Iowa House Republicans Vote To Ban ‘Divisive Concepts’ In Schools, Government Diversity Training


106
20 shares, 106 points

Raw Story

Republicans in the Iowa House passed a bill Tuesday evening to ban any school curriculum and mandatory government agency diversity training that would “teach, advocate, act upon, or promote divisive concepts.”

Ideas that would be off limits include, “that the U.S. and the state of Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist,” and “that an individual, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

Rep. Henry Stone, R-Forest City, said he has faced racism as an Asian-American. He supports diversity training, but he’s concerned about how it’s conducted.

“To say that we teach diversity by talking about that the United States and Iowa are fundamentally—which means at its root—systemically, racist or sexist? I don’t believe that,” Stone said.

During Tuesday’s debate, Republican lawmakers expanded the scope of the bill. It originally applied to public universities and schools, but now it applies to all state and local government agencies, too.

Democrats said they could agree on some of the prohibited teachings, including “that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” and “any other form of race or sex stereotyping.”

But Democratic lawmakers opposed the bill over concerns that it would prevent implicit bias training, and deny the existence of white privilege and systemic racism.

That is canceling reality,” said Rep. Mary Wolfe, D-Clinton. “That is closing our eyes and trying to pretend that if we don’t say ‘implicit bias,’ it doesn’t exist. Or if we don’t say ‘systemic racism,’ we can pretend we don’t have that.”

The “divisive concepts” legislation is similar to an executive order from former President Donald Trump, which was blocked by a federal court and then rescinded by President Joe Biden.

Republican lawmakers said the bill would not stop diversity trainings, or prevent trainers and teachers from answering questions about these “divisive concepts” and discussing them in a broader academic context.

Rep. Ross Wilburn, D-Ames, has worked as a diversity and inclusion educator. He said the bill would have a chilling effect on teaching some aspects of the country’s history.

“If you’…

Advertisements

Like it? Share with your friends!

106
20 shares, 106 points

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
6
hate
confused confused
16
confused
fail fail
11
fail
fun fun
10
fun
geeky geeky
8
geeky
love love
3
love
lol lol
5
lol
omg omg
16
omg
win win
11
win