by Angela Morabito
Dr. Elliot Stern, president of Saddleback College, a public community college in California, issued an open letter commemorating Juneteenth that also voiced support for Critical Race Theory.
Amid thoughtful comments on the historical significance of Juneteenth and the importance of commemorating Emancipation, Stern equated the ongoing backlash against Critical Race Theory to the “Red Scare” of the 1950s:
“Politicians create bogeymen of scholars of race study and are passing laws to prevent schools from teaching widely acclaimed scholarship,” he wrote. “Critical Race Theory is the new Communism.”
If Critical Race Theory is “widely acclaimed scholarship,” as the letter argues, it is also widely criticized scholarship. The New York Times‘ 1619 Project, a text often used to teach Critical Race Theory, has been criticized by academics for including apparent historical falsehoods.
Additionally, Campus Reform reported yesterday that “a survivor of Mao Zedong’s Communist regime told her school board that the tactics behind Critical Race Theory seem ‘very familiar.’”
Campus Reform is tracking state bills and laws that block Critical Race Theory, and not a single one bans the teaching of history of race in the United States. Few bills mention Critical Race Theory by name, but instead stipulate that no student may be made to feel superior or inferior to another on the basis of race or sex.
The reaction to President Biden proclaiming Juneteenth a national holiday has been almost exclusively positive from the American right. The Republican National Committee announced that it “enthusiastically welcome[s] its adoption as our newest national holiday after President Trump called for it last year.” Out of 211 Republicans in the House, only 14 voted against making Juneteenth a holiday.
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Angela Morabito is a Higher Education Fellow and Spokeswoman for Campus Reform. She is the former Press Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, where she went head-to-head with the Left, the media, and the teachers’ unions on behalf of the Trump administration and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Photo “Dr. Elliot Stern” by Dr. Elliot Stern.