Critical Race Theory: Fact vs. Fiction

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”- Maya Angelou

8 mins read

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is many things

The current rage against Critical Race Theory (CRT) is many things. On one hand, it is a devious effort to inflame a group of people in order to manipulate them to accept a particular political position. In this way, the puppet-masters use the well-established racism and lack of knowledge (ignorance) of the masses of white people, many of whom never come in close personal contact with Afrikan Americans, to pull these people to their positions, thus ensuring political success in elections. They are buffered by the fact that the targeted people suffer from a form of the Dunning-Kruger Effect in that they think they have more knowledge than they actually have and are insulted when told that they actually don’t know.

On the other hand, this negative knee-jerk reaction to any teaching of the truth of what Afrikan Americans suffered in America-since their ancestors were kidnapped from their homes in Afrika, enslaved and oppressed-is actually an admission of guilt. To be sure, when the educational consultant and social activist Jane Elliott poses the question to white audiences as to whether they would like to be treated like Afrikan Americans have been treated and are currently being treated, no one in the all-white audience ever volunteers.

To whitewash the atrocities of the Afrikan experience in the “New World” suppresses history fallaciously. Appreciating truth is, by definition, not intimating guilt by any community of the current generation. However, it appears that the authors of these bills feel that the truth would induce guilt. Why is that?

If given age-appropriate history lessons of our state and nation’s history of racist laws and inhuman treatment of all non-white people, black students as well as white students may well feel uncomfortable. All Americans share the history of this country, whether their direct ancestors “owned” human beings or not. Unless they are taught the truth of this history, they will either perpetuate the racism or will act out of conscience and make sure that this abominable behavior never happens again. On the other hand, it is certain that if they don’t learn the truth of what their ancestors did or if they are taught that “it’s all good now”, the chances of “history repeating itself” is much greater.

The paradox is that if the children’s feelings are truly valued so much, what about the countless children whose family members were lynched, the children who suffered poverty because of their families’ inability to compete for jobs because of racism, the children who were cursed, spat on and verbally abused by white adults, just for trying to get an education and the children who are rendered ignorant about their history?

In 1984, the South Carolina legislature passed The Education Improvement Act (S.C. Code Ann. 59-29-55) was passed. This law stipulated that in every public school in South Carolina, the history of Afrikan Americans must be taught as a regular part of all history and social studies courses. The deadline to enact this law was the school year 1989-1990. This was never done.

The definitions and descriptions of Critical Race Theory given in H.4325, H4343, H4392, H4605 and H4799 indicate that the authors have not bothered to understand it, hence these definitions are incorrect and misleading:

Critical Race Theory: Fact vs. Fiction

1. Critical Race Theory is NOT taught in primary, secondary, high schools or colleges. It is a legal theory taught in law schools and on the graduate level.

2. Critical Race Theory does NOT teach that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin is inherently superior or inferior. Critical Race Theory IS intended to stress that everyone is equal and should deserve equitable treatment under the law.

3. Critical Race Theory does NOT teach that anyone of any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin should be discriminated against.

4. Critical Race Theory was formulated to evaluate racism in society so that it could be eliminated.

5. Critical Race Theory is NOT intended to cause guilt or hurt feelings.

6. Critical Race Theory does NOT teach that anyone is inherently racist.

7. Critical Race Theory IS intended to study the past in such a way that the mistakes will not be repeated.

8. The true CRT should be Culturally Relevant Teaching, All children should be made aware of not only what their ancestors experienced and accomplished but also what other cultures have experienced and accomplished.

9. Children are able to learn shocking and alarming facts without experiencing trauma, especially considering how popular with young people the genres of horror and murder mysteries are in print (novels) and film.

10. Education is intended to be enlightening and it seems that the American politicians, as well as the children, would benefit from learning accurate and truthful history.

11. CRT is NOT threatening and should be embraced by all.

We urge the South Carolina elected representatives of ALL the people should:

1.     Review, strengthen and enforce S.C. Code Ann. 59-29-55.

2.     Take the time to do your own research rather than responding to a prepackaged template.

3.     Interview experts on both sides of the question, especially educators and not lay people.

4.     Realize that truth is not ideological (but opposition to truth usually is).

5.     Allow truth to be taught and trust teachers to do what they have been trained to do.

6.     Keep politics out of the classroom.

7.     Please do not pass these regressive laws that are attempts at censorship and modern-day book burning, as the Nazis did in the 1930’s.


The Columbia Chapter, Association of Black Social Workers

The Kemetic Institute for Health and Human Development

The KRST Universal Temple

The S.C. Chapter, Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations

Ubuntu Institute for Community Development

The Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students

The Organization of African Unity of South Carolina

The Progressive Network

Palmer Memorial Chapel

Juneteenth Freedom Fest

The Congaree Medical Dental and Pharmaceutical Association


Dr. Burnett Gallman is an accomplished physician, author, and speaker. Dr. Gallman has served as chief of internal medicine at Richland Memorial Hospital and Baptist Medical Center in Columbia, S.C. He now works at Dorn V.A. Medical Center and is in private practice. Dr. Gallman has written five books and many essays and articles. Throughout his career, he has lectured on medical, historical, and cultural topics to professional and civic groups across the United States and beyond. As a dedicated and engaged community advocate, he sits on the National Board of the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations and serves as co-chair of the council of elders education commission of the KRST Universal Temple in Columbia.

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