June 14, 2024

Jen Psaki on critical race theory: ‘Kids should learn about our history’

White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged during a briefing on Friday that the U.S. is still plagued by “systemic racism” and it is “responsible” to teach about it in schools as part of critical race theory

Psaki was asked about President Joe Biden’s thoughts on the controversial topic by RealClearPolitics White House reporter Philip Wegmann

“Delegates at the National Education Association, they approved a measure last week calling for ‘the implementation of culturally responsive education, critical race theory, and ethnic studies curriculum in pre-K through 12 and higher education,” the reporter told Psaki and asked, “The president obviously is a huge fan of education, the first lady is a teacher, a union teacher. I’m wondering, what are the president’s thoughts on the anti-racism curriculum in the classroom?”

Jen Psaki thegrio.com
(Credit: Getty Images)

“The president believes that in our history, there are many dark moments. And there is not just slavery and racism in our history, there is systemic racism that is still impacting society today,” Psaki replied.

She went on to explain that “children should learn not just the good, but also the challenging in our history, and that’s part of what we’re talking about here, even as it’s become politically charged.”

The White House’s comments come days after the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association, “expressed support for the inclusion of Critical Race Theory in schools across the country,” Mediaite reported.

“I don’t think we would think that educating the youth and next and future leaders of the country on systemic racism is indoctrination. That’s actually responsible,” Psaki said during the briefing on Friday. 

As previously reported by theGrio, Republican lawmakers across the country aim to prevent school lessons on race and systemic racism in an effort to protect white children from feeling bad about the color of their skin.

Conservative activists have aligned with frustrated (mostly white) parents who are rallying across the country to aid local politicians in the war against critical race theory (CTR).

Critical race theory examines systemic racism in America. At the core of CRT is the white-washing of America’s racist history, which includes omissions from social studies/textbooks about the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., the Native Americans, and slavery, as well as the cultural significance of Frederick Douglass and how white supremacy has long been the heartbeat of American society. 

Opponents of critical race theory want to make it illegal (or punishable) for educators to teach about America’s racist laws that impact people of color.  At least 165 anti-critical race theory groups, “have weaponized the right’s opposition to critical race theory, turning it into a political rallying point,” NBC News reports.

Republican officials have been attempting to ban CTR from curricula, as they don’t want white children to know that the white race has thrived primarily due to racism and colonization. 

The national anti-CRT movement is targeting school board members who refuse to support the rewriting of American history. Several Republican lawmakers have vowed to oust multiple members or entire school boards who refuse to get on board.

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