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Law Schools Speak Out Against Banning Critical Race Theory

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is speaking out about critical race theory.

The AALS released a public statement last week denouncing efforts to ban the use or teaching of critical race theory, Reuters reports.

Critical race theory is based on the concept that “race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant,” according to the American Bar Association. While critical race theory has been around since the 1970’s, the teaching of the theory in classrooms has become a hot topic in recent years following the murder of George Floyd.

The AALS argues that removing critical race theory in education is, in many ways, censorship.

“Efforts to remove Critical Race Theory from our educational system, just like any other attempt to ban or censor ideas based on ideology, are deeply problematic,” the AALS states. “Banning Critical Race Theory or censoring those who write about or teach it risks infringing on the right of faculty and students to engage in the free exchange of ideas; it also sets a dangerous precedent that the government gets to decide what ideas or theories are good or bad. This danger is even greater when those ideas and theories are distorted or mischaracterized for political ends. The efforts to ban critical theories, just like other attempts at censorship, undermine one of the primary purposes of education: teaching students how to think for themselves.”

Those who support banning critical race theory in classrooms argue that teaching it may fuel racial divide.

“More generally, any society that takes the bare minimum amount of pride required to wish to sustain itself for its progeny must understand that instilling racially divisive poison in the minds of impressionable students is a recipe for disaster,” Josh Hammer, of Newsweek, writes. “No nation will long endure if its youngest generation is full of disdain, disgust and self-hatred.”

Last September, the five law schools within the University of California system took a public stance defending critical race theory after the Office of Management and Budget, under former president Trump, banned critical race theory training within the federal government.

“We cannot stand silent in the face of the OMB’s absurd claim that critical race theory is ‘contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the federal government,’” the UC law deans state. “CRT is most assuredly not contrary to what we stand for.”

Sources: AALS, ABA, Newsweek