ROCK HILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Many conversations and even some legislation has been centered around Critical Race Theory. Leaders from Rock Hill’s Race and Reconciliation Committee are hosting an event this week that they hope will dispel some misinformation about CRT and inform people about what it is and how it impacts communities.
Critical Race Theory is described as the research and theory around structural laws and systems that impact minority communities. This theory first reviewed among the research law community in the 1970’s. Rock Hill’s Race and Reconciliation Committee is hosting an event, they hope will educate the community about CRT.
Margaret Gillikin, Chair of Rock Hill’s Race & Reconciliation committee, says, “We felt as a planning committee that there was a lot of misinformation about what Critical Race Theory actually is and so we wanted to sort of set the record straight and bring in a scholar who could talk about, what Critical Race Theory is and what impact it really does have on our lives.”
Rock Hill Attorney Montrio Belton is a former educator and has studied CRT from both an educational and legal perspective. Even though he is not part of Tuesday’s conversation he still passionate about helping people understand CRT.
“You started getting professors writing about Critical Race Theory as it related to structural practices that were in place by the educational system and then how do we start analyzing the disparities that existed in education,” says Attorney Montrio Belton.
Belton believes that CRT has become politicized in response to an increase in diversity, equity and inclusion discussions, after the death of George Floyd. He says the theory was never meant to be discussed or implemented in schools on the K-12 levels.
Belton says, “Why do we have these disparities that exist and what structural system are in place that are preventing African-American children, brown children, children of poverty, from achieving at the same level as their white counterparts.”
After conversations with educational policy makers, educational leaders and even other attorneys, Belton says their definitions of CRT have been unclear. He say CRT looks at structural systems that are unfair to groups of people, with the goal of changing that.
Belton says, “The disparities that we talk about still exist and I really wish our policy makers at the city level, at the county level, at the school district level and frankly at the state level would really spend their time trying to figure out how we as a community can address these disparities as opposed to getting caught up on a political, politically toxic conversation that many don’t even understand.”
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with the committee’s leaders and those in the community about CRT and what it all means.