Critical race theory—an advanced academic framework scrutinizing how centuries of racist policies like slavery and segregation have influenced current American political, economic, and social conditions—is almost exclusively taught in colleges and universities.
But if you asked almost any prominent Republican, you'd think Democrats were forcing kindergarten teachers to replace the pledge of allegiance with Sister Souljah lyrics.
Yes, prominent conservatives across the country have robbed critical race theory (CRT) of its true definition and muddled it to mean any lesson plans that make white students feel "discomfort" or any teachings that don't promote a "patriotic" view of the United States and its complex, often tyrannical past. This moral panic has resulted in book bans and job losses around the country.
Now, Alabama's superintendent is pointing out that those complaining to him about CRT don't know what it is in the first place.
According to AL.com, Alabama Superintendent Eric Mackey told state representatives on the House Education Policy Committee (which is currently weighing legislation banning lessons associated with critical race theory) that he's constantly receiving reports of the framework being taught, only for investigations to turn up nothing.
It's now the month of February, and lessons revolving around Black History Month have been reported as CRT.
”There are people out there who don’t understand what CRT is. And so in their misunderstanding of it, they make a report but it’s not actually CRT. ... I had two calls in the last week that they’re having a Black History Month program and they consider having a Black history program CRT. Having a Black history program is not CRT.”
A recent "News in Photos" headline from the outlet read:
"School Calendar Jumps To March 1 After Critical Race Theory Ban Prohibits Month Of February"
The Onion piece was posted just one day before Mackey's comments refuting parents who think teaching Black history during Black History Month is, somehow, critical race theory.
Satire is getting all too real.
Others weren't surprised to see even basic lessons on Black history (a defining facet of America's broader history) being deemed too controversial to teach.
February may be the shortest month of the year, but it's gonna be a long month for racists.