Black Mississippi senators walk out of chamber amid critical race theory vote
Every Black Mississippi state senator walked out of the state’s upper chamber Friday to protest a bill prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory, according to Mississippi Today.
The bill, passed into law on Friday night, would ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools as well as public colleges and universities.
“We walked out as a means to show a visible protest to these proceedings,” Mississippi state Sen. John Horhn (D).
Some Democrats in the state Senate argued that the bill was a moot point, considering that critical race theory, an advanced legal theory taught at the graduate level, is not taught in schools in Mississippi.
“It is sad we are wasting so much time on something that is not even needed,” state Sen. David Jordan (D), a participant in the civil rights movement and the son of a sharecropper, said.
State Sen. Michael McLendon (R) acknowledged that critical race theory is not taught in Mississippi, but argued that the bill would prevent controversy over the topic “on the national news.”
“Our kids need objective facts and not subjective notions of theory,” state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said, according to Mississippi Today.
The news comes amid a nationwide debate over critical race theory, which posits that racism is structural and embedded in institutions ranging from education to health care.
Several GOP governors have taken steps to ban the teaching of the theory in schools and have argued that parents should have more of a say in what their children learn in the classroom.
McLendon said that the bill would not prevent the teaching of racism throughout U.S. history against Black people and other minorities.
Two white state senators, Democrats David Blount and Hob Bryan, voted against the bill. Some Republican senators declined to vote.
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