• Rebecca Branle

F the Fairytales: Thoughts on Critical Race Theory

I've never been a big fan of fairytales. Not even as a kid. Seems my 6-year-old Anna feels the same way. She started watching Rapunzel and had to stop. She was like, "Why doesn't she just cut her hair off, tie it to something, and scale down the tower herself? Having that boy climb up her hair is stupid." Same goes for Cinderella. Their connection was so tight that he could only identify her by a shoe? Puh-lease.


I've been thinking a lot about fairytales and how they're lazy stories. Imagine if we all modeled our life after fairytales. We'd be waiting for the magic to arrive, or for the prince to save us, and we'd never accomplish anything. That's kind of the way Republicans want us to raise our kids.

I know Critical Race Theory is a hot button issue. But do you realize it's been around for 40 years? 40 years and no one felt compelled to ban it, or, if they did, they were immediately identified as a racist simpleton and dismissed. Today, Republicans want you to believe Critical Race Theory teaches that white people are bad and it aims to make poor little white children hate themselves; that's just not true. Critical Race Theory works to unearth the truth, the full truth, so we can learn from it and grow beyond it. Critical Race Theory isn't saying white people suck, it's simply working to include race in the discussion.


How many times have you heard someone say, "Slavery is over! Don't blame me for it!" Okay, let's talk about that. Fellow white people, we have to stop feeling personally attacked when we talk about race issues. Just be objective. Take a deep breath; take yourself out of it; and listen. Instead of being defensive, be a part of the solution. There is a multiracial solution that will welcome you. Promise. Racism didn't end with slavery and the reason we aren't having productive conversations about fixing our problems is that there's a lack in our education about all the things that have happened since slavery. Jim Crowe and its prison work camps, Segregation, Redlining (so many white folks have generational wealth because of property ownership. If one race was held back from being able to generate that kind of wealth, we need to understand it), Rosewood, Tulsa, the inability for black and brown tradespeople to join unions, black and brown veterans who didn't receive the GI Bill, the way our infrastructure cut through neighborhoods, separating black and brown neighborhoods from the heart of the city, schools that rely upon taxes that result in poor kids getting inferior educations and continuing the cycle of poverty, and so much more. A similar timeline can be made for the absolute horror that's been inflicted upon Native Americans since the dawn of the exploration of this land.


Critical Race Theory simply works to include all of these truths into the story of our history. Essentially, it turns our history from a fairytale to a reality. We can learn from reality. We can grow from reality. We can heal. We can unite. The fairytale? It gets us nowhere. It teaches us nothing. It creates broken humans like PA State Rep. Dave Zimmerman who boldly lie about a stolen election and say it was ANTIFA that stormed the capital. Why would we allow someone to lie about an event that left police officers with permanent injuries? That attempted to overthrow our democracy? He lies like he breathes and yet calls telling the truth in schools "indoctrination." He wants to whitewash our history the same way he's actively whitewashing January 6th. Friends, some things are wrong. Just wrong. His new bill to ban Critical Race Theory from our schools? Dead wrong. Racist. Disgusting. He wants to ignite a culture war. He wants to tell you a false narrative about the issue. Why? Because his politics only serve the most radical white evangelicals, the super rich, and the major corporations. He has to distract you to earn his vote. Otherwise, he's got nothing for you. So he's lying and he's dividing us. He's banking on igniting hate within you to keep him in power. Why would we want someone like that to represent us?


I'm tired, guys. I'm tired of the lies and the dog and pony shows and the Republican Party's reliance on our own ignorance of the issues. If we aren't educated, it makes it easier for them to manipulate us. Don't let them. Forget the fairytales. Demand the truth. Let us grow. Let all of us grow...together.


I've promised to lead with love and love is honest; love is kind. Love looks its mistakes in the eye and love works diligently to fix them. Let's again, and always, choose love.

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