One month after signing an anti-LGBTQ law that bans trans kids from playing on school sports teams that match their gender identity, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed a racist law that bans state universities from using “divisive” educational materials that might cause “discomfort” among students.
In a statement issued yesterday, Noem said, “No student or teacher should have to endorse Critical Race Theory in order to attend, graduate from, or teach at our public universities. College should remain a place where freedom of thought and expression are encouraged, not stifled by political agendas.”
The new law lists seven “divisive concepts” that are now outlawed from being included in mandatory trainings for college students or faculty members at public universities in South Dakota:
- That any race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior;
- That individuals should be discriminated against or adversely treated because of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin;
- That an individual’s moral character is inherently determined by their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin;
- That an individual, by virtue of their race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously;
- That individuals, by virtue of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin, are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin;
- An individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s race, color, religion, ethnicity, or national origin; or
- Meritocracy or traits such as a strong work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race or sex to oppress members of another race or sex.
Noem joins two other Republican governors who have signed similar legislation in their states: Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Ron DeSantis of Florida, who is currently mulling over whether to sign that homophobic “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law as well. Coincidentally, all three are rumored to be considering 2024 presidential runs.
But the GOP’s assault on education and teaching tolerance and acceptance in public schools and universities doesn’t stop there. All across the country, Republican lawmakers have been working to ban books that deal with LGBTQ issues from libraries.
Last week in Texas, 26 Republicans signed a statement calling the graphic novel “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe “pornography” and demanding school districts do a better job filtering out “explicit materials for children.” And last month in Tennessee, the state’s Republican supermajority introduced legislation that would criminally charge librarians if they provide access to “pornography and inappropriate content in books” to kids.
Continuing with her crusade of bigotry, the other day, Noem tweeted about that transphobic bill she signed into law last month, writing: “In South Dakota, we believe in protecting women’s sports. That’s why as Governor, I signed the strongest bill in the nation to defend fairness in women’s sports. If our national leaders truly cared about equality, men would not be competing with women in women’s sports.”
In South Dakota, we believe in protecting women’s sports.
That’s why as Governor, I signed the strongest bill in the nation
to defend fairness in women’s sports.
If our national leaders truly cared about equality, men would not be competing with women in women’s sports.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) March 18, 2022
Now, some responses…
Noem – “We should figure out why depression is so high for trans-youth”
Also Noem – Calls trans-women “men” pic.twitter.com/htUXHEE7GC
— DustyBookKeeper (@DustyKeeper) March 18, 2022
Its not about sports,its about the rights of transgender people,
We all know it.
— mato iyotakiye (@iyotakiye) March 18, 2022
Truly the dilemma of our times! I’m glad you spent your time in power solving it! /s
— Paul Vogl (@PaulVogl) March 18, 2022
If you really believe in protecting women’s sports you would ensure women’s sports have the same resources as men’s sports.
— Jennifer Selken (@selkenjr) March 19, 2022
There has only been one transgender girl compete in high school sports in SD the past 10 years. One. And your HS Athletics Association says she didn’t have an unfair advantage.
Just more far right base pandering.
— Clark (@Clark408) March 18, 2022
Protecting the sport? Why don’t you get onboard with protecting women?
— Liti 🌻💙 💛 (@TeriCAdams) March 18, 2022
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.