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OPINION: Nikki Haley wrong about critical race theory


Dr. Rashad Richey

National TV Political Analyst, Talk Radio Host, Univ. Prof.


Does critical race theory have a place in your child’s academic curriculum? Political Analyst and Straight Arrow News Contributor Rashad Richey says calls to ban it in the classroom are irrelevant and miss the mark about what it actually teaches.

Former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley says that all governors need to ban the funding of critical race theory because it’s adversely impacting our children. 

So where do I start with this? First of all, critical race theory is not even taught in K through 12 education. It is not taught whatsoever. 

CRT is an advanced theoretical framework, typically taught in advanced level collegiate studies. I’ve been a college professor for a number of years. I teach critical race theory typically to my graduate students, nothing more. 

But the governor, the former governor, she’s well aware of this and other governors that have signed these anti-CRT bills, they know it too. And that’s why in the statutory language of every critical race theory bill, guess what’s not in the bill? 

Guess what doesn’t exist? The terminology, critical race theory or CRT. You know why that’s not in the bill? Because that’s not what they’re banning.

Think about it. Critical race theory has been around since 1958 informally, and it was formalized around the 1970s. This theoretical concept for academia has been here since then. 

And all of a sudden, after former president Donald Trump said it was a great evil, that’s when everybody jumped on this bandwagon, and they were all of a sudden anti-CRT. 

What does CRT actually teach? Well, it’s contrary to what the governor said. Let me read what Governor Nikki Haley said in her statement. 

She said, “Think about a five-year-old that starts kindergarten, and they don’t know anything about color. If she’s white, you’re telling her that she’s bad. If she’s brown or black, you’re telling her she’s never enough and she’ll always be a victim. That is harmful for the wellbeing of our children.”

Well, here’s the thing, Governor Haley, that’s not what critical race theory teaches. 

It actually de-emphasizes the individual racist person. It says your real challenge is not with racist individuals, they exist in silos and will likely always exist on some level, but the real examination should be on how bias is within our statutes, our laws, our policies, and our institutions. 

Let me give an example of what critical race theory would examine. It would examine the fact that the constitution said that I’m three-fifths of a person. That’s what the constitution originally said. It would examine the fact that the Declaration of Independence said that Native Americans were in fact savages. It would examine redlining happening in the 1930s. 

It would examine policies, policies that were written in bias. That’s all it does. It does not emphasize individual racist people. It does the exact opposite. Once again, not taught in K through 12 education, not even considered in K through 12 educational curriculum.

So why are people falling for the trap that’s really happening? 

Here’s what they’re passing laws prohibiting: the ability of our well experienced and well-educated teachers from teaching the truth about America. That is what they’re trying to stop, not critical race theory, but teaching the true concepts of how this country has struggled to overcome its original sin. And that is bigotry and racism. I hope you don’t fall for it.

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