Derrick Wilburn: Black father's stirring speech inspires Colorado school board to ban CRT
Derrick Wilburn was one among several concerned parents who aired their reservations about incorporating critical race theory in the curriculum
A Black father in Colorado delivered a moving speech against critical race theory during a school board meeting last week. His words garnered a standing ovation from fellow parents, and board members of the school district were convinced that CRT had no place in its classrooms.
Derrick Wilburn was one among several concerned parents who aired their reservations about incorporating critical race theory in the curriculum. Being a descendant of the slave trade himself, Wilburn explained how implementing the new doctrine in classrooms would do the opposite of combating racism and instead fan "the flames of what little embers are left."
"I am a direct descendant of the North American slave trade," Wilburn, founder and executive director of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, began. "Both my parents are black. All four of my grandparents are black, all eight of my great grandparents, and all 16 of my great greats. On my mother's side, my ancestors were enslaved in Alabama. On my father's side, we were enslaved in Texas."
"I'm not oppressed and I'm not a victim," he continued, adding that his three children "are not oppressed, either, though they are victims." "I taught my children they are victims of three things: Their own ignorance, their own laziness, and their own poor decision making. That is all," Wilburn said in the viral video.
"We are not victims of America. We are not victims of some unseen 190-year-old force that kind of floats around in the ether. Putting critical theory into our classrooms is taking our nation in the wrong direction," he continued. "Racism in America would by and large be dead today if it were not for certain people and institutions keeping it on life support. Sadly, very sadly, one of those institutions is the American education system."
"Putting critical race theory in classrooms is not combating racism. It's fanning the flames of what little embers are left," Wilburn concluded. "I encourage you to support this resolution. Let racism die the death it deserves."
This Colorado Springs father denounces critical race theory and says that "racism in America would be dead today if not for certain people and institutions keeping it on life support"—including public education.— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) August 19, 2021
Following his testimony, the school board voted 3-2 to ban CRT. pic.twitter.com/sK1TLS69MQ
Wilburn's stirring speech had a galvanizing effect and proved to be instrumental in convincing the Colorado Springs School District 49 school board to ban critical race theory in classrooms.
Board president John Graham, secretary Rick Van Wieren, and director Ivy Liu all voted to ban critical race theory. In a summary of the ban, they noted that CRT "excludes individuals who merely advocate for neutral principles of the Constitution, or who deny or question the extent to which white supremacy shapes our institutions." They recognized the importance of "facts and related literature regarding racism and inequality in America," but noted that "such exposure should not purport to deliberately undermine student/family values, religious beliefs, or principles."
The board members who voted to prohibit critical race theory thanked supporters and said they were now focused on "getting our kids back on track socially, emotionally, mentally, and academically." They told Fox News in a statement, "We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our community and others over this issue, but it is only one of many issues school districts face at this point, and having settled it, we would like to move on to the greater task at hand of catching up our students. After two years in a row of disruptive Covid impacts, we want to focus on getting our kids back on track socially, emotionally, mentally, and academically."