BHM, CRT and Your Retirement

BHM, CRT and Your Retirement

by Doyle Ranstrom on Feb 12, 2023

BLM is Black History Month.  From the Library of Congress:

  • National Black History Month has its origins in 1915, when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
  • In 1975, President Ford issued a Message on the Observance of Black History Week External urging all Americans to "recognize the important contribution made to our nation's life and culture by black citizens."
  • In 1986, Congress passed Public Law 99-244, which designated February 1986 as "National Black (Afro-American) History Month.” This law noted that February 1, 1986 would “mark the beginning of the sixtieth annual public and private salute to Black History.” The law further directed the president to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe February 1986 as Black History Month with the appropriate ceremonies and activities. President Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 5443 External, which proclaimed that “the foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.” This proclamation stated further that this month was a time “to celebrate the many achievements of African Americans in every field from science and the arts to politics and religion."

CRT is Critical Race Theory.  CRT is academic discussion which has been taking place in undergraduate and graduate classrooms and goes back more than 40 years.  The discourse centers around the concept idea that racism is a social construct of our society.  CRT suggests racism is more than individual bias or prejudice, but built into our legal systems and policies.  In an interview, Dr. Andrew Jolivette, author and chair of the Ethnic Studies department at UC San Diego defined CRT as follows:  "It's a concept that academic scholars have used to try to understand the structure of racism, so how racism actually functions in society,"

CRT is not being taught in the K-12 classroom.  In 2021 a survey conducted Association of American Educators found that 96% said CRT is not required in their school systems.  So why are some states passing laws not allowing CRT to be taught to be in the classroom when it is not anyway.  There are probably multiple reasons, three for me that come to mind.  

  1. One, the local politicians sponsoring and their followers do not understand CRT and it is an academic concept.  Probably true for most if not all of them
  2. Two, these politicians and their followers are secretly white nationalists.  First of all, not so secret, and again probably true for most of them. 
  3. Three and I would suggest this is very important.  These politicians are generally if not exclusively Republicans and they have nothing else to run on.  For example, cannot run on the Federal deficit which exploded under Republican leadership form 2000-2020.  They cannot run on the increasing costs of climate change/natural disasters.  They cannot run protecting social security and Medicare for current and future retirees.  So they decided to run on prohibiting something from being taught in the public classroom which not being taught.  

Note:  There multiple sources providing an academic background on CRT.  One excellent historical article is from The Atlantic, dated 8/5/2019, entitled "The Most Dangerous American Idea".   

What is being encouraged in some, actually many schools, are programs which provide diversity, equity and inclusion training.  Though some of these programs are a work in progress, there is no doubt they are necessary.  There are multiple studies showing built-in racism in the public school system.  A prime example comes from the Durham, NC school district study which found that though 50% of the students were Black Students, there represented almost 80% of the students who received suspensions.  By comparison, White students who were 20% of the student population, received only 5% of the suspensions.  

It is extremely important the public school system teach diversity, equity and inclusion because we, the US, is becoming an increasingly diverse society.  In 2014 non-hispanic whites were a majority of the US population, about 60%.  By 2060 it is projected non-hispanic whites will be a minority, about 44% of the population.  

If you are retired or soon to be retired, you had better hope the public school system encourages encourages and supports diversity, equity and inclusion as the school system not only educates students on American History, all of it, which is necessary to be good citizens, but also helps them prepare for well-paying jobs.  

Keep in mind, retirees are currently paying for only 15% of the total costs of Medicare and the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted in 2034 at which time, if no changes are not made, beneficiaries payment will decline to about 78% of their previous payment.  One of the best way to keep both Medicare and Social Security solvent is more workers making more money.  And since non-hispanic whites is decreasing group while all the rest are increasing, it will in part come back to the public school system.  Especially public schools that values diversity and equality are training future workers to work with other workers regardless of their ethnic background is in your best interests.  

So when you hear someone talking about the need to eliminate CRT in the public school system, think, this person is going to destroy my retirement.  

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