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‘Power, Privilege And Imbalance In American Society’ Course That Teaches ‘Critical Race Theory’ Is Coming To A New Jersey High School

A local New Jersey education board has voted in favor of a high school elective course that would teach students about white privilege in America.
Member of the Westfield, New Jersey, education board voted on December 3 to introduce to the local high school a new, half-year elective called “Power, Privilege and Imbalance in American Society.” The course syllabus makes it clear that the “course is based on the theoretical framework of Critical Race Theory which is a legal approach that emerged out of the Civil Rights movement in order to identify and attack the inequalities faced by racial and ethnic minorities.”
The purpose of the course, according to a copy of the proposed syllabus provided to The Daily Wire by someone who attended the board meeting, is to “understand the barriers encountered by people of ethnic minorities and how those barriers were created and have changed America.” 
The course focuses on American history from the perspective of racial minorities, including African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans. The course provides questions to be asked of students, including: “In what ways has American society been structured to oppress African Americans/Native Americans/Hispanic Americans/Asian Americans?,” “Does society suffer from that oppression?” and “How was white supremacy established in American society and in what ways does it continue today?”
Several members of the all-white education board objected to the course. Two objected, not to the course per se, but merely wanted more time to address issues raised by the community and perhaps expand the reading list for the course to include books that offer a different perspective on race in America.
One board member repeatedly objected to the course on the grounds that critical race theory has been accused of being anti-Semitic and anti-Asian-American. “I feel extremely passionate about revising this course to represent all of the members of the community and I’m really upset that it’s not obvious that that is what’s needed here,” she said. She also said the course appeared to differ from school policy that courses “must not indoctrinate pupils or seek to persuade them to a particular point of view.”
Multiple members of the Westfield community also objected to the course’s basis in critical race theory. A couple quoted a definition of the theory from the Encyclopedia Britannica, which reads: “Critical race theory (CRT), the view that race, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is socially constructed and that race, as a socially constructed concept, functions as a means to maintain the interests of the white population that constructed it.” 
These members of the community pointed out that the definition of CRT used in the course syllabus was misleading, with one woman saying it was not a “legal theory” but a way of criticizing the American legal system. She said CRT opposes the Constitution and was created apart from the Civil Rights movement, not from it. Another man pointed out that it came about in the late 80s, and another called the theory, “Marxist.”
Brad Schaeffer, who provided video of the event to The Daily Wire, spoke up to ask whether books by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or conservative author Thomas Sowell would be included in the curriculum. Schaeffer, a history buff who has written for The Daily Wire, suggested the course not only needed to get history right, it needed to get it complete.
It wasn’t until an hour into the discussion that a person of color spoke. Another person of color – a student at Westfield High School – welcomed the course and criticized the school for holding an event where a speaker suggested the school was “not a place of hate.” A Hispanic-Italian woman said the reading material for the course would divide students, while another white man suggested the course ignored the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and put people into “groups” based on the color of their skin.
Still others suggested the course needed to be expanded to include other populations who were also oppressed upon arrival in America, such as Jews or the Irish. Others responded by suggesting a future class based on religious persecution and keeping this course about race. 
Over the objections of board members, one of whom sought to have a social studies teacher come to speak to the board about the course (no experts spoke to the board during a meeting) before a vote was held, the board voted to pass the course curriculum. Three of the nine board members objected, two because they wanted to address the issues brought up by the community and one because of her statement regarding the racism of critical race theory.
Westfield prides itself on diversity, but the town is 88% white, about 3% black, and the remaining 9% made up of other racial minorities. The median household income is $127,000.

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