Know your rights – A guide to Critical Race Theory, anti-discrimination law and civil rights protections for everyone

By LIV FINNE  | 
POLICY NOTES
|
Jul 14, 2021

Key Findings

1. In April 2021, the Washington state legislature passed four bills mandating staff in public schools and colleges, and students in public medical schools, receive training in Critical Race Theory.

2. Critical Race Theory teaches people their individuality is not based on their intrinsic worth as human persons, but as a member of a group based on perceived outward appearance.

3. Critical Race Theory teaches that if people are identified as white, Jewish or Asian, they are oppressors.

4. Critical Race Theory teaches that if people are seen as black, Hispanic or part of another group, they are oppressed.

5. Critical Race Theory violates our core civil rights protections.

6. This study provides references to the legal provisions which protect the rights of all individuals to a safe working and learning environment, free of unfair treatment and racial discrimination.

7. Civil rights laws exist to protect the fundamental right of all persons to be free of bias and unfair treatment based solely on their outward appearance, and to be protected in particular from government-sponsored discrimination.


Introduction

In April and early May 2021, Governor Inslee signed SB 5044, SB 5227, SB 5228, and SB 5194, four bills passed by the Legislature to require public education employees to receive training in “diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism” as a condition of employment. 

Under the bills, the following officials and public employees are required to attend these training sessions: All employees of public schools; all elected members of public school boards; all teachers, faculty members and other employees of state universities, colleges and technical schools; medical students at Washington’s public medical schools. Attendance at training sessions is mandatory. Failure to attend and participate can lead to penalties, suspension, expulsion from school, or termination of employment.

These bills impose requirements of “equity,” “cultural competency,” “institutional racism,” and other elements of Critical Race Theory ideology. Critical Race Theory teaches people that their individuality is not based on their intrinsic worth as human persons, but as members of a group based on their perceived outward appearance. Critical Race Theory says that if people are identified as white, Jewish or Asian they are oppressors. If they are perceived as black, Hispanic or part of another group, they are oppressed.

A floor amendment was offered to clarify that the bills do not teach that “...any one race or sex is inherently superior to any other” or “that any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of their race or sex” was voted down.


Click here to read the full Policy Note.