Kamala Harris’ niece pens WaPo article on how parents can teach ‘anti-racism’ at home

Vice President Harris‘ niece is offering advice for parents on how they can teach their children “anti-racism” at home if their schools won’t do it amid the national debate over the critical race theory ideology. 

In a piece published in the Washington Post, Meena Harris accused GOP state legislatures of barring educators from “discussing racism, equity and justice in classrooms” and complained that even schools in blue states don’t have “explicit plans to discuss anti-racism with an audience ready (and eager!) to learn about it.”

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“All to say, public schools have long failed to acknowledge the history and realities of racism. The recent right-wing crusade against ‘critical race theory’ — a term so frightening its opponents dare not even learn what it means — is the latest manifestation of that deeply rooted trend,” Harris wrote Monday. “In the face of such daunting challenges, what are parents to do? Until and unless we see systemic change to properly desegregate our children’s schools and un-whitewash the curriculum, we need to fill the gaps ourselves.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Meena Harris attends the We Vote Next Summit event presented by Eighteen X 18 at TOMS Corporate Office on September 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 29:  Meena Harris attends the We Vote Next Summit event presented by Eighteen X 18 at TOMS Corporate Office on September 29, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images)

Harris called for families nationwide to “start taking time at home to discuss the injustices that shaped our nation’s past, the work still to be done in our present, and the values that should define our future.”

She pointed to “kids’ bookshelves” as a place for parents to start, urging them to seek books about Black and Brown people. 

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“Titles that teach kids to value — not just tolerate — each other’s differences are certainly important. But with many of our schools failing to offer a curriculum or environment that combats racism, simply reading representative books to our kids isn’t enough,” Harris told Washington Post readers. “Parents need to share narratives with their children that are historically accurate and anti-racist. They need to tell stories that say what politicians are afraid to, and what so many teachers now can’t: that this country was stolen from Indigenous people, founded by white supremacists, and built on the backs of enslaved people — and that racism shapes our society to this day.”

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting, just 40 minutes from Fairfax

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting, just 40 minutes from Fairfax
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

Harris went on to recommend a children’s version of “The 1619 Project” co-authored by Nikole Hannah-Jones called “Born on the Water” as well as “Your Legacy” by Broadway director Schele Williams, saying those books “offer honest depictions of our nation’s racist past and empowering narratives for children of color” and “can help Black and Brown kids understand a key tenet of anti-racism from an early age: thinking critically and questioning the status quo.”

She also recommended parents to read the original “The 1619 Project” as part of “unlearning our own biases.”

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“It’s crucial that their White classmates learn about our country’s past and the ways it informs our present — so they can be strong, anti-racist allies both inside and outside of the classroom,” Harris wrote. “Parents and children alike could benefit from cracking open a book like ‘Born on the Water’ or ‘Your Legacy.’ Because far more powerful than any attempt to erase history is a movement of conscientious families willing to face it head on.”

In June, the vice president’s niece defended the teaching of CRT in schools. 

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