Republicans remain hysterical over the alleged teaching of critical race theory, which posits that current racial inequalities often presented as happenstance are inextricably linked to centuries of overt racist violence and subjugation—is the subject of the Republican party's latest moral panic.
The theory is rarely, if ever, taught outside of college classes and the very Republican legislators who oppose it are often unable to actually define what it means.
Nevertheless, Republican legislatures across a number of states are weighing or have already imposed restrictions on unvarnished teachings of America's racist history.
In states like Tennessee, school districts could be penalized with millions in fines for lessons that violate these restrictions. At the federal and state level, Republicans have supported the adoption of strictly "patriotic" teachings of history, glossing over the moral complexities and even atrocities of America's founders to present them as inherently exceptional instead.
In the final year of his presidency, Donald Trump established the 1776 commission to explore new ways of integrating so-called "patriotic education" to combat more unflinching records of America's past.
Similar efforts are now underway in communities across the nation, including in Johnston County, North Carolina, where the school board was recently forced to adopt new rules forbidding lessons acknowledging that racism is ongoing in the United States. What's more, any historical figures who contributed to American society must be presented as "reformists, innovators and heroes."
The decision came after the county's Board of Commissioners withheld millions in funding from education funding until assurances were made that no lessons on critical race theory or "potentially divisive" topics would be delivered.
Raleigh's CBS 17 News spoke to one teacher, April Lee, about the changes.
"I just have a really hard time figuring out how to do that with characters in U.S. history like Andrew Jackson and McCarthy and several other people who made some really bad decisions along the way. ... I think it ties our hands, at least for some teachers who won't feel comfortable because they feel like they're being called into question."
Others agreed that the new rules—and the Board of Supervisors' withholding of funding—had gone too far.
People could only imagine the alternative history the far-right would teach.