Books

SB 1’s perfect textbook has already been written

Republican legislators hunting for a textbook that captures the spirit of Senate Bill 1 might consider Elizabeth Shelby Kinkead’s “A History of Kentucky,” which was published in 1896 and 1909 and revised in 1916.

On the last page, the author wrote that she hoped students who read her book would become “spiritual warriors to aid in purifying the political life of the State and nation, or to conquer the evil in the land by the might of their own high faith” in goodness.”

A big part of SB 1, which Kentucky’s GOP supermajority General Assembly passed earlier this year, requires teachers to downplay the effect of pervasive and deep-seated racial bias on society, today and throughout history. That section of SB 1 reflects the national right-wing wig-out over Critical Race Theory, the scholarly study of systemic racism in law and society. It’s taught in law school and some graduate schools, not elementary and secondary schools”Unfortunately, critical race theory is being used as a straw man by opportunistic politicians and others who want to promote, rather than resolve, conflict to further their own dubious agendas, ” Jill Kerper Mora wrote in the “Times of San Diego.”

More:Kentucky lawmakers limited JCPS’ board authority. Now, the school board is suing.

A History of Kentucky by Elizabeth Shelby Kinkead

Wrote “Vanity Fair’s” Bess Levin: “As CNN notes, SB 1 states that public schools must provide instruction that makes it clear that ‘an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, does not bear responsibility for actions committed by other members of the same race or sex’ and that ‘the institution of slavery and post-Civil War laws enforcing racial segregation and discrimination was contrary to the fundamental American promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of pursuit, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, but that defining racial disparities of happiness on the legacy of this institution is destructive to the unification of our nation.’ In other words, teachers would have had to explain to their students that while slavery and Jim Crow–era segregation were bad, they really amounted to more of a ‘few bad apples’ situation that has no impact on America today.”

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