Video: The goal of Critical Race Theory for California educators

Article subtitle: 
“To create social justice activists out of our students”
Article date: 
2 December 2021
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

24 second video: The goal of Critical Race Theory for these California educators in their own words: "To create social justice activists out of our students", December 2, 2021

California Educator Theresa Montanio" Using Ethnic Studies to create social justice activists out of our students: "Ethnic studies is more than pedagogy and content. Ethnic studies is about creating change in the community. And what you witness in Lupe, Tao and what you will see in the lessons that follow are how classroom teachers begin to use Critical Race Theory - connected to ethnic studies - in a way to empower and to create social justicce activists out of our students."

The above is an excerpt from a 3 hour Zoom conference entitled "Demystifying Critical Race Theory" conducted by nine teachers and/or administrators in the Yorba Linda, CA school district.

In contrast - a sane perspective

3 minute video from Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism:

"I am deeply concerned about those who are suffering from mental illness and the recent rapid rise in anxiety and depression. What I saw in my workplace makes me fear that the next generation of therapists will be trained to make the problem worse." - FAIR's Christine Sefein.

My parents immigrated to the United States from Egypt. As a child in a poverty-stricken neighborhood, I watched my parents, who spoke no English, overcome obstacles, enter the middle class, and build a better life so that their daughter could attend university.

I recently resigned my position as a professor of clinical psychology at Antioch University in Los Angeles. I became a clinical therapist with the hope of helping others find the same resilience and strength I saw in my parents. But a divisive and regressive ideology has taken hold of my former workplace and the field of psychology as a whole. This ideology teaches people to see themselves as part of an oppressed group and to blame their hardships on oppressor groups. And sometimes that's true. But most often this way of thinking, which encourages hypersensitivity, is harmful to people who are seeking help for mental illness conditions.

As mental health professionals, our job is to encourage clients to build resilience and self-empowerment to improve their lives and climb out of negative mental states. But we are now being encouraged to validate our clients' perceptions that they live in a world of micro-aggressions, inequity and racism, and that they have no control over improving their situation. This mentality locks clients into a condition known as "learned helplessness" in which breaking free from depression seems hopeless. If we therapists validate our clients' view that the world is an unsafe and hopeless place, we implicitly affirm that their circumstances are impossible to change. For those suffering from serious mental illness, their therapist may be the very last stop before they decide their life is not worth living.

Before I resigned, my department head encouraged therapists to cease using professional terms that are now deemed "psychologically damaging," including the term "maladaptive behavior," perceived to be judgmental towards our clients. This term could be the key to a client's mental health, as it clearly distinguishes unhealthy coping actions (such as substance abuse and self-harm) from healthy coping actions (such as social support, exercise or meditation).

This ideological environment is also impacting the students. I have seen psychology students quit working as counselors due to perceived micro-aggressions from clients or coworkers. A student justified turning in assignments late because they were "traumatized" by a debate in class, and needed a week in bed to recover. When I showed a video about a new treatment for addiction, students focused on the speaker's skin color instead of the essential content.

I am deeply concerned about those suffering from mental illness and the recent rapid rise in anxiety and depression. What I saw in my workplace makes me fear the next generation of therapists will be trained to make the problem worse. As professionals, we can successfully treat mental illness if we return to the basics: empowering therapy, adaptive coping skills and a strong support system with medication when needed, teaching learned optimism instead of learn helplessness. Show our clients our own belief that they have the power to improve their lives may be the most healing thing of all.

I'm Christine Sefein. Join me at


Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory