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Mississippi Gov. Reeves signs bill targeting critical race theory

Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves this week signed into law a bill that limits conversations about race in classrooms as the state continues to target the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

The measure, known as Senate Bill 2113, is titled “Critical Race Theory; prohibit” and makes no other mention of the theory by name throughout the text of the bill.

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The bill, signed into law on Tuesday, says no public institution should teach “that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior” or “that individuals should be adversely treated on the basis of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin.”

Announcing the signing of the measure on social media, Reeves said critical race theory is “running amok” in schools across America. 

“It threatens the integrity of education & aims only to humiliate and indoctrinate,” he wrote in a tweet, which included a video message.

“I can almost guarantee what will happen next,” Reeves said in the video after signing the bill. “First, critical race theory proponents will claim that this law prohibits the teaching of history. They’ll claim that our kids won’t learn about important historical events, like slavery or the civil rights movement. But we know the truth.”

“Contrary to what some critics may claim, this bill in no way, no shape, and in no form prohibits the teaching of history,” he added, noting that the state is “not backing down.”

The Mississippi state flag displayed outside the Old State Capitol Museum in downtown Jackson, Miss.

Last November, Reeves released his Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal and recommended that the teaching of critical race theory be eliminated from taxpayer-funded schools.

Under a section in the budget proposal titled “Improving Education,” Reeves headlined a section “Eliminate Critical Race Theory” and outlined how he believed the teaching to be a “vicious lie.”

Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside of the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021.

“There has been a push from radical leftists across the nation to teach children a vicious lie: that this country is fundamentally racist and that your skin color makes you inherently racist,” Reeves wrote in the proposal. “Those two core principles form the foundation of a philosophy known as Critical Race Theory. It is destructive to young children. It runs contrary to basic history.”

According to a July 2021 estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, African Americans make up 37.8% of Mississippi’s population.

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