Can we grapple with the past while laying the groundwork for the future?

Annabelle Gentling, Howler Staff Writer

Critical Race Theory (CRT) has yet again taken over the world, and now Oklahoma is being directly affected. As a result, teacher’s civil rights groups are suing Oklahoma’s ban over critical race theories teachings in schools.

A poll taken by USA Today, says that  83% percent of Black Americans think that critical race theory should be taught in class. While 63% of white parents don’t want their children to grow up thinking that white people are villains in history. 

Sadly, with the extent of misinformation in the media, it doesn’t seem that adults have tried to ask or understand the point of view from the perspective of people it directly affects: America’s youth. Moreso, they have failed to truly understand what critical race theory is. 

 Derrick Bell, a middle aged Black man, composed critical race theory in 1980 while he worked as an attorney for “The National Association for the Advancement of Color

According to the New Yorker, Bell said, “racism is so deeply rooted in the makeup of American society that it has been able to reassert itself after each successive wave of reform aimed at eliminating it.” 

This is apparent today as critical race theory is a phrase that many people associate as an act of division, meant to discredit the civil rights work of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, fathers of racial equality, who worked so hard to get America to recognize racism and its prevalence in society in the past. 

To break it down, CRT is the thought process that America is built on the idea that people of color are inferior. Some people believe that racism is not going on today, but America has built its economy, labor, laws, politics, beauty standards and education to favor Caucasians or lighter skin tones. 

As an African-American student, I didn’t fully understand critical race theory, but having researched it more I understand why people feel personally conflicted. The past is full of horrific incidents between races. While some would choose to forget and move on, others see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. This is where education is key. 

As a country, teachers have a responsibility to teach accurate history and parents have to find a healthy balance between exposing the truth and instead of feeling guilt, using this to change the future. We are at a crossroad in America, in the equal acceptance of all races, religions and genders. If parents, teachers and students work together we can make this a reality.  

Humans of every race may never know the true meaning of a utopia, but perhaps that is what will bring everyone together. We can celebrate diversity without belittling others and bring change that is so badly needed. To move forward sometimes the world has to look behind.