South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed a bill that will limit the teaching of the critical race theory (CRT) at state colleges and universities. House Bill 1012 is designed to stop administrators and teachers from being compelled to participate in classes that could be inspired by critical race theory. The bill does not explicitly mention “critical race theory”; however, it does identify seven “divisive concepts” that the legislator hopes to stop through its passing.
In the context of the bill, the phrase divisive concepts refers to:
(1) Any race or color, religion, gender, ethnicity, or national origin is superior or inferior;
(2) The right of individuals to not be treated with discrimination or in a negative manner based on race or color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or nationality;
(3) The individual's morality is inherently dependent on their race color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality;
(4) A person due to their race color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently racist, oppressive, or sexist, whether conscious or not;
(5) That people, due to race or color, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality are solely responsible for the actions that were committed in the past by others of the same race or color, religion, ethnicity, gender, or nationality;
(6) An individual may be experiencing guilt, discomfort, anxiety, or other types of psychological distress because of their race, color, religion, ethnicity, or national origin;
(7) Meritocracy or characteristics like the ability to work hard are sexist, racist, or were invented by people of the same race or sexuality to oppress people belonging to other races or genders.
Noem says she hopes that the bill can help keep college campuses as places of “freedom of thought and expression.”
“No student or teacher should have to endorse critical race theory in order to attend, graduate from, or teach at our public universities. College should remain a place where freedom of thought and expression are encouraged, not stifled by political agendas.”