Critical race theory, the latest bogeyman of Republican anxiety merchants, is not being taught in Arkansas public schools and isn’t likely to be.

But who needs formal education? Merely look around. In very simple terms, critical race theory doesn’t necessarily accuse all of racism or bias,  but it does include talking about how enslavement, legal and de facto segregation and other aspects of U.S. history from its founding have economic, social, cultural and racial consequences. Redlining of mortgages. Economic and school test score disparity. Segregation of schools, neighborhoods, churches, private clubs.

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I offer a potential example, courtesy of Arkansas Land Commissioner Tommy Land.

The seven constitutional officers of Arkansas — governor, lt. governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer and land commissioner — comprise 5 men and 2 women, all of them white.

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Each summer, they hire interns, as do some state agencies. Land Commissioner Land posed with them on the Capitol steps recently.

 

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Of the more than three dozen young Arkansans with bright futures, I see only one Black face. The constitutional officers represent a state that is about 15 percent Black people.

Discuss.

(This group photo is also a lesson in critical gender theory, with a stronger contingent of women than you’ll find in the legislature, Arkansas corporate boardrooms and other leadership positions. There might be a lesson here broader than gender about the lingering impact of deprived or enhanced educations. Women now outnumber men in college, law school and medical school enrollment. Hurry the day when they are a majority of the Arkansas legislature.)

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And speaking of CRT: This might be worth reading.