Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds this week signed a bill banning public schools and government entities from promoting and teaching critical race theory.
The story: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed House File 802 into law on Tuesday, saying that the state will not teach “discriminatory indoctrination.”
“Critical Race Theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education. It teaches kids that we should judge others based on race, gender, or sexual identity, rather than the content of someone’s character. I am proud to have worked with the legislature to promote learning, not discriminatory indoctrination,” the governor said in a statement.
The legislation does name critical race theory but bans the teaching of “specific defined concepts” that are associated with the academic concept. The law does not prohibit government entities or publicly-funded schools and colleges from promoting cultural, racial, ethnic, or intellectual diversity.
It specifically bans 10 “divisive concepts” in diversity training or curricula, including:
“(1) That one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
(2) That the United States of America and the state of Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist.
(3) That an individual, solely because of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
(4) That an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the
individual’s race or sex.
(5) That members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex.
(6) That an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by the individual’s race or sex.
(7) That an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
(8) That any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account House File 802, p. 4 of that individual’s race or sex.
(9) That meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.
(10) Any other form of race or sex scapegoating or any other form of race or sex stereotyping.”
The legislation defines “race or sex stereotyping” as giving “character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, privileges, status or beliefs” to any race or sex. “Race or sex scapegoating” is assigning “fault, blame or bias” to a race or sex, according to the bill.
Democrats argued that the bill is an attempt to silence the conversation on race.
“We can’t have it both ways,” Democratic state Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad said. “We can’t say on one hand ‘we want freedom of speech,’ on another hand say ‘we want to hear both sides’ and then stifle those sides.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP also opposed the legislation, according to the Des Moines Register.
Not a first: Oklahoma and Tennessee already signed measures banning critical race theory from being taught in public schools and universities.
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