A children’s book about Ruby Bridges integrating a New Orleans school has been labeled “critical race theory” by conservative parents in Tennessee, who claim that its portrayal of an angry white crowd treats white people too harshly and doesn’t show them being redeemed in the end.
Bridges, who was 6-year-old when she experienced racism at its most vile for months after integrating the all-white William Frantz Elementary School, shared her story in the children’s book, “Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story.” However, a movement is afoot in Tennessee to challenge this book and others that give personal accounts of America’s racism from a minority perspective.
Joanna Daniels, a board member of the Sumner County Republican Assembly, raised concerns about “Ruby Bridges Goes to School” being in the curriculum because it depicts “white people as dangerous or oppressive or people of color as weak and oppressed,” and “teaches children ‘victim mentality.’”
“Anytime that anything is taught that makes a child feel ashamed over something he or she has no control over — like his skin color or gender — then critical race theory is being taught,” Daniels said. “I thought we were supposed to teach our children to not pay attention to what critical race theory wants them to focus on. We need to teach people to become overcomers, not victims, not to be oppressed.”
Below is “Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story,” the story these groups are trying to erase from America’s history.
Right wing groups and Fox News have been mischaracterizing Critical Race Theory as an attempt to make white children feel guilty about America’s systemic racism. Tennessee’s legislature banned the teaching of it in public school, although it was never taught in public schools, and now there’s a push to purge any book that may fall under the term’s loose definition.
The Williamson County chapter of Moms for Liberty, a conservative parent group, has been raising concerns about “Wit & Wisdom,” an elementary and middle school literacy curriculum used by at least 30 school districts across Tennessee. The group just filed the first official grievance under the new law. Here’s their leader, Robin Steenman, spewing her nonsense about the filed grievance on Glenn Beck back in May.
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