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Ricketts, 22 senators among those endorsing resolution to curb critical race theory at UNL
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Ricketts, 22 senators among those endorsing resolution to curb critical race theory at UNL

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Twenty-six elected officials signed a letter to the University of Nebraska's Board of Regents urging the governing body to stop imposing critical race theory on students.

Sent on Gov. Pete Ricketts' letterhead, the letter was signed by Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, Treasurer John Murante and Auditor Charlie Janssen — all Republicans — as well as 22 state senators.

The letter asks NU's governing body to adopt a resolution from Regent Jim Pillen of Columbus opposing "any imposition of critical race theory" in NU's curriculum when the board meets Friday.

Regents to give Carter a $140K performance bonus, consider critical race theory resolution

"This resolution simply seeks to prevent the imposition of CRT on students, so the university can protect student voices and academic freedom," the letter states.

"It does not prevent discussion of CRT just as other diverse philosophies, religions and perspectives discussed every day on campus," it adds.

Critical race theory has been taught in law schools and at the graduate level for decades as a framework to examine systemic inequities stemming from racial discrimination.

Ricketts' letter, however, claims "while the broader public only recently become familiar with CRT, we believe it poses a unique and imminent threat to students, our state and our university system."

The letter also takes aim at UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green, who formed a committee last summer following nationwide protests for racial justice to reexamine the university's policies and curriculum.

"Our taxpayer dollars are being used to push CRT at the University of Nebraska right now," the letter says. "Last summer, the University of Nebraska declared it was also going on an 'antiracist' and 'equity' journey led by UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green."

The Journey for Antiracism and Racial Equity, as the committee he formed is called, which published a letter critical of Pillen's resolution, was also targeted in Ricketts' letter, for suggesting the resolution opposing critical race theory could embolden white supremacists, including the KKK.

Pillen, who announced his run for governor in February, asked the board to adopt the  resolution more than a month ago. 

In the weeks since, NU's administrationfacultystudent-athletes, student governments and others have all opposed or criticized the resolution. 

Along with the four statewide office holders, the letter was signed by Speaker Mike Hilgers as well as Sens. Joni Albrecht, John Arch, Bruce Bostelman, Tom Brandt, Tom Brewer, Tom Briese, Robert Clements, Myron Dorn, Steve Erdman, Curt Friesen, Suzanne Geist, Tim Gragert, Mike Groene, Steve Halloran, Ben Hansen, Dan Hughes, Brett Lindstrom, John Lowe, Dave Murman, Rita Sanders and Julie Slama.

Former governor scolds UNL's Green over opposition to critical race theory resolution
NU's student governments call on regents to reject critical race theory proposal

Reach the writer at 402-473-7223 or awegley@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @andrewwegley. 

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