North Dakota Bans Teaching About Structural Racism

Have you heard? North Dakota passed a law to ban teaching “that racism is systemically embedded in American society and the American legal system to facilitate racial inequality.” Instead, teachers must say that racism is “merely the product of learned individual bias or prejudice.”

Cartoon used by permission of the artist Benjamin Slyngstad.

What portion of U.S. history can be taught without looking at systemic racism? At the Zinn Education Project, our lessons are designed to teach outside the textbook and to #TeachTruth.

The right-wing claims that anti-racist education makes white children feel guilty. In fact, North Dakota demands that we teach that racism is caused only by individual white people — rather than by centuries of white supremacy. That’s a perspective designed to make white children feel guilty. And the flip side of this is to blame individual people of color for economic and political inequality.

If you are not a teacher, we need you to speak out in defense of those who are. The mainstream and progressive media are not giving these draconian bills and the McCarthy-style attacks on teachers nearly the attention they should.

Learn about the legislation across the country from the African American Policy Forum #TruthBeTold flipbook toolkit and other resources.

More on North Dakota Law

Angela Davis spoke on Democracy Now! about the North Dakota law and the overall GOP campaign of anti-history education legislation. Her interview is titled, “Forces of White Supremacy” Are Behind Attacks on Teaching Critical Race Theory.

Read Fighting the Good Fight: Not all is well in North Dakota: Anastassiya Andrianova offers a dispatch from the battle against legislation barring critical race theory in the Upper Midwest by Anastassiya Andrianova, Inside Higher Ed, August 18, 2022

We Need Your Support

The right-wing attacks are well-funded and getting huge media attention. Write an op-ed or letter to the editor, express your support on social media, and/or go to your local school board meeting. (Here is how.)

Also, donate so that we can support educators who #TeachTruth.

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