Mississippi House passes anti-critical race theory bill

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 9:17 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A bill seeking to ban critical race theory from being taught in public schools will soon be sent to the Governor’s desk. The Mississippi House of Representatives passed the bill after a long and emotional day of debate.

”Critical race theory, prohibit.” That’s the title that appeared on the board through the six hours of House debate Thursday. But Rep. Joey Hood who handled the bill on the floor repeatedly gave responses along these lines.

“Critical race is technically not defined in the bill, but as we’re all aware that’s what the questions are revolving around and it’s not to teach that any race, ethnicity or religion is superior or inferior,” said Rep. Hood.

The biggest concern of Democratic members who asked questions, offered amendments, and spoke against the bill? That it would censor how history is taught.

“We must allow our children and generations to come to be taught our true history and it is through the knowledge and understanding of our past that we can truly heal and move forward,” explained Rep. Otis Anthony as he spoke against the bill.

“Declaration of succession,” noted Rep. Robert Johnson. “Are you suggesting that that history is something we shouldn’t know anything about because it defines a race of people as inferior?”

“It’s not going to keep us from teaching about our past, Mississippi’s past, about history in and of itself,” said Rep. Joey Hood.

Still, 17 amendments were offered by Democratic lawmakers. All failed. But several also referenced that they believe the bill is a solution looking for a problem given that Ole Miss law school is the only known school teaching CRT.

“We don’t know where it goes,” described Rep. Oscar Denton. “So, we don’t know what is going to happen with this bill. We don’t know where or how this bill’s going to bite us in our behinds.”

Public schools and universities who violated parts of the bill would risk public funding being withheld.

“Instead of being an example for the rest of the world, we choose this foolishness,” said Rep. Jeffrey Harness. “Not only is there blood on your hands, but it’s going to be on your children’s hands and our children’s children’s hands.”

Despite the hours of debate and questioning, the bill passed 75-43.

The bill was held on a motion to reconsider, meaning it could technically come up for more debate.

Want more WLBT news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.