Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

'We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards,' said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. 'That's what this bill does.'

1/22/2022 11:10:00 PM

'We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards,' said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. 'That's what this bill does.'

'We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards,' said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. 'That's what this bill does.'

Brett WilkinsJanuary 22, 2022Every Black member of the Mississippi state Senate walked out of the legislative chamber in protest on Friday as the Republican-led body passed a bill critics say will ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, from kindergarten through college.

"We did not need to spend time on this. Even the author of the bill said this was not occurring in Mississippi."S.B. 2113—titled Critical Race Theory, Prohibit—passed by a vote of 32-2 as 14 Black lawmakers filed out of the Senate chamber. Two white Democratic senators—David Blount (District 29) and Hob Bryant (District 7)—remained in the chamber to vote against the measure.

Read more: Common Dreams »

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"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years."That's what this bill does." Brett Wilkins January 22, 2022 Every Black member of the Mississippi state Senate walked out of the legislative chamber in protest on Friday as the Republican-led body passed a bill critics say will ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, from kindergarten through college. "We did not need to spend time on this. Even the author of the bill said this was not occurring in Mississippi." S.B. 2113 —titled Critical Race Theory, Prohibit—passed by a vote of 32-2 as 14 Black lawmakers filed out of the Senate chamber. Two white Democratic senators—David Blount (District 29) and Hob Bryant (District 7)—remained in the chamber to vote against the measure. Critical race theory (CRT) is a cross-disciplinary concept developed in the 1970s by Black scholars positing that race is a social construct and racism is fundamentally embedded in U.S. social institutions. Before walking out of the chamber, Sen. Barbara Blackmon (D-21) told colleagues that"this bill is not morally right." Sen. Derrick Simmons (D-12), one of the protesters, said that"we felt like it was a bill that was not deserving of our vote." "We have so many issues in the state that need to be addressed," Simmons told Mississippi Today ."We did not need to spend time on this. Even the author of the bill said this was not occurring in Mississippi." Mississippi GOP state senators, some of whom said CRT is subjective and teaches"victimhood," admitted that the concept is not being taught in the state's schools. The bill's author, Sen. Michael McLendon (R-1)—who struggled to define CRT when