Segregated Playground Joins See-Saw Battle over CRT

December 16, 2021

On one Denver school playground, wokeness is in full swing! To the astonishment of the Colorado community, Centennial Elementary was advertising a special "families of color playground night" on their outside billboard -- the brainchild of the school's "Dean of Culture," Nicole Tembrock. "Efforts like these are about uniting us," the district tried to explain -- although no one is quite sure how, since segregation is what divided people in the first place.

Christopher Ruko, who's been exposing the critical race theory movement since the earliest days, posted a picture of the school's sign and pointed out that this shouldn't come as a surprise from a campus with its own "Diversity and Inclusivity Committee." Still, the idea of promoting "racism in the name of progress" has struck more than a few people as an incredibly destructive tool that's a slap in the face of the civil rights movement.

Virgil Walker, co-host of the hugely popular "Just Thinking" podcast, could only shake his head. On "Washington Watch" Wednesday, he harkened back to the last century, explaining that the whole point of the fifties, sixties, and seventies "was desegregation." So why on earth would a school be embracing what Americans in later generations have been trying to leave in the past? "[We're ignoring] the push of civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, who said we should be judged by the content of character rather than the color of skin. And what we're witnessing in woke culture is really this idea that segregation is now in vogue. I mean, if those segregationists from the 1950s and 1960s actually found themselves walking around today at Centennial Elementary School, they would be rather excited... This is absolutely socially-acceptable racism [or] socially-acceptable segregation, and we should call it what it is..."

The school district, who was inundated with press inquiries once the billboard went viral, finally granted a handful of interviews -- claiming that Centennial officials were listening to parents, who said they wanted an opportunity to "connect." "Some of these families shared with us that, since the only time many of them see one another is at drop-off and pick-up times, we host some events where Black families can meet one another, connect with one another and share their experiences about the school with one another. We are honoring their request," the school insisted.

Walker scoffed the explanation as "massive virtue signaling." The school is saying "we're looking for an equitable outcome regarding [the families] ability to connect with one another. So, in the mind of those who would advocate for critical race theory, the equitable outcome would be to take from one group of people in order to give to those who are disadvantaged or less advantaged." And rather than meeting the real need -- which was for people to come together as one school family, one human race "under the banner of unity, they made the decision to segregate them."

But the event wasn't just a horrible idea from a messaging perspective, it's also the wrong approach legally. Professor Dave Kopel told the Federalist that Centennial could actually be sued for violating the Colorado Constitution. "Article IX, section 8, Kopel highlighted, prohibits 'any distinction or classification of pupils be made on account of race or color.' [Any family who was excluded] would have the standing to sue."

For Walker and others, who've tracked the dangerous injection of CRT into the classroom, this Denver incident is a bit of an outlier. For the most part, activists have gotten a lot more sophisticated at sneaking their agenda into schools under the community's nose. While parents have their antennas up for words like "critical race theory" or "equity," there's been an intentional effort to reframe the debate. "They recognize that most of the culture realizes CRT is destructive," Walker pointed out, "and so the language has been changing. And what's happening is they're infusing CRT within things like 'social, emotional learning.'" He pointed to the school's Dean of Culture and Diversity and warned people to pay attention to phrases like "socially equitable." "Those are the kinds of ways that they're couching their critical race theory in plain sight."

Not every school is brazen enough to announce it with an actual billboard. In Colorado's case, that's only giving parents more motivation to engage. Just last month, in an area around Denver, conservatives won all four open seats on the school board and won back the majority. If the district keeps this up, it won't be long until they take back all seven!