In an era where fake news and false claims litter headlines and affect civil progress on the daily, the Tennessee Dept. of Education, thankfully, refused to investigate a far right group’s claims that would’ve led to a book about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being banned.
According to Salon.com, the Williamson County, Tennessee chapter of the group “Moms for Liberty” had filed an 11-page complaint with the state, claiming that a second grade curriculum, which includes works about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has a “heavily biased agenda” that would make kids “hate their country, each other and/or themselves.”
Earlier this year, Tennessee Republicans passed a law in response to the rise of “critical race theory,” barring the teaching of certain concepts in classrooms that would “teach that one race or sex is inherently superior to another,” according to The Tennessean. “The relentless nature of how these divisive stories are taught,” the group’s complaint reads, “the lack of historical context and difference in perspective, and the manipulative pedagogy all work together to amplify and sow feelings of resentment, shame of one’s skin color, and/or fear.”
The signed complaint was delivered by the local group’s chairperson, Robin Steenman, who Reuters has called “an Air Force veteran and white mother of three,” and appears to suggest slavery and Jim Crow were “positive achievements, like unity and the overall improvement of our country.” Inside the complaint, “Moms for Liberty” take issue with several books in the school’s offered curriculum, including Frances Ruffin’s Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, and the autobiographical Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story. The complaint also cites “photographs of white firemen blasting Black children to the point of ‘bruising their bodies and ripping off their clothes.’”
Her comments reflect the growing panic that many in America have as continued efforts to diversify industries and tell the full story of this country’s violent and racist history against Black people and other people of color.
Rather than be concerned about the validity of these events that actually happened, Steenman and her group’s delusion appears to suggest that what is being taught is actually “anti-Americanism.”
The Tennessean reports “the department declined to investigate the allegations because the lessons occurred during the 2020-21 school year.”
Translation: This isn’t the last time the “Moms for Liberty” group will raise their misinformed voices to the masses.