Welcome to #NJRR Live!
Our guest tonight has been on our show so many times that we’ve lost count! Jennifer Lewinski is an activist from Asbury Park, New Jersey. She is here tonight to talk to us about Critical Race Theory, which is something that has been getting talked about more in society lately. Critical Race Theory has several tenets, such as examining history from the perspective of minorities, and operates fundamentally on the knowledge that racism is systemic.
Jennifer asserts that we need to have a discussion about what is being taught in schools and why. We are taught not to question history from a young age. The history we are taught in textbooks is often false or completely skips over tragedies such as the Trail of Tears. Jennifer argues that what we learn in American public schools is white supremacy because it does not give us a holistic view of nonwhite and foreign perspectives. Education that is given through the frame of capitalism is bound to be riddled with problems.
12 American states, including Florida, have proposed multi-million dollar bills to block the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools. Jennifer’s son was once a teacher in a public school. However, he left his job there because he felt like his curricula were being censored. It was a difficult decision for him but he knew that he had to seek a place where he could teach children freely and accurately as a Black educator.
The social and economic system in this country is broken. Critical Race Theory is often misdefined, often intentionally so. Those in power don’t want us to know better so that we cannot do better. If the masses were to get a true education on systemic issues, they might start to demand real change through riots and looting.
How can we bite back at public school curricula, which at this point have become suffocating in regards to the truth? Jennifer points to the option to withdraw from state testing. If parents can do that on a mass scale, they will be able to mess with funding. If we can change how education is funded, we will affect the way in which things are taught. Jennifer urges parents and guardians to pursue this option—your kids will most likely thank you, too! (Writer’s note: speaking as a former kid, I remember clearly that the majority of kids resented the NJASK.)
Don’t miss our June 22nd event at the Coffeehouse in Edison, NJ! We’re getting together from 6:00PM-9:00PM EST.
See You Next Week!
Jennifer is the founder of a nonprofit called the Asbury Park Transformative Justice Project, which seeks to lower recidivism and build safer communities by activating transformative justice practices in place of the current violent systems. They have been struggling with donations since the pandemic hit, so keep that in mind if you have some spare money. Visit the Asbury Park Transformative Justice Project’s Instagram account to see their most recent projects!
Until next week, everyone, stay safe and stay informed!
-Leah Giannantonio, for the Revolution Radio Network