INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Assistant Democratic Leader and member of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, Eddie Melton (D-Gary), issued the following statement criticizing Attorney General Todd Rokita’s unnecessary and discriminatory overreach into education policy:
“I was extremely disturbed after reading Attorney General Rokita’s remarks on Critical Race Theory (CRT) in his ‘Parents Bill of Rights.'” Senator Melton said.
“History classes in the United States have long excluded certain parts of United States history that are hard to face. We can only move forward as a unified nation, with actual justice for all, if citizens are taught all of our history.
“CRT is a concept that has been around for over 40 years and is only now making the news because politicians have started using it to push a national agenda to block progress on inclusion and diversity. Parts of this theory have been in history curriculum for decades, and it simply teaches students that prejudice didn’t end with slavery but at times has also been built into legal systems and policies.
“For example, government officials have historically drawn lines around predominantly minority neighborhoods, known as redlining, and deemed them ‘poor financial risk.’ This resulted in banks refusing mortgages to Black families, denying them the opportunity to be homeowners and resulting in Black families building financial equity at a devastatingly disproportionate rate compared to white families.” Melton explained.
“We can only fix these sorts of policies if our future policymakers and attorneys learn about them in school. This nation cannot hide from its history of racism, and we cannot move past the racism that continues to permeate our country until we acknowledge and address its systemic roots.
“That understanding is partially why I was so disturbed when reading the disparaging comments about CRT in the ‘Parents Bill of Rights,’ because it suggests an aversion to acknowledging that truth and working to move past our country’s historic racism.
“I encourage Attorney General Rokita, as a leader of our diverse Hoosier state, to reexamine his statements on CRT and revise his ‘Parents Bill of Rights’ to retract the discriminatory and false claims that were made. I also want to encourage him to meet with me and the other members of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus to discuss this issue further and to get a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of CRT.”