Things are still pretty heated politically in the state of Virginia. Republican Virginia Lieutenant Governor-Elect Winsome Sears got intense on Sunday while being interviewed on CNN’s “State of the Union” show. She was being interviewed by the host, Dana Bash, who, while talking with Sears, said that Critical Race Theory was not part of the school curriculum.
The CNN host stated at the beginning of the segment a fact that Sears, who is the first black woman elected to a statewide office in Virginia, had made history. Sears has continually answered that making history was not her goal in running for office. But she noted that she did see the importance of being an example for those who may come after her.
Dana Bash quickly pivoted from the topic of making history. She focused on education and compared Sears to Republican Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin. Bash told the listeners that Youngkin had voiced opposition to Critical Race Theory while on the campaign trail.
“Let’s talk about education more broadly. You opposed Critical Race Theory taught in schools which I should say is not part of Virginia’s curriculum,” Bash said. “You did say though that the good and the bad of American history should be taught, and that — we should also tell viewers you’re a former vice president of the Virginia Board of Education. Explain how you think race should be taught in Virginia public schools.”
Sears jumped in and said that she wanted to back up. She then begged to differ with Bash when she said that CRT was not taught in the schools of Virginia. Bash did back up and said that she didn’t say that, she just said that it wasn’t in the curriculum, to be clear.
“No, no, no, no, it is part of the curriculum, it is weaved in and out of the curriculum,” Sears noted. She stated that while there might not be a lesson plan titled “Critical Race Theory,” the principles had been woven into the standard curriculum over time.
Sears focused on the fact that in 2015, the former Governor, McAuliffe, made sure that the state Board of Education had information on how to teach it. Sears said that it was definitely woven into the curriculum, that it was semantics, but it was weaved in. She also noted that she believed it was important to teach all of history…“the good, the bad and the ugly.” Sears said that the only way to learn from the mistakes of the past was to study them with open eyes.
“But while we’re talking about history, how about we talk about how people, from the 1890s, black people from the 1890s to about 1950 or 1960 according to the U.S. Census, had been marrying in a percentage that had far surpassed anything that whites had ever done.”
Sears also referenced the Tulsa race riots. She wanted people to ask themselves how black people amassed so much wealth immediately following the Civil War so that so much property could be destroyed. Sears questioned how black people could come from nothing, from zero, some of them never even got the “40 acres and a mule.” Then she challenged that we should be trying to emulate that kind of determination.
Sears said that there were three things that slaves wanted more than anything else: their freedom, to find their families and the third thing was they wanted an education. She ended this part of the discussion with, “and my God, when did education become a bad word among black people? No!” Sears said that she had seen the results of what a good education could do firsthand.
“Education lifted my father out of poverty when he came to America with only $1.75, education lifted me, because I have to find my own way in this world, and education will lift all of us,” she concluded.
Winsome Sears made it clear that she was not going to be a pushover or bullied by the likes of CNN. This should be fun to keep watching.