tv Washington Journal Chanelle Wilson and Ian Rowe on Critical Race Theory CSPAN August 8, 2021 12:55am-2:01am EDT
>> and to falsely and others history to claim the true founding of the country in the year 1619 and not 1776 or the american revolution was spot for the purposes of defending slavery with almost every credible custodian said that was at fault we have to be careful that we are not cherry picking on either side based on political ideology we try to achieve and to be honest with her students we need to embellish the american story or cherry pick. the united states has horrific history of slavery and oppression and jim crow and yes, based on founding principles have an incredible story of resilience.
>> so to jump into the debate using the word cherry picking last week ahead of major teachers union talking about defending teachers who teach critical race theory. so do you think parents should be able to cherry pick? if the school system has decided they will touch on some topics of critical race there he should her parents say i don't want my kid to be taught that? is that something parents should be allowed to do? >> even from a more global perspective someone who is running charter schools and advocate for school choice of the teachers unions really wanted to increase opportunity for low income kids in kids of color, we would reverse the policy of going again school
choice for the very reason you say in the district that eileen schools only 2 percent of those kids graduate high school ready for college but yet they don't have a choice. if you are in a situation i had an idea i couldn't do that there is a cap on the number of charter schools even created so if you are apparent in a situation. you may not want your child to experience and education because it teaches things you don't want that maybe the academic outcomes have been horrible for so long that the teachers unions are standing in the way of that choice i find the these claims hypocritical honestly. but i will say point-blank if there is a teacher being barred from teaching about racism and america's resilience in the face of
racism that is un-american and we can all stand against that's a maybe in a perverse way i agree with the general principle you can't ban teachers from teaching about american history it just has to be a complete and accurate story. and charter schools are relatively new experiment in the education system so often times school choice or students of color they are marginalized and social economic status and background so looking at charter schools and school choice from critical race theory we understand there are still inequities even those that try to benefit students to benefit white parents and families.
and to see if they want to be involved. but then they need to do a better job with the pathways of communication families. i don't think parents can say i can take my kid out of this class because as teachers teaching about racism. should be a community conversation and then to recognize why it's important and then to say this is education to be cherry picked many have had the opportunity that are residentially segregated or to talk about
race in meaningful ways are the opportunity to engage in these ideas of academic discussion. there will be some fear and discomfort and in general people who do not disagree. that's okay but if it's something we're all learning and participating in, not just parents but families and guardians as a society we can move further ahead. i don't think just stopping the conversation is at all helpful. racism is existing if we can participate and understand we can encourage people to be antiracist and make progress as a society. >> bringing into the conversation bryn mawr college from africana studies and from aei and on the same topic with
many colors and folks you got in touch with us want us to bring you both back and take some calls on the same topic. >>caller: since the inception of the country african-americans have given our all the first person that died for the country and we constantly trying to be accepted in society we have given our blood and soul and spirit and language but yet we have not been considered we cannot take the black skin off like a fireman and become something else so we deal with the stigma of being black. so if the resolve of the whole issue of slavery to make the equitable situation so what's wrong with me why am i so
poor? i am sure white kids why is tommy and sally like this? because they see the results of systemic racism and they ask questions that born into it like all of us but there are people who are comfortable. and then they feel that if one person could get something and that's for me. >> this is a very profound question and honestly why i run schools i don't have the stigma of being a black person or when i run schools try when any of my kids to believe there is a stigma to being black. the caller said he looks around and doesn't see any black person that is
successful there are millions of black people that are successful. this is what i don't understand. that somehow every black person in the country is marginalized and oppressed. it is simply not true. there are lots of white people that are far inferior conditions too many black people. and those that they have had a history of oppression to know what the opportunities are in front of them and their 3 million black kids in college today. black people are leaders from every possible industry, policy so way year and for the caller to recognize the progress that has been made.
