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STATEMENT - A plea to the Iowa Legislature: Dismiss Racist Legislation

A legislator in the Iowa House recently introduced a racist bill called House File 222, which would prohibit schools from using any U.S. history curriculum derived from the NY Times “1619 Project,” or any similar curriculum. It would reduce school aid for any school that uses such a curriculum. The bill claims, incorrectly, that the Pulitzer Prize-winning project “attempts to deny or obfuscate the fundamental principles upon which the United States was founded.”

The following is a statement from Beth Barnhill, Executive Director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault:

Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities have rightfully voiced their outrage over numerous racist and white supremacist bills introduced by elected officials within the Iowa Legislature. These bills, including the egregious and offensive House File 222, cause harm to communities of color In Iowa.

As a coalition against sexual assault, we must take an active stance on bills that perpetuate racism and violence. Sexual violence has been used as a tool of racist oppression throughout history, from the enslavement of Black African people, throughout the post-civil war Jim Crow era, and all the way to present day.

So, we cannot in good conscience simply stand by and ignore the efforts of some Iowa policymakers who would use their power at the Iowa Capitol to try to enforce racist legislation. We will oppose House File 222 at the Statehouse, and all other bills that are rooted in white supremacy, racism, and oppression.


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