A Colorado black father delivered a stirring speech denouncing critical race theory during a school board meeting last week, which garnered a standing ovation from other parents. After the rousing monologue, the board members voted to ban critical race theory in the school district.
Several concerned parents gave their testimony about implementing critical race theory in classrooms, but Derrick Wilburn stole the show. Wilburn, who is a descendant of slaves, explained how installing critical theory into classrooms does not combat racism, but fans "the flames of what little embers are left."
"I am a direct descendant of the North American slave trade," Wilburn explained. "Both my parents are black. All four of my grandparents are black, all eight of my great grandparents, and all 16 of my great greats. On my mother's side, my ancestors were enslaved in Alabama. On my father's side, we were enslaved in Texas."
"I'm not oppressed and I'm not a victim," Wilburn, who is the founder and executive director of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, added.
He added that his three children "are not oppressed, either, though they are victims."
"I taught my children they are victims of three things: Their own ignorance, their own laziness, and their own poor decision making. That is all," Wilburn stated.
"We are not victims of America," Wilbur said in the viral video. "We are not victims of some unseen 190-year-old force that kind of floats around in the ether."
"Putting critical theory into our classrooms is taking our nation in the wrong direction," Wilburn declared. "Racism in America would by and large be dead today if it were not for certain people and institutions keeping it on life support. Sadly, very sadly, one of those institutions is the American education system."
"Putting critical race theory in classrooms is not combating racism. It's fanning the flames of what little embers are left," Wilburn concluded. "I encourage you to support this resolution. Let racism die the death it deserves."
Shortly after Wilburn's galvanizing speech, the Colorado Springs School District 49 school board voted to ban critical race theory in classrooms.
Board president John Graham, secretary Rick Van Wieren, and director Ivy Liu all voted to ban critical race theory.
The trio of school administrators gave a summary of the ban:
The driving force behind CRT and antiracism is the acceptance of a worldview that encompasses specific notions about history, philosophy, sociology, and public policy. By its own terms, CRT/antiracism excludes individuals who merely advocate for neutral principles of the Constitution, or who deny or question the extent to which white supremacy shapes our institutions.
Public Education, properly designed, includes age-appropriate exposure to events, philosophies, and structures which comprise the American experience. Clearly, this may and should include instruction of the facts and related literature regarding racism and inequality in America. However, such exposure should not purport to deliberately undermine student/family values, religious beliefs, or principles. Further, every student, regardless of status, has a unique life story. Thus, while instructors and administrators may recognize and/or believe in particular doctrines in the areas of faith, civil rights, economics, international affairs, sociology, or politics, it never should be the role of public educators to endorse or proselytize on behalf of a specific perspective in any of these areas. Certainly, CRT/antiracism or related euphemistic surrogates should not be an element of D49's curricula or teacher training.
The board members who voted to prohibit critical race theory told Fox News, "We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our community and others over this issue, but it is only one of many issues school districts face at this point, and having settled it, we would like to move on to the greater task at hand of catching up our students. After two years in a row of disruptive Covid impacts, we want to focus on getting our kids back on track socially, emotionally, mentally, and academically."