These bills are pushback against various developments concerning our racial disparities in abusive policing, healthcare, education, employment, incarceration and other areas, as well as whether whites have privileges resulting from these and should feel discomfort about them. In fact America’s history includes enslavement of African Americans, Jim Crows new and old, and resulting inequalities that we must repair if America is to live up to its promise. While today we honor Martin Luther King for his efforts to bring America’s principles of equal human worth to reality, in his time he was reviled and eventually killed for his efforts. These bills come from the same spirit.
While the term “critical race theory” does not appear in the bills, many of what are called “prohibited” or “divisive concepts” are part of a public campaign to attach various unpopular ideas and associations to the term “critical race theory” and politicized views of what this term, which is found mostly in law schools and graduate courses, actually means. These include such issues as racial stereotyping, racial scapegoating, whether America and its history are and have been inherently racist, and whether people today are responsible for remedying their group’s past actions.