especially for young people. >> i did hear him say there were successful black people i interpreted his words to say students should be taught about systemic racism to help them better understand why and then we have to recognize that sustainment racism and then to use cannot say there isn't a stigma. there is. and there are exceptions to every rule because that's the way capitalism can work. with that genocide of
indigenous people and africans enslaved created a capacity for capitalism to exist. and there were people who were african. so that everyone has the same opportunity that is untrue and recognizing there are white people who are marginalized is also true. because the average white person did not own people and could not afford it. so race as a concept was created and constructed to divide people because poor white people for enslaved africans were beginning to unite so race was introduced into the conversation around about that point explicitly in order to divide people so they could not unite. if poor people were to come together for unity than that
would be a problem for people in the top 1 percent. they don't want that it cannot happen because unity is how we move forward so to say critical race theory or talk about racism creates a distraction for people to unify the economic justice which is one of the bigger fights we are fighting. >> alexandria louisiana you're up next. >>caller: thank you c-span and "washington journal". i'm an african-american and i don't know why we don't teach civics and free enterprise. i'm 60 years old i went through segregated schools and then integrated schools. i don't know why the billionaire basketball players won't help the black community. we worry about racism. there is races amount of it is systematic but there are
racist people i want african-americans to be billionaires and millionaires and invest in the black community and they can do a lot. >> amen. the black community in particular has an incredible history of free enterprise entrepreneurship especially in the states of systemic racism and the massacre is often focused on the massacre but what happened before that led all of these black leaders to build businesses and importantly what happened afterwards in terms of rebuilding? so this whole idea again so many black entrepreneurs the caller is happy to know that harlem capital founded by two black harvard business school alumni who are now investing and changing the face of entrepreneurship looking for 1000 primarily black and
always they will then turn around and give up their money. which is fine. i agree when i become a millionaire i also will turn around and do more but we cannot just look at individual people to fix systemic problems individual people can absolutely make differences individual people can serve as role models that they cannot fix the social system that has been created for those people to become millionaires and
billionaires and something else i'm just thinking about that nobody looks at jeff basals and say why isn't he helping white people? that's not a conversation i have heard. so people assume people who come from marginalized background was a move from persecution to prosperity that then they should give up what they had out of this benevolence that is not expected for people who have held positions of social dominance so that's one thing but also moving to prosperity it's not that simple the word sound great but in order to move to prosperity we have to come to terms why people were persecuted and why that exist and has been transformed to look different but operate the same so if we talk about how child slavery existed that has
been transformed to mass incarceration we cannot just pretend. so we have to do checkpoints and recognize where we are. and then more people have to work together and then to re-create or imagine new ways. >> but i would just love to ask you. and only 2 percent of kids a start ninth grade four years later graduates from high school ready for college. and parents have no ability to choose any other school other than the district school but unfortunately has not been
treating their kids well. and then maybe we concur is not even allow me equality of opportunity for kids. >> i agree with you. and traditional public schools we can pretend schools that were created for rich white men can serve everyone. and if that model would create what would be the system? >> i will try to get my thoughts brief but they perpetuate hierarchy.
i don't agree with hierarchy of schools and that there is tracking and the opportunity is hindered as a result. and then i am a fundamental believer in constructivism and inquiry. people have the opportunity to guide their own instruction with the support of an educator or other people. the competition that exist in school systems doesn't work. doesn't even work for the people on top i always came out on top and always had high grades. i realize after i got all the way through i hadn't learned very much. i learned how to follow rules. i learned how to participate in systems. i learned how to do what was expected of me that that was at a different time.
