Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sparked debate over critical race theory (CRT) during her Wednesday appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Rice clashed with hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sunny Hostin over claims that CRT – which teaches students to view everything through the lens of race and privilege – was only taught in law schools and with Joy Behar over how much involvement parents should have in their children’s’ education. (RELATED: ‘Let Me Finish’: Condi Rice Rebuffs Sunny Hostin For Harping On Jan. 6 While Americans Are Suffering)
Goldberg began the segment with the ever tightening gubernatorial race in Virginia – where Democrat Terry McAuliffe is facing off against Republican Glenn Youngkin – and the central role education had taken in the race.
“One of the key issues up for debate is how much of a voice parents should have in their child’s school curriculum especially when it comes to subjects like sex education and critical race theory, I thought they didn’t teach critical race theory until they went to like law school or something,” Goldberg began, and Hostin agreed.
“I sure hope not, because I’m not sure 7-year-olds need to learn it,” Rice replied.
“The question is, do parents need more influence here or should they leave the lesson-planning to the pros?” Goldberg continued.
Behar, a former teacher, argued that teachers should have control of curriculum because compared to parents, they are the subject matter experts.
“You can’t really pit that up against a parent who just is annoyed you’re teaching, you know, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or whatever the curriculum says, you can’t have the parents interfering to that extent in the curriculum,” she said. “If they’re adamant and they don’t want you to teach what is going to be taught period they’re going to have to homeschool their kids. Because this is not going to wash.”
Rice pointed out that more and more parents were choosing to homeschool their children, and that should be a signal that maybe schools were not listening to parents’ concerns.
“If I can take a moment to talk about the whole issue of critical race theory and what is and is not being taught, I come out of an academic institution and something that academics debate what’s the role of race and so forth? I grew up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama… I went to segregated schools until we moved to Denver. My parents never thought I would grow up in a world without prejudice. My parents told me you’ll overcome it and you can be whatever you want to be,” Rice continued.
She went on to say that the way race was being taught in schools seemed to hinge on making white people feel guilty or making black people feel “disempowered.”
“I would like black kids to be completely empowered to know they are beautiful in their blackness but in order to do that I don’t have to make white kids feel bad for being white,” she said, noting that it was true throughout American history that black children had been made to feel like “second class citizens” and arguing that making “white children feel bad about being white” was not the way to overcome that.
Co-host Sara Haines joined the conversation then, pointing to a number of schools all across the country where students were asked to rank themselves based on privilege or filling out bias surveys.
“I think that if you’re a good teacher you don’t teach to make a white kid feel bad, you’re supposed to say, ‘listen, you didn’t do any of this but you should know what happened,'” Goldberg replied.
The co-hosts all agreed that history should not be changed in order to cater to certain groups, but Hostin then argued that some parents were advocating against “real history” being taught. “People want to hide history,” she said, and Rice interrupted.
“Oh, I don’t -” she said before Hostin cut her off.
“Well yes,” she said, adding, “What we’re seeing is this rollback of history. Parents don’t want children to hear about the real history.”
“One more thing, it goes back to how we teach the history. We teach the good and we teach the bad of history. What we don’t do is make 7 and 10-year-olds feel they are somehow bad people because of the color of their skin,” Rice concluded.