This Racial Justice Activist Gets Right to the Heart of the Critical Race Theory Mania

“We want to be convinced that it was so long ago. It was last night. It’s today.”

An even mix of proponents and opponents to teaching Critical Race Theory are in attendance as the Placentia Yorba Linda School Board discusses a proposed resolution to ban it from being taught in schools. Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty

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From a Tennessee school board banning Maus to a proposed Florida law that would prohibit teachers from making students “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin,” the moral panic over critical race theory shows no sign of abating.

It can feel hard to understand what the hell is going on. But for activist and author Kimberly Latrice Jones, it’s not all that complicated. She cut through the bullshit when she appeared on The Breakfast Club podcast on Monday, offering what she thinks is the real reason why the anti-CRT craze has taken hold: White parents want to avoid having difficult conversations with their children about race.

“The truth is, Ruby Bridges, who integrated school, is only in her sixties,” Jones, who co-authored the 2019 book I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, said. “So what it is is that you don’t want your kids, your grandkids, to know that you spit at her. You don’t want your grandkids to know that you witnessed lynching. You don’t want your grandkids to know that some of those family heirlooms that’s in the will are things from atrocities that happened to Black people.”

“We want to be convinced that it was so long ago,” she concluded. “It was last night. It’s today.”

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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