The Letter from the 39 Republican Senators is the final chapter in the political debate on racial inequality and racism in the United States. The senators, led by faction leader Mitch McConnell, write that the proposed education policy subjects the school curriculum to a “politicized and divisive agenda” and a focus on the imperfections of the United States as a country.
“Young Americans deserve a deep knowledge and understanding of American society and history. They must understand our successes as well as our failures, ”the Republicans wrote to Education Minister Miguel Cardona. “American taxpayer money does not need to be moved from what unites our country to the radical ideologies that divide us.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said that the “story of systemic inequalities” in the United States is increasingly recognized and notes that the department welcomes all contributions to the policy proposal.
The right wing of the Republican Party has long targeted projects that shed more light on the black pages of American history. Former President Donald Trump, for example, regularly criticized the 1619 project of The New York Times, which won a Pulitzer Prize and focused on the past of colonial America’s first African slaves. Instead, Trump wanted a more “patriotic” education.
The Biden administration’s policy proposal is designed to support education “which reflects the breadth and depth of our country’s diverse history and the vital role of diversity in democracy,” can be read on a US government website. Schools are encouraged to focus in projects on “Systemic Exclusion, Prejudice, Inequality, and Discriminatory Policies in American History.”