Arizona Horizon election coverage 2022: Republican debate for Superintendent of Public Instruction

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As part of a series of debates sponsored by Clean Elections, former state attorney general Tom Horne, businesswoman Shiry Sapir and state representative Michelle Udall debate education issues as they each make their case to be the Republican candidate for the position of Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.  This is not a formal debate, it’s an open exchange of ideas, an opportunity for give and take between candidates for one of the state’s most important offices. As such, interjections and even interruptions are allowed, provided that all sides get a fair shake. The candidates were not provided questions in advance of the debate.

Critical Race Theory, how do you define it, and how do you teach classes with Critical Race Theory in mind?

Horne: “Well, what I’d like to do is contrast CRT with my values, which I believe are fundamental American values. I believe that we are all individuals. That we are all brothers and sisters under the skin, and race is completely irrelevant to anything. The people who promote CRT take the opposite view. They tell the students the most important thing about them is their race. If you’re part of the majority you’re an oppressor and should feel guilty, and if you’re part of the minority you should feel oppressed, which drops motivation.”

Udall: “I agree with some of what has been said. CRT is really looking at history and every event that happens through a lens of racism.  The problem with that is that when you teach our children to see race first, then they see race first, and they don’t necessarily go farther to learn who someone is beyond their race, and I have never seen a time in history where seeing race first, where stereotyping by race, has lead to good consequences.”

Sapir: “You don’t have to be careful. Like when you teach the Holocaust, we need to teach our children the facts. Yes there was slavery in America, but if you taught children about the Civil War they won’t be tearing down statues of Abraham Lincoln, because they’ll understand that he was leading the movement to abolish slavery and he actually  took a shot to the head for that. The reason that our children tear down these statues is because they aren’t being taught the facts. “

Tom Horne
Shiry Sapir
Michelle Udall

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