/House committee advances anti critical race theory bill along racial lines

House committee advances anti critical race theory bill along racial lines

Senate Bill 2113 was passed with 14-9 votes. There were no modifications to the Senate’s earlier version. The bill was overwhelmingly supported by Republicans. It will be sent straight to the Governor if it passes the House with no modifications. Tate Reeves will sign it. Rep. Greg Holloway (D-Hazlehurst) asked, “Why are we bringing this egregious bill to the table when we all get along?” Holloway stated, “We all try to work together.” Instead, Holloway suggested that legislators could focus on solving issues directly affecting Mississippi. Although both House Speaker Philip Gunn and Reeves have been vocal critics of critical race theory they have not been capable of identifying any instances in which the college-level academic framework is being taught in kindergarten-12th grade schools. On the day that the measure was passed by the upper chamber, all members of the Senate were African American and walked out. The discussion Monday in the House Universities and Colleges Committee suggests that the House will have a contentious debate when the matter is raised on the House floor. Conservative media outlets and Republican politicians have portrayed critical race theory as an attempt in public schools and universities, to teach discrimination to students and to divide them by race. Critical race theory is usually taught at college level and is said to be designed to address institutional racism still present in society. As Rep. Joey Hood (R-Ackerman) pointed out, the text of the bill simply stated that no university, community college, or public school “shall require or direct students to affirm any sex or race, ethnicity or religion is inherently superior” and that no individual should be treated differently based on these characteristics. However, many see the connection to critical race theory as an attempt to placate those who are opposed to discussions about past and present racial deficiencies of the nation and state. The governor proposed that schools be allowed to teach “patriotic history” classes. This recommendation was rejected by the Legislature. Rep. Cheikh Taylor (D-Starkville), stated that “Critical Race Theory is…nothing at all to do with finger pointing and shaming.” It is all about finding institutional racism and trying to fix it. Rep. Lataisha JACKSON, D-Como, asked if teachers are afraid to discuss racism due to the bill. Jackson stated that she is concerned that someone might penalize African American teachers for trying to discuss such topics in the classroom, as a result of the bill. Hood acknowledged that critical race theory is not defined in the bill’s title. Taylor asked Taylor if he could propose an amendment that would remove any mention of critical race theory from the legislation. Donnie Scoggin Ellisville, Rep. Vice Chair of the Committee, stated to Taylor that he would recommend no amendments. Scoggin stated that he recommended against any additional “arguments” regarding the bill at the hearing. He said, “They can argue at the floor.” Taylor stated that Taylor would bring the amendment to the floor. Hood was unable to identify any classes in critical race theory being taught in public schools. Hood answered legislators multiple times, saying, “I will return to you” Tuesday was the deadline for the bill to be passed out of committee. Gunn didn’t assign the bill to Universities and Colleges Committee until last week. The speaker assigned most other bills much earlier in this process. The majority of people who are familiar with the legislative process assume Gunn would assign this bill to the Education Committee.