By: JOSEPH MACKINNON | January 12, 2023
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Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has beaten one form of cancer. In her new role as Arkansas governor, she plans to tackle another.
Sanders issued an executive order on Tuesday designed to prevent leftist doctrinaires from peddling racial identity politics and leftist activism in schools. Within hours of being sworn in to office on Tuesday, Sanders issued multiple executive orders countering leftist speech codes and conventions in the state, including one removing the use of the controversial term “Latinx” in government documents. In another order “to prohibit indoctrination and critical race theory in schools,” Sanders emphasized that the role of schools is to educate, not indoctrinate students. Similarly, teachers are tasked with teaching students how to think, not what to think.
Accordingly, schools’ and teachers’ days of peddling critical race theory are over.
Christopher Rufo noted in the New York Post that critical race theory was “formulated in the 1990s and built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism.”
“Identity is the means; Marxism is the end,” wrote Rufo. “Critical race theory prescribes a revolutionary program that would overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.”
Sanders, who secured over 63% of the vote in the November gubernatorial election, will not allow Arkansas schools to be further weaponized against America. She noted in her executive order, “Critical Race Theory (CRT) is antithetical to the traditional American values of neutrality, equality, and fairness. It emphasizes skin color as a person’s primary characteristic, thereby resurrecting segregationist values, which America has fought so hard to reject.”
Critical race theory has no place in Arkansas schools, she suggested; particularly not when “the Constitution of the State of Arkansas and the Constitution of the United States of America recognize the equal value of every individual, and provide equal protection under the law, regardless of color, creed, race, ethnicity, sex, age, marital status, familial status, disability, religion, and national origin.”
The governor’s executive order requires that Arkansas’ education secretary, Jacob Oliva, ensure that his department and its employees, contractors, guest speakers, and lecturers are in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Furthermore, any and all department rules, regulations, policies, materials, and communications must be reviewed to ensure that leftist discriminatory practices and critical race theory are expurgated.
Sanders’ executive order echoes Florida’s Individual Freedom Act, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on April 22. The act prohibits “training or instruction that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels” students or employees to believe the core tenets of critical race theory and comparable identitarian theories.
Sanders tweeted Thursday, “Under my leadership, schools will teach reading, writing, math, and science—and our children will learn that the identity that truly matters is the one we all share: our identity as children of God and citizens of the United States of America.”
In her inaugural address, Sanders stated, “As long as I am governor, our schools will focus on the skills our children need to get ahead in the modern world, not brainwashing our children with a left-wing political agenda.”