Mike Levin on Critical Race Theory in American Schools

Question #13 to Mike Levin, asked by Sammy Weitz on behalf of Journalism & Media Studies 1.

“Schools have become a battlefield in the culture wars of American society.  What are your views on the debates about Critical Race Theory and book banning in American schools?”

Not to be a broken record, but I think about this as a parent with two kids in public school. The first thing that I noticed is that they don’t teach critical race theory at their school. This has been an issue that Fox News and some of these people, they like to stir it up and they like to make all kinds of outlandish claims. But at the end of the day all I see is our teachers trying to teach our kids to actually respect one another. I was there the other morning at my kids’ school and they were talking about a “No Hate’ campaign. That’s what I see. Ultimately we have to make sure that young people know that we are always striving towards a more perfect union. I firmly believe in the unique strength of American democracy. I believe so strongly in this nation as the best hope for the entire free world, but that doesn’t mean that we are perfect. It means that we are always striving to be better. That’s what your grandparents, great grandparents, parents, that’s what you will strive to be for future generations as well. We are an experiment in democracy and self-government. And I think it’s important that we are honest with each other as we try to become a more respectful and appreciative society, where we’re not just tolerating each other, but appreciating each other and the differences that we all have. Regardless of your family story, your country of origin, your race, your religion, your gender, your gender identity, your sexual orientation, we are all in this together and we shouldn’t be so polarizing. It shouldn’t matter when you see someone who has a flat tire and needs help on the side of the road–you shouldn’t be looking at their bumper sticker to see if their political ideology matches yours. I don’t know how we lost our way. So I’m counting on all of us, on all of you here as you grow and become the next generation of leaders. My great hope for you is you are more inclusive and more accepting, not so driven by vitriol and hatred and division. When I grew up we didn’t have Tik Tok and Instagram and Twitter and all the rest of it. We didn’t have any of that stuff. We only got the internet when I was in high school. I’m old! But it’s a lot easier now to be divided. The thing is we’ve got access to more information than we ever had before, in your pocket, on your phone. You can learn anything you want about just about anything. One would think that would mean that you knew more about, let’s say US history, than anyone that came before. But it’s not so. That information in your pocket is only as good as your willingness to go and seek it out. So I would just encourage you all to seek it out. Not only US history, but whatever subjects that are most inspiring and motivating to you, or whatever it is that you want to do to serve something greater than yourself. That is my greatest wish for all of you, that you’re going to find something that you’re passionate about, just like I have. It hasn’t always been easy. The path to get here has not always been what I thought it to be. But, at the end of the day, for all the crazy stuff going on, all the attack ads, all the nutty political stuff, I love what I do. I get up in the morning inspired and excited to do it because it’s about something greater than me. So that’s what I wish for all of you.

Back to “13 Questions for Mike Levin” full story.