and those that create community and foster hierarchy and then hopefully i will be here for a while but we think everyone has to be prepared and then to be prepared for higher education and then to be under are unemployed with those degrees so they don't mean very much for the way that we say will open you up to participate in this wider pool of opportunity for some that is true for many that is untrue. >> it is a lie the discussion
our topic is critical race theory. and the phone lines to reach that support out of savannah georgia. and native indigenous united states citizen class of white that born 1963. how do you foster students to get in trouble over bad grades over critical race there he? for english and spelling and math it doesn't make school fun my a grades were average
not even in critical race theory and compared to my siblings how do you deal with that outside of critical reese race theory with college-level school system? >> . >> with that disclosure of curriculum as well. >> school should have full transparency over what curriculum and this is what the parent sees not just critical race theory but the school is teaching something else that parents feel is inappropriate for their child they should have the power to choose like pay for private school are moved to the suburbs a lot of low income
kids on have that opportunity. but those are the important objective measure for a teacher to understand where are his or her kids aware of the intervention that needs to help those kids move forward. i am very pragmatic. there is a big story in san diego to become the antiracist school district because they found 80 percent of black kids had passing grades that yet 93 percent of white kids had passing grade so instead of asking the question what are they doing to enhance their prospects san diego said no.
we look at the failure rates 20 percent of black kids who got the d or f and because of that 13 percentage point difference and with the 7 percent of white kids having a failing grade because of that difference and somehow the san diego unified school district decided to eliminate homework in there with a racist assumption. and then for an educator just takes me to a place and with 80 percent back black kids were doing in san diego? what was at the 93 percent of white kids and 94 percent of asian kids looking at the data
and the amount of hours spent studying was one of the key factors to driving student success. so how do we create the conditions a more kids can study? if you are doing well i hope you had some good teachers who identified based on your grades you are not succeeding as much as you could. hopefully that led to more intervention. >> good morning. >> thank you for all the work you are doing. and then to get away from the backward state and then we always get a credit to the white men. >> and that's what we try to
get to. but then millionaires don't reach back then they blame the laws where they come from. just like social security. that is a great program because it really help people out when they were in need. if we counted all the black people there in america the everybody in a day. speaking to the 40 black people in the meeting we can bring ourselves out of this poverty we have enough money to do it. >> . >> black people buying power
are there ways to be resurfaced? yes. and depending on different systems and process and practices and i'm thinking about people just your average job who pay taxes so they will pay more taxes than someone who has the money to start a business because of the expenses it takes to burn a base —- a business there are different ways that they can be used to keep them in a particular place or people can build wealth. i'm thinking of redlining black people cannot buy homes
or get mortgages. a lot of white wealth comes from the home ownership to be passed down. black people cannot get life insurance white people got policies that they could benefit from when a relative passes away. so black people could that because there were so many years of discrimination even now we still look at wells fargo very recently were discriminating against people of color in general's absolutely the capacity exist for everyone to succeed but we cannot pretend those structures are in place that do impede or limit people's access often tell now so that maybe in another 100 years black people be in a better place because of policies and practices reversed but on the whole they still exist but in different forms so that gets in the way of that progress is
it possible? is it possible otherwise that exist as well. 's we have to recognize those other things and those policies and practices need to change their god-given freedom they know what to do but that's what other people know that existed to walk-through. >> the comment on twitter it isn't being taught as a discipline k-12 level but are we arguing about a subject that is not taught in schools? a list of things not taught in schools is endless. who wins and loses by dividing us over critical race there he quick. >> i made this point the discussion it is a massive
just traction to a decade-long literacy crisis for kids of all races it is still true today that just over one third of all american kids read that proficiency a fourth grader eighth grade and 12th grade. this is a national crisis and just focusing on minority kids. there's never been a situation since 1982 or even a majority of white kids read at grade level proficiency this has enormous implications as a global competitor india and china and singapore. with english a mass so we are spending time or wasting time when our kids cannot read. so the vast majority.
