Black Senators Walk Out As Mississippi Lawmakers Pass A Bill To Ban Critical Race Theory
Republican Sen. Michael McLendon failed to give a clear response when asked to define critical race theory.
January 23, 2022 at 8:48 pm
"This bill is not morally right," Democratic Sen. Barbara Blackmon said as Republicans continued the nationwide effort to prohibit lessons which examine how racism has shaped the country.
Senate Bill 2113, which will now move to the House, passed with a 32-2 vote. The only votes against the bill came from white Democrats.
Although the title of the measure mentions critical race theory, the bill doesn't clarify the phrase. According to the bill, schools, community colleges and universities are not allowed to teach that any "sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior."
Republican Sen. Michael McLendon, chief sponsor of Senate Bill 2113, failed to give a clear response when he was asked to define critical race theory.
"Systematic racism should not be taught to our children," McLendon said without giving clarification.
Adding to his vague statement, the Republican lawmaker said hundreds of his constituents don't want their children to learn critical race theory.
"I had so many constituents in my district that were concerned over the teachings that they have heard from around the country, they want to make sure that this was not a problem with Mississippi, so that's why this bill was brought forward," McLendon said, according to CNN.
State Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons asked if critical race theory is a problem in Mississippi.
"Well, we try to make laws for the future as well as today," McLendon replied.
Democratic state Sen. David Jordan delivered a passionate speech before walking out.
"This is not needed. It's a waste of time, your time and mine. I know there are people out there who got fear but as a good senator you can relay to them that there is no basis for it," Jordan said. "It is sad that we have wasted so much time on something that's not even necessary."
As Blavity previously reported, many other states are pushing to ban critical race theory. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently introduced the Stop WOKE Act legislation, aiming to allow parents to sue schools for teaching critical race theory.
“We also have to protect our people and our kids from some very pernicious ideologies that are trying to be forced upon them all across the country,” the governor said.