Lawmakers, experts react to bill to ban Critical Race Theory in Michigan schools

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State Rep. Graham Filler is a proud Republican who represents Clinton and Gratiot counties has voted in favor of House Bill 5190.

It’s a push to get rid of teaching Critical Race Theory in Michigan K through 12 schools. The legislation passed in the Michigan house with a vote 55-0.

“I don’t think anyone’s proud of what we’ve done in the past in the name of race and racism, ” Filler said, “I view that as a very damaging way to go through education this constant focus on color and sort of stereotyping an entire race as racist.

The legislation is a national response to the New York times 1619 project which focuses on American history through the lens of race.

“There’s a history, and history that involves white people, and if you teach that a white person did a thing you also have to teach about the sort of racism that was ongoing at that moment, or that white people were racist,” said Filler.

“The Michigan Republicans led a charge that is a part of a national effort to essentially white-wash our students’ history. Was a disgrace,” said State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing.)

Anthony says it’s important to know critical race theory isn’t taught in michigan k through 12 schools.

Anthony also told 6 News that all democrats on the Michigan House floor abstained from a vote.

“If we’re going to learn from the history of our country and not repeat the same mistakes that our forefathers did as it related to race, and sexism, and classism we have to learn the history,” Anthony stated.

Filler told 6 News the legislation’s goal is for American history to still be taught in a non-bias way.

“Nothing will change in the State of Michigan if this becomes law. We will continue teaching about Jim Crow, about segregation we just sort of won’t teach that white people are sort of inherently racist and have only been doing racist things since the start of this country,” said Filler.

“I understand somewhere along the way someone took a hold of this term Critical Race Theory and it’s being substituted in a way to talk about all kinds of efforts related to diversity,” said Terah Chambers, an MSU Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity.

Chambers told 6 News that lawmakers are misinterpreting Critical Race Theory.

“It’s meant to help us understand why various efforts over time have maybe not been as effective as maybe we would like them to have been,” Chambers stated.

State Representative Filler told 6 News he understands the subject is not being taught in K through 12 schools. He says this legislation is a push in case Michigan schools decide to teach Critical Race Theory in the future.

This bill is being voted on in the Senate.

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