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Political Litigation

Minnesota Conservatives Sue to Shut Down Critical Race Theory in Public, Private Institutions

— July 27, 2021

The lawsuits describes critical race theory as a “racially divisive” ideology which lends to discrimination, retaliation, and bullying.

Critics of critical race theory have planned a series of lawsuits against three Minnesota institutions, including the Hennepin Healthcare System, the state Department of Human Services, and the Lakeville School District.

According to The Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the lawsuit accuses the defendant organizations of bullying or retaliating against employees, students, and parents who do not approve of what attorneys have called a racially divisive ideology.

Doug Seaton, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said that critical race theory teaches students to believe that all White people are oppressors who necessarily benefit from the United States’ intrinsically racist system.

Seaton also suggested that, under critical race theory, Black people are always oppressed, and anything White people do is underlain by racism.

Black Lives Matter graffiti in Portland, OR. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:Another Believer. (CCA-BY-4.0).

Speaking outside the Capitol this weekend, Seaton said that his clients want to end critical race “propaganda.”

One of the plaintiffs, identified by the Pioneer Press as Hennepin Health physician Tara Gustilo, has already filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In her complaint, Gustilo said that her employer retaliated against her after she objected to a hospital program she felt would lead to “racially segregated care.”

“I shouldn’t be demoted or retaliated against because I don’t agree with racially divisive and demeaning CRT ideology,” Gustilo said in a statement.

Similarly, plaintiff Aaron Norgen, who works with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, said he was disciplined for refusing to attend “anti-racist training.”

According to Norgen, the training courses teach that, “if your skin is not a certain color, you’re a racist.”

Lakeville School District is being sued for purportedly allowing students to plaster “Black Lives Matter” in its buildings while placing blanket bans on “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” signage.

While the lawsuit does admit that Black lives matter, it charges that Lakeville’s decision to ban other viewpoints is tantamount to illegal political discrimination—effectively silencing anyone who does not agree with the prevailing liberal perspective on race relations.

Broadly, Seaton and his three plaintiffs are hoping to challenge the purported proliferation of critical race theory-derived teachings and practices.

However, The Twin Cities Pioneer Press observes that, although critical race theory has become something of a conservative buzzword, it is actually an academic framework predominately taught in advanced graduate courses.

Critical race theory postulates that the United States suffers from systemic and structural racism—racism that is ingrained in the nation’s institutions and embedded within its culture.


Critics plan lawsuits against three area institutions for promoting ‘critical race theory’

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