House Bill 377 passed in the Idaho House to ban subjects like "collective guilt" and race essentialism from being taught and promoted in publicly funded schools in the state. The move places Idaho among one of the first states to reject the Biden administration's push for Critical Race Theory education in public institutions.
The Idaho State House passed HB 377 with a vote of 57 to 12, which seeks to ban Critical Race Theory from being taught at Idaho public schools. The House passed the bill as it warned, "the federal government is working to take over Idaho curriculum."
The bill specifically bans the teaching of any of 3 set ideas that the bill claims are often found in critical race theory:
- That any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, colour, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.
- That individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, colour, or national origin.
- That individuals, by virtue of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, colour, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, colour, or national origin.
Many, including former President Donald Trump, have slammed Critical Race Theory and its major contributors and have sought to eradicate it from publicly funded institutions while he was president. Kemi Badenoch, a British MP made headlines after her harsh criticism of Critical Race Theory in the House of Commons.
Critical Race Theory dates back to the 1970's and is the driving force behind many "progressive" race politics and initiatives. Key players in critical race theory in the past few years include Nikole Hannah-Jones of the 1619 Project, Robin DiAngelo of White Fragility and Ibram X. Kendi of How to Be an Antiracist.
Some of the things the Idaho bill seeks to ban have been implemented in other states. Seattle cited critical race theory in creating racial segregation some public buildings and city employee training. "Collective guilt" refers to books like White Fragility that declares that all people with white skin are racist and co-conspirators in a racist system of oppression and patriarchy. Race Essentialism refers to the Black Lives Matter (and others) assertion that the most important factor in how someone sees the world is the colour of their skin.
Jordan Peterson in a lecture at the University of British Columbia Free Speech Club called those who push the theory "wrong, murderous and genocidal" and called the adaptation of Critical Race Theory "historical ignorance and philosophical sleight of hand".