Critical race theory is a worldview in direct conflict with our long-held principles of enlightenment thought that helped us progress into the modern era. Critical race theory questions the very concept of objective reasoning and egalitarianism among all people. It is a worldview with an entirely new way of thinking – one that is circular in nature and abandons the basic conventions of logic.
Worldviews are something which everyone has. Some of us include God in our worldview and people will call it “religious.” Others leave God out of their worldview and they might label it “secular humanist” or something similar. Both, however, are distinct worldviews – a point of reference or philosophy from which to orient one’s entire perspective. They affect how we look at science, interpret history, view art and evaluate everything that could possibly be related to how we educate our children.
The secularism that we thought would protect us from unnecessary arguments ended up muzzling free speech and thought in profound ways.
It is impossible for people or organizations to operate without a worldview. Many of us, however, act and speak with the assumption that our worldviews can be separated from how we live our daily lives. If you separate your worldview from your daily life, how is it a true worldview that you take seriously?
But this is what secularism has attempted to do in the sphere of education. We have assumed that it is possible to educate students without utilizing or imparting to them any particular worldview. We expect teachers to leave behind their own worldviews and just teach the 3 R’s (along with science and social studies — topics that are highly subject to worldview bias).
Secularism pretends that if we avoid direct conversations about politics or religion we will remain “unbiased” in the public sphere. We’ve followed this line of thinking not only in schools, but in workplaces, media, and many other areas of life. In effect, we have essentially censored ourselves from all worldviews except that of secular humanism.
Until we realize that the system is fundamentally flawed, there will always be more controversies and struggles ahead.
Secularism, however, has slowly eroded our First Amendment freedom of religious thought and expression in schools for years. We are in a culture in which worldviews are clashing, not only on the local and national levels, but on a global scale. While we had our eyes closed repeating the mantras of “secularism,” we failed to notice the many viewpoints that began to be silenced in schools one by one. Instead of allowing many different viewpoints to be discussed openly and freely, we banned books that were religious in nature. The secularism that we thought would protect us from unnecessary arguments ended up muzzling free speech and thought in profound ways.
This presents a profound challenge to parents, most of whom don’t have the means of sending their children to schools that will support and uphold their worldview.
Now, when an obviously flawed worldview such as critical race theory is introduced in our schools, we are outraged. We can raise our concerns with school board members, and contacting them may do some little good, but they will ultimately decide what curriculum our children are exposed to.
Until we realize that the system is fundamentally flawed, there will always be more controversies and struggles ahead. Until we take our freedom of speech back in the form of educating our children the way we want them educated, and demand full school choice options, the war between this worldview and that will only intensify.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
Without having access to real school choice options (as is currently the case for most), I would indeed seek to ban everything that is stupid and unhelpful. That’s better than allowing stupidity to be the only dominant worldview taught in schools. There is, however, a much better option than entrusting our students to the whims of a few school board members. Instead, individual parents should be able to choose their student’s teachers and how their children are educated – and they should have access to tax dollars if needed to do just that.
School board members get away with disregarding parents because most families don’t have many financially viable options. If there was a clear and obvious threat that they might vote with their feet and pull children from public schools, school boards might take parents a lot more seriously.
Parents should be empowered to use their children’s portion of education funds to send them to whichever school they deem as the best fit.
Universal school choice is the answer going forward. Freedom of religion and thought have been banned for quite some time in public schools. So, a ban of ridiculous concepts like critical race theory may be necessary as a temporary measure, but this cannot be our “go-to” strategy. The way to overcome hollow philosophies is to employ better speech, better thinking, and better arguments. School choice will facilitate this.
The views expressed here are those of the author.