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Shelby County lawmakers react after bill banning teaching of Critical Race Theory passes

This Jan. 8, 2020, photo shows the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark...
This Jan. 8, 2020, photo shows the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)(Mark Humphrey | AP)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 2:43 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A measure that would ban schools from teaching Critical Race Theory has cleared the Tennessee General Assembly.

An amendment to the bill states schools could lose state funding for teaching about systemic racism and white privilege.

Shelby County lawmakers were divided over the bill.

State Senator Brian Kelsey supports the measure.

In a tweet, he said “Critical Race Theory teaches that American democracy is a lie. It teaches that the rule of law does not exist & is instead a series of power struggles among racial groups. It is harmful to our students & is antithetical to everything we stand for as Americans & as Tennesseans.”

State Senator Raumesh Akbari says the legislation is trying to “erase historical fact”.

“This offensive legislation pretends skin color has never mattered in our country,” Akbari said in a statement. “As far too many Americans know, race-based oppression, discrimination and inequality has been a fact of life since before the dawn of our nation. Our children deserve to learn the full story and truth of our people—the victories and the struggles. Unfortunately the controlling party is attempting to erase historical fact in favor of whitewashed falsehoods.”

The measure now heads to Governor Bill Lee’s desk.

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