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US was ‘founded on racism and national oppression’: African American writer

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Forty-three percent of Republican respondents in a new poll say that they oppose schools teaching about the "history of racism." (Photo by Getty Images)

The United States was “founded on racism and national oppression,” according to African American writer and journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.

Azikiwe, an editor at the Pan-African News Wire, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on a new poll which has found that 43 percent of Republicans oppose American schools teaching about the "history of racism."

The Monmouth University poll released Wednesday found that 43 percent of Republicans said that they are against the teaching of historical racism in public schools. Five percent of Democrats said they are also against it.

Fifty-four percent of Republicans said they were in favor of teaching about the history of racism.

About 78 percent of Republicans disapproved the teaching of critical race theory, with only 16 percent said they were in favor of the practice. Seventy-five percent of Democrats said they approved of teaching critical race theory while 15 percent said they disapproved.

Critical race theory

Critical race theory (CRT) is a way of studying the legacy of racism and slavery in the United States and how these forces continue to impact Americans. The educational concept is based on the argument that race is a social construct and that the United States was built on racist structures that exist today.

CRT isn’t widely taught outside of American colleges and universities, but a debate is underway whether it should be integrated into earlier American education.

Some US lawmakers have opposed teaching CRT in high schools.  In addition, Florida, Texas and Oklahoma have created prohibitive legislation on what can be taught in schools.

“This undoubtedly has become one of the main wedge issues utilized by the Republican Party to rationalize outlawing the teaching of the actual history and social conditions in the United States. The US was founded on racism and national oppression. There is no way this can be denied,” Azikiwe commented to Press TV.

“However, in efforts to maintain the status quo, the racists must deny their own history. They must also refuse to acknowledge the continuing problems of residential segregation, economic exploitation, police brutality and the environmental degradation of Black and People of Color communities across the country,” he added.

“Several state legislative bodies and local school boards have passed laws and resolutions which essentially prohibit educational materials which document racism and national oppression,” he noted.

“African American authors are being banned from curriculums. Literary icons such as Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., Malcolm X, to only name a few who have contributed immensely to the cultural and social life of the US, are being treated as criminals,” the activist revealed.

“People who are honest must struggle to defeat this racist movement to ban books and other course materials which expose racism and other forms of oppression,” he stated.

“With the US rapidly changing demographically, becoming a combined people of color majority, the racists must devise new schemes to maintain segregation and apartheid. These racist attacks on teaching the truth will not succeed no matter how many Republicans say they want to whitewash their own history,” he concluded.

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