ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A big debate is expected to take place Monday night at the Anne Arundel County Council meeting in Annapolis as a conservative council member is pushing new legislation to define "discrimination" which could block county funding for programs like critical race theory.
Nathan Volke says Anne Arundel County needs to clearly spell out what "discrimination" means and cites critical race theory as an example of discrimination.
Volke tells FOX 5 his bill would block funds being spent on any discriminatory program, not just critical race theory.
"At times, ideas associated with critical race theory can be discriminatory and are not positive for the future of our county," Volke says. "So ultimately that's where I believe these people are latching on who are opposed and saying, ‘This is an ‘anti-critical race theory bill.’ It’s not. When you read the bill, it’s a non-discrimination measure."
Critical race theory is a political flashpoint in local governments and school boards which aims to re-interpret racial history in the U.S. with a central viewpoint that all institutions are inherently racist.
Volke's bill is opposed by civil rights groups in Anne Arundel County who tell FOX 5 it is divisive, inflammatory, uninformed and seeks to suppress a wider understanding of racism.
"He’s telling us he’s got a piece of legislation that’s supposed to be designed to bring people together when it does just the opposite," says Carl Snowden of the Anne Arundel Caucus of African American Leaders. "So groups ranging from the Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce to the NAACP are opposing this legislation."
Anne Arundel County Public Schools have said that critical race theory is not part of their curriculum and they are concerned that the language of this bill could interfere with the independence of public schools.
There will be public comment at Monday's council meeting. It appears the bill may not have support on the council to pass.