My home state of South Carolina, one of the solid red states in the U.S., is jumping on the anti-CRT gag order bandwagon, proposing copy-cat legislation that is repeated across Republican-led states.
As Dr. Susi Long carefully detailed, anti-CRT legislation lacks evidence since CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools and since the laundry list of what the legislation is supposed to prohibit in SC schools simply does not occur in our schools either.
That is part of the reason I have called anti-CRT gag orders a manufactured crisis.
But these partisan attacks on schools and teachers lack more than evidence; they lack a fundamental logic.
The racial make up of SC is 64% white (non-Hispanic), 27% Black, and 6% Hispanic.
However, the public school student population is 48% white, 32% Black, and 12% Hispanic. Like the rest of the U.S., SC public schools are now majority-minority schools.
Here is where anti-CRT gag orders make no sense; the teacher demographics in SC are 79% white, 13% Black, and 3% Hispanic.
SC public schools have a student population significantly unlike the racial demographics of the state, and then teacher demographics are dramatically unlike the state as well as the student population they serve.
Here is where logic falls apart. If we believe anti-CRT gag orders are needed, we must believe that teachers who are almost entirely white are making white students uncomfortable because they are spreading CRT propaganda.
These demographics not only challenge the logic of anti-CRT gag orders, they also expose what is really driving this legislation—white fright.
Demographics of U.S. public schools are a harbinger of the reality that white people will soon constitute less than 50% of the country, while likely remaining the largest racial group for some time.
Schools, curriculum, and teachers are not hostile to white students or white people, but white fright is targeting schools as one of many ways white Americans are clinging to their majority status, a majority status that has an ugly history and an ugly present that some white Americans want hidden.
One of the ugliest truths beneath this fear is that white Americans know exactly what many white people did with majority power—and now they fear what may happen when someone else has that power.
Despite the shifting demographics of students and false claims made by Republicans pushing anti-CRT gag orders, schools remain extremely white-centered and white friendly. And that is the real problem that should be addressed for the good of those students.