JACKSON, Miss. – – Every Black Mississippi state senator walked out of the chamber in protest Friday morning during a vote on a controversial bill.
Opponents say the legislation is designed to prohibit public schools from teaching Critical Race Theory, the concept that racism is embedded in our society from individual bias to the legal system and halls of government.
“There are 14 Black senators in this chamber and these 14 Black senators are telling you that this bill is morally wrong!” Democratic senator Barbara Blackmon said.
The bill, sponsored by Republican senator Michael McClendon of Desoto County, says students can’t be taught lessons that suggest any race, sex, ethnicity or religion is better than another.
“This bill is not changing anything about our past,” Sen. McClendon said. “All this bill says is no child shall be told they’re superior or inferior to another. That’s all this bill does.”
Critics believe implementation of this bill will make it hard for schools to accurately teach the history of racism in this country.
“You will not be looking through our history to see the systemic racism that has been a part of the very fabric of America and we do know the State of Mississippi,” Sen. Blackmon said.
The bill easily passed the majority Republican Senate this morning and now goes to the Republican-controlled House.
McClendon said he’s not aware of any school district in Mississippi currently teaching Critical Race Theory.