For decades, the Left has dominated the school textbook industry, even though state and local school boards have objected to much of its left-leaning content. Now, Critical Race Theory supporters allege that conservatives are unfairly censoring school textbooks to erase America’s complex history.
NBC News cited a Critical Race Theory supporter named Kathryn Garra in Collier County, Florida to make their pro-Critical Race Theory case. Garra “was horrified to see dozens of angry parents show up to a school board meeting” to stop the county school board from approving new textbooks. The parents objected to the textbook publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, over its blog posts about racial justice and pro-Black Lives Matter sentiment.
The publisher released a statement that reaffirmed its “support for Black Lives” and it is “committed to being anti-racist and supporting diversity, equity and inclusion — these are not political issues, but human rights issues that align with our core value.”
Contrary to the narrative, the Left’s ideological control over textbooks has been documented by Accuracy in Academia at the college level. For example, a sociology textbook claimed that the teaching of American exceptionalism had “racist overtones.” In another textbook in a University of Michigan class, the author advocated for the overthrow of capitalism.
Much of the article cited opponents of bans of Critical Race Theory in education, such as supporters claiming the restrictions could dilute or erase content that fall under the proposed or enacted bans on the theory. They also suggest that out of caution or fear, textbook publishers will likely omit references to racism or sexism in social studies curriculum.
It listed two instances of conservative states allegedly censoring historical events, both in 2015. In one instance, publisher McGraw Hill had a textbook that said African slaves were taken into the Americas as “immigrants” and “workers.” The other controversy was in Louisiana, where a textbook described the U.S. Civil War through a white female’s perspective, who lived on a plantation with black slaves.
Textbooks take time to be approved and vetted by school districts, but it has not stopped the Left from objecting to legitimate concerns about Critical Race Theory being taught in classrooms and being included in textbooks.
It is ironic for Critical Race Theory supporters to blast alleged conservative censorship when they have controlled much of textbook content for years.