Dan Piller: Iowa Republicans may learn the same lesson that Texas has reluctantly absorbed: history is not easily contained by the dry wording of a law.
Governor Kim Reynolds happily signed a law that her fellow Republicans approved in the Iowa House and Senate, banning the use of “specific defined concepts” on race or sex for local governments, schools, and public universities.
The law is principally aimed at racial diversity sensitivity training, but the governor fired a warning broadside to Iowa’s school teachers when she declared in a written statement that the bill bans “Critical Race Theory,” even though those words are nowhere in the bill. Speaking recently to the Carroll Times Herald, Reynolds added that schools would be able to teach about destruction of Native American life in Iowa, “As long as it is balanced and we are giving both sides […].”
What “Critical Race Theory” and “both sides” really mean, at least in K-12 education, probably will have to be hashed out before judges, perhaps with the same entertainment value achieved almost a century ago with the famous Scopes Trial in Tennessee. But Reynolds’ message to Iowa teachers was unmistakable: tread very, very carefully when talking to students about race.Continue Reading...