Photo: Ashford Hughes, Sr. – Executive Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for MNPS
Published June 23, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
A key member of Metro Nashville Public Schools’ administration took to Twitter over the weekend to promote Critical Race Theory.
Ashford Hughes, Sr., is the Executive Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for MNPS. In conjunction with the Juneteenth holiday, Hughes posted on his Twitter account, recommending the book “Critical Race Theory: the Key Writings that Formed the Movement.”
“This Juneteenth weekend I hope we can increase the debate around what Critical Race Theory actually IS by reading the scholarly works that have been written by leaders of the theory for over 30 plus years,” Hughes wrote. “This book should be on your shelf whether you oppose or support.”
The recommended book is co-authored by Kimberle Crenshaw, one of the originators of the Critical Race Theory.
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This is not the first time Hughes has spoken out publicly in favor of Critical Race Theory since being hired by MNPS in June 2020.
In January, Hughes posted a tweet praising President Biden for reversing the ban on Critical Race Theory put into place by President Trump.
“Joe Biden revokes Donald Trump’s order banning critical race theory,” Hughes tweeted, along with clapping emojis.
In March, The Tennessee Star published a story revealing that Hughes was working on an “Equity Roadmap” that may lead to MNPS including Critical Race Theory in their curriculum. The finalized roadmap has not been released, but Hughes has a history of working towards that agenda. He initiated a similar proposal when he worked with Nashville Mayor John Cooper in 2019.
Hughes has also been vocal in his defense of other theories that many individuals against Critical Race Theory also oppose because they feel that they are Critical Race Theory in disguise.
One of those theories is the idea of being culturally responsive. Hughes commented on that concept earlier this month on Twitter.
“In the spirit of the Saturday morning Freedom Schools here is today’s lesson: Critical Race Theory is NOT the same as Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. Keep calm and carry on,” Hughes wrote.
In their last days of the general assembly, state legislators banned public schools from incorporating Critical Race Theory into their teaching. The ban was introduced as an amendment to another education bill by State Representative John Ragan of Oak Ridge.
Ragan’s amendment listed eleven tenets that make up Critical Race Theory. A special committee was formed to debate the amendment. Three additional tenets were added, and the bill was approved.
These tenets include the belief that America is a fundamentally and systemically racist country and that a person can be inherently privileged, sexist, racist, and oppressive simply based on their race or sex.
While the phrase “Critical Race Theory” is not included in the newly passed law, it does assert that the tenets connected with the theory cannot be taught in Tennessee’s public schools.
In a final meeting speech before the House, Ragan addressed the divisive nature of ideology such as Critical Race Theory.
“Unfortunately, there are those self-appointed guardians of equity among us who deludedly seek to make our union far less perfect,” Ragan said. “In shameless pursuit of political power, these misguided souls leverage social, cultural, and religious powers to fracture our indivisible nation. To create artificial divisions among us, these self-styled noble champions of the oppressed unashamedly distort and twist the truth.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn also addressed Critical Race Theory when she introduced a measure condemning the teaching of the theory in schools.
“Critical Race Theory has no place in American schools. The tenets of critical race theory are based in the destructive ideal of inherent racism and will teach our children to judge and self-segregate based solely on skin color,” Blackburn stated. “In Tennessee, we believe in equality and opportunity for all. Students should not be discriminated against on the basis of race under any circumstances. This resolution is an important step to prevent the far left from pushing their radical political agenda in our classrooms.”