Black Mississippi lawmakers walk out of Senate in protest of critical race theory ban

All 14 of Mississippi’s black, Democratic state senators refused to vote on a bill banning the teaching of critical race theory in the state’s public schools, walking out in protest instead.

“This bill is not morally right,” Democratic Sen. Barbara Blackmon of Canton said during the debate ahead of the Friday vote before joining the walkout.

Senate Bill 2113 passed 32-2 in the GOP-controlled chamber, with the only votes against it coming from two white Democrats. It will move to the state’s lower House, which is also controlled by Republicans, for review.

The bill was sponsored by Republican Sen. Michael McLendon, who is white.

Hundred of constituents have reached out to say they do not want CRT taught to their kids, claimed McLendon — who could not clearly describe what CRT is when asked, but insisted that no child should be taught that they are superior or inferior to another.

“Systematic racism should not be taught to our children,” he said.

The bill is unnecessary, and could thwart meaningful discussions about Mississippi’s history of slavery and Jim Crow, according to local Democrats, while Mississippi’s superintendent of education said legislators haven’t shown proof CRT is actually being taught in schools.

Sen. Michael McLendon, R-Hernando, inspects a measured package of hemp product at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 13, 2022.
State Sen. Michael McLendon sponsored the anti-critical race theory bill without being able to describe the controversial subject.
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The bill bars public educational institutions from teaching that any “sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.”

Democratic Sen. David Blount of Jackson, one of the white senators who voted against the bill, asked McLendon whether he believes Mississippi should also ban things that are not being taught, such as the sun rotating around the earth.

Sen. David Blount, D-Jackson, speaks during a floor debate in the Senate Chamber at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Jan. 12, 2022.
State Sen. David Blount argued the anti-critical race theory bill was unnecessary for teachers.
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

“We trust our teachers to teach,” Blount said. “And we don’t need to pass laws to prohibit what’s not being done.″

With Post Wires