Senator Phil Berger is receiving pushback across the state and from his African American colleagues following his press conference outlining new censorship efforts to restrict what educators can teach, including a scathing editorial out this morning that suggests Berger’s intent was about “perpetuating the white supremacist myth that racism doesn’t exist in today’s America.”
This much is clear: If Senator Berger really cared about what is going on in schools then he would fulfill his responsibility to North Carolina students and push to utilize some of this year’s unexpected revenue to sufficiently fund a sound education.
However, North Carolina Republicans have a history of perpetuating policies that attempt to divide North Carolinians by race and have even been defined by federal courts as racist. The federal Court of Appeals in 2016, said provisions in the Republican’s voter ID law “target African Americans with almost surgical precision.” Senator Berger’s justification for his newest crusade was filled with out-of-context citations and misrepresentations. As then-Speaker of the House, Senator Thom Tillis said: “What we have to do is find a way to divide and conquer the people who are on assistance.”
Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue pushed back: “If we want to learn from history, then we need to teach history — all of it, the good and the bad,” he said. “When we exclude the hard parts, we are doing a disservice to our students and to our country.”
Read more from a recent WRAL editorial.