Indiana Republican under fire after saying teachers must be ‘impartial’ about Nazis and fascism

Indiana Republican under fire after saying teachers must be ‘impartial’ about Nazis and fascism

All over the United States, Republicans in state governments have been going after schoolteachers whose classes don’t conform to their views on race or history. One such Republican is Indiana State Sen. Scott Baldwin, who is co-sponsoring a bill that, if passed, would ban teachers in his state from promoting “divisive concepts” in classrooms — and he is drawing scrutiny after saying that teachers should show impartiality when teaching about the history of fascism and Naziism.

Baldwin promoted his bill during a January 5 hearing. According to Washington Post reporter Jaclyn Peiser, Baldwin said, “Marxism, Nazism, fascism.… I have no problem with the education system providing instruction on the existence of those ‘isms. I believe that we’ve gone too far when we take a position.… We need to be impartial.”

The following day, Baldwin wrote to the Indianapolis Star and said his goal was to keep teachers from telling students “what to think about politics.”

Baldwin told the Star, “Nazism, Marxism and fascism are a stain on our world history and should be regarded as such, and I failed to adequately articulate that in my comments during the meeting. I believe that kids should learn about these horrible events in history so that we don’t experience them again in humanity.”

READ: Prominent QAnon anti-vaxxer who called for Anthony Fauci’s execution dies of COVID-19

Star reporter Arika Herron cites Indiana Senate Bill 167, the bill Baldwin is promoting, as a proposal that has been “inspired by the national discourse over critical race theory.”

Many Republican politicians and right-wing media figures have become obsessed with critical race theory, a field of academic study that is taught on some college campuses in the U.S. CRT, in essence, teaches that racism of the past continues to affect modern-day institutions. A college professor who actually teaches CRT might argue that although Jim Crow laws were abolished in the 1960s, they left a long-lasting effect that is still being felt today.

Although academic CRT isn’t taught in public K12 schools in Indiana or anywhere else, anti-CRT Republicans have been acting like it is — and many teachers fear that any books having to do with race, whether it’s “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” or the work of Toni Morrison, could fall prey to anti-CRT hysteria.

Matt Bockenfeld, a history teacher in Indiana, has been critical of SB 167. During the January 5 hearing, Bockenfeld argued, “For example, it’s the second semester of U.S. history, so we're learning about the rise of fascism and the rise of Nazism right now. And I’m just not neutral on the political ideology of fascism. We condemn it, and we condemn it in full, and I tell my students the purpose, in a democracy, of understanding the traits of fascism is so that we can recognize it and we can combat it.”

READ: 'Traitor' Jim Jordan mocked for refusing to comply with Jan. 6 committee — after declaring 'nothing to hide'

On January 6, Bockenfeld tweeted:



Baldwin has a history of controversy in Indiana, where the Star reported that his name was on a list of purported members of the Oath Keepers — an extremist far-right militia group that federal investigators have linked to the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. Baldwin, however, has denied being an Oath Keepers member but told the Star he gave them a $30 contribution in 2010.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}