Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has ramped up efforts to stop the State Board of Education from adopting new social studies standards he contends are “political in nature” and unfairly portrays America as “systematically racist.”
Robinson, the state’s first Black lieutenant governor, asked his large social media following to sign an online petition to stop the new standards from being approved by the state board when it meets this week.
The standards will indoctrinate our students with the ideology of the radical left!” Robinson said in the Facebook post that provided the link to the petition.”
The standards have been revised to ensure the viewpoints of diverse groups are included in history and social studies lessons. Educators and some state board members have complained that the voices of Blacks, Native Americans and others have been historically excluded.
Robinson asked followers for 10,000 signatures by Tuesday. Nearly 19,400 people had signed the petition by mid-afternoon Monday.
The state board could approve the revised standards Thursday.
“These divisive standards consistently separate Americans into groups in an effort to undermine our unity,” Robinson said. “The proposed standards indoctrinate our students against our great country and our founders.”
Robinson’s comments mirror those he’s made in recent weeks that are critical of the newly revised standards.
“The system of government that we have in this nation is not systemically racist,” Robinson argued last week during a state board meeting. “In fact, it is not racist at all.”
The state board is politically divided over the new standards. Democrats favor them while Republicans have taken issue with the “tone.” One board member said the revised standards promote the view of America as “oppressor” and not the “land of opportunity.”
“It is a tone that I’m receiving when I look at the standards in their entirety, especially, more specifically in the upper grades,” said State Board member Olivia Oxendine, a Republican and American Indian.
Robinson has been strongly criticized by Black Democrats and state civil rights groups for denying the existence of systemic racism.
“We cannot shelter our students from the ugly reality that racism has torn this country apart,” said State Rep. Rosa Gill, a Wake County Democrat. “In order to make progress, we must educate and address these inequities openly and directly.”
M0re than 2,300 people have shared Robinson’s petition on Facebook. There are more than 500 comments under the post. Robinson’s large, white following support the petition.
Robinson’s political page on Facebook has more than 83,300 likes.