News & Politics

Trump Commission Explains Why Critical Race Theory Is Incompatible with the Declaration of Independence

AP Photo/Noah Berger

On Monday, the 1776 Commission — which former President Donald Trump launched to champion American patriotism in education — warned the Department of Education (DOE) under President Joe Biden that its proposed rule to promote “anti-racism” actually promotes “the teaching of racial discrimination.” Matthew Spalding, executive director of the commission and vice president for Hillsdale College’s operations in Washington, D.C., sent a letter to the DOE opposing its proposed rule on “anti-racism.”

“The Department of Education’s Proposed Rule defining priorities for the American History and Civics Education programs, under the misleading name of ‘anti-racism,’ actually encourages and seeks to direct federal funds to the teaching of racial discrimination in America’s elementary and secondary school systems,” Spalding wrote.

“As further comments on this Proposed Rule, on behalf of my fellow Commissioners, I submit and draw your attention to Appendix III of The 1776 Report, entitled ‘Created Equal or Identity Politics?’ The 1776 Report was written by The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission, and submitted to the President and released as a public document on January 18, 2021,” Spalding explained.

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The appendix explained why identity politics and critical race theory contradict the central principle of the Declaration of Independence.

“Americans are deeply committed to the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, that all are created equal and equally endowed with natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This creed, as Abraham Lincoln once noted, is ‘the electric cord’ that ‘links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving’ people everywhere, no matter their race or country of origin. The task of American civic education is to transmit this creed from one generation of Americans to the next,” the document argues.

Yet in recent times, a “new creed, loosely defined as identity politics” has arisen to challenge the principle of the Declaration. According to the report, the creed of identity politics teaches that Americans’ “racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as individuals equally endowed with fundamental rights.” The creed also “ranks these different racial and social groups in terms of privilege and power,” assigning the moral status of oppressor or victim. Finally, the creed “teaches that America itself is to blame for oppression.” America’s heritage is not the equal rights of the Declaration but a “heritage of oppression.”

“Identity politics is fundamentally incompatible with the principle of equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence,” the report argues. “Proponents of identity politics rearrange Americans by group identities, rank them by how much oppression they have experienced at the hands of the majority culture, and then sow division among them. While not as barbaric or dehumanizing, this new creed creates new hierarchies as unjust as the old hierarchies of the antebellum South, making a mockery of equality with an ever-changing scale of special privileges on the basis of racial and sexual identities.”

This creed makes “the very idea of equality under the law” “not possible and, according to this argument, probably not even desirable.”

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely the DOE under Biden will reconsider this “anti-racism” rule. The new president has endorsed Marxist critical race theory and refused to condemn Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters the same way he condemned rioters on the Right.

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Americans will have to keep fighting to oppose critical race theory as the Biden administration pushes it. It’s going to be a long three and a half years…