Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor, Quoted in Press TV Report: "Majority of Americans Want History of Racism, Slavery Taught in Schools: Poll"

Thursday, 22 July 2021 6:37 PM 

Republican and Democratic respondents support teaching high school students about the implications of slavery and racism in the United States, according to a new poll.

A majority of Americans say they support teaching critical race theory (CRT) to high school students and about the implications of racism and slavery in the United States, a new poll has found. 

About one-third of Americans said they have not heard of critical race theory, according to the Reuters and Ipsos poll released on Thursday.   

Some 43 percent of Americans said they are aware of the theory, while about 30 percent said they have not heard of it.

However, the majority of the public said they support teaching high school students about the implications of slavery and racism in the United States.  

About 86 percent of Democratic respondents said they support the teaching of slavery, and 85 percent said they support the teaching of racism. 

Meanwhile, 73 percent of Republicans said they are in favor of schools teaching slavery, and 58 percent said they support schools teaching racism.

 Critical race theory is a way of studying the legacy of racism and slavery in the United States and how these forces continue to impact Americans. The educational concept is based on the argument that race is a social construct and that the United States was built on racist structures that exists today. 

CRT isn’t widely taught outside of American college and universities, but a debate is underway whether it should be integrated into earlier American education. 

Some US lawmakers have opposed teaching CRT in high schools.  In addition, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma have created prohibitive legislation on what can be taught in schools. 

Anti-racist education is essential for a just society: Analyst 

African American journalist and activist Abayomi Azikiwe said, “This recent poll by two leading recorders of public opinion in the United States illustrates the gross misrepresentation by right-wing political elements. If the majority of people want the teaching of the actual history and social conditions of the country in the public schools, then this is what should prevail.”

“By denying the legacies of slavery, institutional racism, national oppression and economic exploitation will only serve to further divide an already polarized country. Anti-racist education is essential in creating an atmosphere of hope and commitment to realizing a truly just society,” added Azikiwe who is editor at the Pan-African News Wire, an electronic press agency that was founded in 1998.

Azikiwe has worked for decades in solidarity with the liberation movements and progressive governments on the African continent and the Caribbean.

“Those who perpetuate racism and discrimination of all forms in the US want to conceal their policies and practices by imposing ignorance on young students as well as adults. By outlawing critical race theory in schools it provides the ruling interests with yet another mechanism to avoid the truth of the origins of ideological racism as a fundamental cornerstone of the existing American system of governance,” he said in a written comment to Press TV.  

‘Whose narrative is going to be conveyed?’

American journalist and political commentator Don DeBar also commented on the issue. He said, “One of the questions that has to be settled first is whose narrative is going to be conveyed. This assumes that one considers the teaching of segregated history as the proper method of both correcting the deficiencies of the past and providing a full understanding of history-as-context to the next generation of students.”

“If one looks at the configuration of forces involved in the public discussion of this issue, neither side is particularly encouraging on that latter question. The same government, corporations and foundations founded and funded upon slavery and Jim Crow - and the exploitation of all workers generally - are still in power, and they are the ones setting the agenda here. One cannot imagine that the very foundation of their power will be threatened by their narrative,” he commented to Press TV on Thursday. 

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