The National Parents Union believes that education systems must be transformed to eradicate generational institutions of oppression.
This sentence was intentionally written into our statement of values by our Founding Delegates to the National Parents Union during the creation of our organization in New Orleans in January of 2020.
For this reason, we strongly oppose the political and social movement that seeks to eliminate critical race theory from public education.
Because of our years of experience on the ground as community leaders and parent activists, we know firsthand that our country is sick. In order to heal we have to examine the roots of the illness. We need to accept the truth of these roots, examine and restore the harm that has been done to generations of people in order to build the bridges of kinship that must exist for our country to grow and become a true global leader.
We stand on stolen land saturated by the blood of our indigenous ancestors, brothers, sisters and relatives. This country was founded on an ideal that white men had a right to claim all that they wanted and were entitled to build their lives on the backs and bones and all those they deemed less than worthy of their status—the poor, those they enslaved, immigrants, refugees and women.
In order to maintain their status of privilege, wealthy white men had to strategically colonize, not just the land, but the minds of those they desecrated. To ensure that these groups didn’t strengthen and fight back, the ideas of race and colorism were introduced to keep us apart and away from the truth that would lead to rebellion. To this day there are those fighting to keep us from one another.
Denying critical race theory keeps us, as a country, from growing. It keeps the fragile myth of the American ideal protected. It keeps the truth and shame of our nation from seeing the light that is needed so that we can become who we think we are—a truly great nation where all are valued.
There is a human experience that we all share. In this experience we all struggle, we all know pain, joy, love—no human has had a pain-free life. We all have our stories of failure and of championship. Those fighting against critical race theory can’t seem to fathom beyond their own human experience and accept that, due to race, the struggle of others may be even greater than their own.
Critical race theory is a truth that many want to deny. They want to deny it because it hurts. It hurts to consider that centering whiteness is what our systems were designed to do in perpetuity. In order to do the work that critical race theory calls us to do, we need to be willing to consider how the systems in the United States were set up to give advantages to a select group through generational oppression based on race.
Each citizen must be courageous and willing to bear down into the truth of this country. Denying critical race theory denies the truth of our collective history as Americans and protects the status quo that has harmed generations of our children, parents and grandparents
When will we reckon with truth for the betterment of all?