Teachers who present the idea of white privilege as a fact to their students are breaking the law, the women and equalities minister has told MPs.
Responding to the general debate on Black History Month being held by MPs, Kemi Badenoch took to the despatch box to describe critical race theory as “an ideology that sees my blackness as victimhood and their whiteness as oppression”.
The minister went on to hit out at schools who had expressed support for the “anti-capitalist” Black Lives Matter movement, arguing they had neglected their duty to political impartiality by embracing the group.
She added that the government was against “the teaching of contested political ideas as if they are accepted fact”.
“We do not want to see teachers teaching their white pupils about white privilege and inherited racial guilt” she told the Commons.
“And let me be clear, any school which teaches these elements of critical race theory as fact, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing views is breaking the law.“
While critical race theory exists as a broad school of thought that originated from left wing legal activism, central tenets of the philosophy include accepting the existence of systemic racism, as well as the prevalence of white supremacy and privilege over other racial groups.
It comes after the government was criticised for banning the use of teaching material that calls for the end of capitalism — describing it as an “extreme political stance”.
In October, the Department for Education’s guidance for PSHE programmes was updated to state that “schools should not use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. Examples of extreme political stances include … a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, opposition to the right or freedoms of speech ... or organisations that promote victim narratives that are harmful to British society”.
Ms Badenoch went on to call on Labour MPs to condemn actions of Black Lives Matters protesters over the summer, when thousands marched against systemic racial inequality across the country and the world.
“Some schools have decided to openly support the anti-capitalist Black Lives Matter group — often fully aware that they have the statutory duty to be politically impartial.” she said.
“Black lives do matter, of course they do, but we know that the Black Lives Matter movement — capital B, L, M — is political.
“I know this, because at the height of the protest, I’ve been told of white Black Lives Matter protesters calling — and I apologise for saying this word — calling a black armed police officer guarding Downing Street a ‘pet n*****’.
“That is why we do not endorse that movement on this side of the House. It is a political movement and what would be nice would be for members on the opposite side to condemn many of the actions that we see of this political movement, instead of pretending that it is a completely wholesome anti-racist organisation.”