New York Times reporter Astead Wesley was slammed by critics for suggesting that teachers will refrain from explaining the importance of Juneteenth “out of fear” of critical race theory opponents.
On Wednesday, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday in a 415-14 vote in the House one day after the bill passed in the Senate. Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the emancipation of slaves in Texas, which occurred June 19, 1865.
Wesley, a CNN political analyst, presented the apparent conundrum he said teachers will face going forward.
“its kinda amazing: juneteenth is gonna be a federal holiday for reasons teachers won’t be allowed to explain to their students out of fear critical race theory backlash,” Wesley tweeted.
He added, “‘why do we have this day off?????’ ‘uhhhhhhhhhh.'”
Critics slammed the Times reporter for suggesting that the rejection of teaching critical race theory in schools equates to the rejection of teaching slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.
“Stopping the teaching of Critical Race Theory does not prevent teachers from talking about slavery, Jim Crow, or Juneteenth… that’s just a flat out lie from a very dishonest person,” wrote Ryan James Girdusky, founder of the 1776 Project PAC that was formed to combat CRT on a school board level.
“This is deeply dishonest,” GOP strategist Matt Whitlock similarly reacted. “If you can’t see that there are oceans between ‘don’t teach kids that America is innately racist and every second grader needs to view themself as a racial oppressor or a victim’ and ‘you can’t teach anything at all about race and civil rights’ you’re operating in bad faith.”
“This is flatly false. Nothing in anti-CRT legislation prevents teaching about slavery or, for that matter, teaching against racial prejudice or racial discrimination. Several of the CRT bills, in fact, *require* teaching about these things,” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin tweeted.
“I’m pretty sure people in the United States are aware of slavery,” The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro reacted.
“a cool way to avoid backlash is to not teach children that they’re racists,” Ruthless co-host Michael Duncan said. “I like that they’ve erected a straw man that we somehow don’t teach the history of slavery in America Amazing.”
“This is the type of tweet that gets shared a lot and many will use similar logic to support their stance. But there’s nothing banning the teachings of emancipation. In fact, the Texas law mandates the history of slavery/white supremacy be taught. Please don’t fall for this,” Dallas reporter Chris Sadeghi urged others.
“Florida law requires students to be taught about ‘the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society.’ But at 43,000 Likes Astead got what he wanted..” journalist Zaid Jilani wrote.