The president of the world's largest association of historians issued a defense of critical race theory, a move critics say demonstrates the institution's increasing adoption of woke ideology.
Jacqueline Jones, the president of the American Historical Association (AHA) and a University of Texas professor, wrote in the association's magazine this month that critical race theory is crucial to helping students overcome their "wrong assumptions" that America is no longer systematically racist or impacted by systematic racism.
"It can help them understand and recognize the many forces in society that perpetuate racial bias, even after the passage of major pieces of civil rights legislation," Jones wrote.
The AHA joins a growing list of educational institutions that have embraced critical race theory. In July, thousands of educators pledged to continue teaching critical race theory in defiance of state bans. The American Federation of Teachers has pledged $2.5 million to fight critical race theory bans.
Jones, who has donated to the progressive Future Now PAC, added that critical race theory enables students to understand the "enduring effect of racist laws" as well as why she believes the achievement of American founding ideals to be "elusive."
The AHA has objected to state laws that ban critical race theory, writing to Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick (R.) that the state's attempts to ban critical race theory would "white wash American history." Critical race theory bans would "intimidate teachers and stifle independent inquiry and critical thought among students," the letter said.
Opponents of critical race theory say it promotes a political interpretation of history.
"Jacqueline Jones proclaims herself an ideologue who believes in Critical Race Theory and is incapable of teaching any history that contradicts her ideology," David Randall of the National Association of Scholars said. "She is blind to liberty, hence blind to American history, whose warp and woof is the spirit of freedom."
States such as Texas, Tennessee, and Florida have banned critical race theory from the classroom, a measure Randall says is vital to protect America's education system. He says Jones's article for the AHA demonstrates her disdain for American history.
"Her article recapitulates the ahistorical hatred of America that CRT advocates teach in our classrooms, and demonstrates precisely why Americans must pass laws to remove CRT from our nation's schools," he said.