponents, including authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi. Scholars at the conservative Heritage Foundation meanwhile, have dubbed the movement, "an indoctrination cult."


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