and part of the reason i think critical race theory gets such attention that even though the theory and to itself is not being taught there are a number of practices that rightly or wrongly is associated and often are divisive in the sense and then to violate title vi of the civil rights act. a teacher brought a lawsuit because the district because antiracist by separating white teachers go here and black teachers and all nonwhite teachers go to this room but in the white classroom you
have to declare your oppressive tendencies. even with students they did privilege walks all the students were lined up horizontally but they say if you are white take three steps forward. if you are black takes five steps backward to somehow evidence your white privilege or black oppression those are the kinds of behaviors that are associated from critical race theory and people rightfully so are very concerned that those kinds of actions are violations of those prohibit racial discrimination. >> what about those practices. >> i do training around
antiracism my profession on —- i am in professional development where we talk about oppression but some of the practices that you name, i know of the practices but i don't know what exactly existed in that space i've never seen a privilege walk at they say you are white because of this because you are black this i cannot speak to that particularly. but the privilege walks away i have seen them try to illustrate the way society already exist. that is usually one piece often it's followed up with a larger conversation that talks about practices and policies so then thinking about the separation.
have had people of color. because there are harms they experience in a multiracial space or white people who do not understand or agree. so with some of those practices i don't make anyone go anywhere but they can separate out but in my experience i have never had a person of color upset about their own that will be safe and benefit them. and those that are being discriminated against because they are not allowed because they are people of color. maybe that happened in this instance i don't know that. it doesn't have to be an issue
there are still be convening because those things are operating all of the time. and then to discuss them in productive ways then we do more disservice those are seen as privilege and oppress so those practices occur it depends on the facilitation and how that has opened up for people to understand i will never denigrate what you explained it is dependent on the learning that comes from that and i people on the other side in my experience there often times better on the other side of the training. >> .
>> thank you for taking my call. i also want to thank because to me as a supporter of antiracism or racial discussions i really appreciate his point of view he has taught me a lot have a simple question. probably lightweight but it's important to me. in my discussions with folks about racism or critical race theory in particular, often i get sidetracked of what critical race theory is. you start with simple definitions but i have come up with a simple definition that seems to and those conversations.
it is science and gathering information. and there is discrimination. based on race. so there is no doubt about that. there are theories why that is and how best to address and what we can do about it. it is the critical discussion so thank you. >> jefferson georgia good morning. >>caller: good morning.
i am a retired schoolteacher. research has proven is that if you come from a two parent family, if you graduate from high school, if you don't have children until you're married, then you will be successful in america. black, white, green or red doesn't matter. i don't understand all this stuff i have white kids that were racist and black kids that were racist. >> . >> i'm a 65 -year-old who grew up in segregated schools and
all african americans and department starting with the janitor. >> what you articulate is exactly why i went schools. how do we expect there to be a department in a fortune 500 company in the bronx which is predominantly black and hispanic only 2 percent are graduating high school ready for college? why would we expect them to be flourishing if we don't have equal opportunity in the early stages of life. i agree that's part of the reason we don't see the visual representation and then don't have a mechanism early the prior color talked about the family structure what he described is practice of finishing your education full-time work of any kind with dignity and discipline and if you have children marriage first that series of
decisions 98 percent of the people and then they avoid poverty is not a guarantee are 100 percent but it does say there are tools within your control to have an opportunity you dramatically increase the likelihood of avoiding poverty and often talk about systemic racism institutional racism structural racism. what about surmountable racism? where we give young people the tools what they can do in a society but they are not due to a defeatist future they have within their tools the ability to be successful. >> surmountable racism?
>> yes. anything can be surmountable. just a thought that families are to blame for that children are to blame or sometime educators are to blame why black people are not successful people can overcome racism and they have but just the presence of people of color in this country that people can continue to surmount that in different ways. is not that people cannot overcome racism but racism doesn't need to exist. we know it is a social construct but has very real implications for people's lives it doesn't have to be
that way we don't have to think about we have to train people educate people how about we all try to be antiracist? what about if we eradicate the system so that i have to think about mounting it? let's abolish and get rid of it it is possible and then to think about the conversation about family structure and not having children before marriage there's a lot of things that happened so these things occur. like sex education in schools so what is why we have so many children reproductive rights so why can a person choose what they do at their body? i personally don't agree with school choice because some people can choice out but there will always be people who are left over.
