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Republican state officials in Louisiana ask lawmakers to ban the study of racism at universities, citing divisive ‘inglorious aspects’ of US history

Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Louis Gurvich speaks to the state GOP's governing body, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.Republican Party of Louisiana Chairman Louis Gurvich speaks to the state GOP’s governing body, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Baton Rouge, La.

Melinda Deslatte/AP

  • The Louisiana GOP wants to prohibit the study of racism at state colleges and universities.
  • A GOP resolution, seen by NOLA.com, claimed the “inglorious aspects” of American history were too divisive.
  • It comes amid a nationwide GOP effort to scrub race issues from public schools and public life.

Republican officials in Louisiana are proposing a ban on teaching about racism at the state’s higher education institutions — the latest move amid a wave of legislation across the country aimed at legislating curriculum in the nation’s classrooms. 

GOP Party officials in the state want Louisiana lawmakers to prohibit the study of racism at colleges and universities, claiming the “inglorious aspects” of American history are too divisive, according to NOLA.com, which cites a GOP resolution on the matter. 

The state GOP leadership also wants to nix diversity, equity, and inclusion departments at colleges and universities, claiming without evidence that such agencies stir political tensions on campuses and have overgenerous budgets, NOLA.com reported. A third of Louisiana residents are Black, according to the US Census Bureau.

A spokesperson for the Republican Party of Louisiana (LAGOP), which lauds “limited government” and “the rights of the people,” did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on Sunday. 

The Louisiana GOP’s effort comes as dozens of states have proposed legislation that would prohibit DEI offices and training, diversity statements, and identity preferences in hiring and admissions. The Republican effort follows attempts to stop the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which is a legal approach taught largely in graduate schools, and policies that address race in general from various aspects of public life. 

According to NOLA.com, the GOP resolution argued that “DEI bureaucracies” act as “divisive ideological commissariats,” criticizing programs at LSU and the University of Louisiana System. The resolution specifically named a UL system administrator, criticizing her for putting resources towards DEI efforts, NOLA.com reported. 

That drew a response from the University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson, who said the claims in the GOP resolution were “so foreign to the reality at our institutions it defies comment,” per NOLA.com. 

“We make no statement on the inner workings and platform development of political parties. That is their business,” Henderson said, per NOLA.com. “That said, the naming of an invaluable member of my staff is unnecessary and inappropriate.”

The outlet reported that the resolution passed by voice vote at the state party’s quarterly meeting in Baton Rouge, which was the southern city that had the first bus boycott in 1953 to protest segregation.

The resolution also appeared to fly in the face of statewide efforts to improve access to education. Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education, said the Board of Regents stands by its programming.

“Programs that support student success and strengthen a sense of belonging on campus and in the wider community are important and impactful, yielding positive results in student completion,” Reed told NOLA.com.

Reed and other state education leaders are currently spearheading an initiative to expand access to higher education with a goal of doubling the number of working adults with postsecondary degrees by 2030, according to The Advocate

Read the original article on Business Insider