My life will forever be impacted by a black boy and two white boys. These boys are the reason why I have grown to hate critical race theory (CRT), which has become a hot topic in my school district.
Last semester, as a sixth-grader at a public school, my history teacher told me, along with other students, that because my skin is white, I am “privileged and considered an oppressor.” It made me feel sad because my friends and I are not mean or oppressors.
The only way any of us are privileged is because we get to live in America and work hard for what we want in life, regardless of the color of our skin.
I learned the value of education early through my aunt, a public school teacher. My aunt served children in South Dallas at the Reach for Hope Homework Center. She knew that children, given the right support and education, could create brighter futures for themselves. I loved going to volunteer there with my mom and grandmother.
One of my favorite memories at the Homework Center was during the Christmas season when I was 5 years old. I had a blast watching everyone open their presents. But my buddy, who was a few years older than me, noticed I didn’t have any presents to open, so he gave me one of his. He didn’t consider my skin color — I was white and he was black. He just saw that I was without and wanted me to feel like I belonged.
Now, my buddy is in his senior year of high school and is doing really well, thanks to all his hard work. He and many other kids from the Homework Center will be among the first in their families to attend college because someone cared enough to support them academically.
It breaks my heart to think someone could be teaching children and teenagers they are oppressed or victims because of the color of their skin. My buddy taught me that no matter our background or circumstances, we can all work hard and become overcomers.
A few years later, the lesson my Homework Center buddy taught me became even more real and even more important. Our family became a foster family and we welcomed children of all races and backgrounds into our home. Through foster care, we met and adopted my two little brothers.
Quickly, our family learned my brothers came from a very troubled background, as do many children in the foster care system. It was so sad to see how far behind my brothers were academically.
However, our amazing community rallied behind our entire family. Teachers provided tutoring. The police and fire departments invited my brothers to their stations to let them see that our public servants are not to be feared and that they are here to help. I always knew our town was great, but it became real watching the outpouring of selfless love for my brothers.
You see, my brothers, who are white, were just as disadvantaged as my buddy at the Homework Center. And, with help, they were just as able to overcome their challenges.
Recently, our town has been accused of being systematically racist. This is the same town that generously donated to the Homework Center and supported our family after adopting my brothers. I have spent countless hours educating myself about CRT and have pledged to fight this attempt to indoctrinate my friends the best that I can. During that history lesson last semester, I spoke up and told my teacher I disagreed. I have also spoken at a school board meeting and have attended political meet-and-greets.
Critical race theory can cause long-term issues for society as there is no end goal other than to divide people.
My parents and I chose to switch from public school to homeschool earlier this year so I can focus on studying what truly matters, not political ideology. But I am hopeful because I have watched our community lock arms to keep this harmful ideology from infiltrating our schools. I have listened to my mom and her friends as they advocate for all students at school board meetings. It has been a long, hard fight in our town for students, but we are making amazing progress.
I am thankful for people like my aunt and my brothers’ teachers, who empower children and teenagers instead of teaching them to believe all that CRT implies.
I am thankful for the opportunity to truly learn the value of my education and the importance of always seeing character over color.
Most of all, I am thankful for that one black boy who is now a man, my buddy from the Homework Center, and those two white boys, my brothers. My life will forever be impacted by them. They taught me that we can all overcome any obstacle because we are Americans.
Ty McCurry is a twelve-year-old seventh grader in Southlake, Texas.
Originally published on The Christian Post
(c) The Christian Post, used with permission