why can't we think of the education system? and way that they could not or should not have to survive? children are surviving education system because it exist in the same way it did 200 years ago. that's not necessary how about we change that set of thinking figure how to navigate the system? but the way that it operates does not work. we can do something about that. traditional, private, charter schools. we can do something about it with teacher education to train people to create spaces where students want to be in don't want to drop out. created programming for the needs because earlier you said some people have to help take care of their families are get jobs or do childcare or other things that press on their
time to have that we create social programs that assist people in those ways rather than thinking the problem is them or their people caught up in the system that can be just and we can all do something about that. >> let's try to get in a couple more collars and there from there to tuskegee to booker t.
washington black wall street in texas we knew about it. black wall street. it was the cause this man was born into slavery he taught my grandfather and my mom. he taught a lot these people think juneteenth. we knew about juneteenth. we knew in 1865 that was taught to us. it was a family affair it was about the crops. then you go on and there is a man that is never talked about to succeed against the odds. john h johnson. he always played in his magazine, anthony, a day in history. black wall street, that cancer city call. those are things we need to
teach her children to read. we don't go to school boards. i have grandchildren. we don't attend the pta. you can make a change. the superintendent asked me how was it about segregation? i said it was about teaching. people teaching. books. >> good morning thank you for taking my call. i do not remember the name that you mentioned that you run a school that that is a perspective but not a global issue in terms of what happens to black people in this nation because you mentioned we are losing the race to other nations. they do not experience culture issues like america and black people in america so with that said at some point if we have to empower in particular black children because what happens is i know you mentioned
grammar or reading comprehension is an issue now that turns into us as opposed to individual black people because with this national initiative to improve reading skills among children they still teach history in particular about white people and white supremacy and white power which desensitizes children to learn. i went to a historical black college so i became way more empowered than a school that was integrated. you have to address those and then when we had a global initiative. >> let's take that point you can have a final minute to respond. >> to the color who just spoke, i don't think
the united states needs to think of itself in competition with the rest of the world. and i resonating with your point of the desensitization and the curriculum that teach about all dead white people. it's interesting but then it gets old. so another thing with antiracist training or equity training. we have to remember over 80 percent of teachers are white women so from that perspective thinking of segregation that exist we have to recognize there is a particular specific population of people in charge teaching the predominant amount of children in the country there will be some racism that exist you need somebody that exist
because of the way it is structured so we cannot pretend people who were in school buildings all understand and love and —- those are things i try to tackle any student coming to my classroom to understand as it operates and how they can love on children to move beyond the systems to navigate rather than thinking they can save children they cannot save anyone else people have individual autonomy they can learn on their own or do all the things they need to do my job is to help teachers recognize the barriers in place to help students and abolish them and eradicate them are figure out how to navigate through them. school systems and the structures in place are not there to benefit all children. we cannot pretend that they are but that can be changed
that's part of my job to do that. we will continue to do that until the day and no longer have breath to live. but i will change the system my students and future teachers will change this world and children will be better because of it in recognition of what has happened and imagination of what we can create. >> thank you again for the opportunity it was great to be with you. one area of intersection between the national literacy crisis and to think about our country in a global context otherwise our kids will have the opportunity we want them to have that the literacy crisis and the need for more kids to have a complete understanding of american history including the african-american experience in the united states so creating more content rich curriculum
so i am part of a group of scholars who said it's not enough just to complain about not having curricula we created the curriculum which tells incredible stories words and all of the african-american experience during the heart of jim crow segregation booker t. washington join forces to build nearly 5000 schools throughout the south because the other option is inferior he created choice more more of the stories need to be told and curriculum has been downloaded more than 16000 times by teachers in all 50 states you can go to the curriculum it is for free so
we can do this we can use this moment to address the literacy crisis what is central to kids of all races while simultaneously broadening the history to teach our kids and not cherry pick on either side but rely on the truth of the american story which is both one of oppression as well as liberation and her kids need to hear both. >> 1776 united start, chanel wilson is with bryn mawr college and director of africana studies thank you and we will do it again down the road. >> thank you. >> a short time ago on
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