Book discussion at Commack School Board meeting sparks debate over critical race theory

Dr. Carol Ann Daniel, a professor at Adelphi University, says explaining critical race theory is complicated.

News 12 Staff

Jun 11, 2021, 9:27 PM

Updated 1,044 days ago

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A discussion about the book "Persepolis" at a Commack School Board meeting Thursday night sparked debate over critical race theory curriculum.
Students defended the controversial book that some consider racist.
Dr. Carol Ann Daniel, a professor at Adelphi University, says explaining critical race theory is complicated.
Dr. Daniel summarizes the theory by saying, "It's a way to explain inequality so that we can come to having a more equitable and just society. That's really what it's about. It's really helping us to understand different ways of both understanding race and racism."
Some parents are against critical race theory because they say it examines the ways race and racism intersect with politics, culture and the law.
The group Moms for Liberty says the theory teaches hate and that race is a determining factor in where your destiny lies. The group says children should be color blind and not taught to look at their fellow classmates' race or color.
Shoshana Hershkowitz, a mom and founder of Suffolk Progressives, says she supports critical race theory in schools. She sees it differently than the Moms for Liberty group.
"These are just systemic issues in our society and if we can address them then we can improve them, that's all anybody is saying," says Hershkowitz. "I don't think it's about boosting anyone or putting anyone down. It's just about teaching history, data and facts as they exist."
Critical race theory is already banned in a few states, including Florida, Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma.


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