Mississippi Governor. Mississippi Governor

Critical race theory is an academic framework that examines how racism has shaped public policy and institutions such as the legal system, and how those have perpetuated the dominance of white people in society.

It was obvious that the topic would be discussed at least once in Mississippi by Republican-led politicians, given the large amount of attention it has received in Republican-led states over the past few months. This is because the audience at the Neshoba Country Fair tends to be conservative and white.

Reeves asked, “In what world is it OK to teach children they’re born racism?” Reeves said, “In what world can it be OK to teach children that their skin color will determine their character and not their content?”

Reeves said, “That isn’t the education we need to be the next generation leaders in America.”  They should learn the truth about America — that we are blessed with the greatest nation in human history.”

Many critics believe Mississippi is not doing enough to educate about the horrible effects of racism.

Just a few miles away from the scene at the Neshoba county fair, three civil rights workers were buried by Ku Klux Klansmen in June 1964. After a thorough investigation that attracted international attention, FBI agents found the remains of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner six weeks later.

A week after the bodies were found, Klan imperial wizard Sam Bowers had a plane fly over Neshoba County and drop leaflets that claimed, “Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were not civil rights workers (but) Communist Revolutionaries, actively working to undermine and destroy Christian Civilization,” according to a 2019 article in The Journal of Mississippi History.

Mississippi politics is not new to casting “outside agitators”.

Gunn, widely considered a potential challenger to Reeves for the 2023 governor’s seat, stated Thursday that critical race theory was a “socialist agenda” item.

Gunn stated, “This is an attempt to bring racism into our schools.”

Reeves said that critical race theory was attributed to the “Ivy League” people and claimed they are “someof the dumbest smartest people in the world.”

Corie Jones, Marketing Director for the Mississippi Department of Education, stated Friday, in response to questions by The Associated Press, that she was not aware of critical racism theory being taught in Mississippi schools and that it is not part of Mississippi’s college- and career-ready standards.

Gunn was the leader of the 2020 legislative effort to retire the 126-year old state flag featuring the Confederate battle emblem. This change took place amid protests over racial injustices following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers.

Gunn, who denounced critical race theory at the fair on Thursday, said that “every society which has embraced racism is failing.”

“We are well aware of the destructive effects racism can have on a community. Gunn stated that Mississippi is well aware of the devastation it can cause and how to prevent it. “That is precisely why we must resist the attempt to reintroduce racists into our schools, undoing all the progress we’ve made. Our education system should not be able to teach one race is better than the other. These days are gone in Mississippi. These teachings are not appropriate for our school.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting reported Gunn acknowledged that he didn’t know of any Mississippi schools teaching critical race theory when he answered reporters’ questions following his speech.

Before efforts to ban the teaching of the theory gained momentum at Republican-led statehouses across the United States, Mississippi legislators had already left Capitol this spring. Gunn stated that House members would introduce such legislation when the January session begins.