DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds signed HF 802, a bill that prohibits racial and sex stereotyping and scapegoating as part of diversity training offered by local governments, public school districts, and public institutions of higher learning.
“Critical Race Theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education. It teaches kids that we should judge others based on race, gender or sexual identity, rather than the content of someone’s character,” Reynolds said in a released statement. “I am proud to have worked with the legislature to promote learning, not discriminatory indoctrination.”
“Race and sex stereotyping” in diversity training is defined in the new law as:
- Ascribing character traits, values, moral and ethical codes, status, or beliefs to a race or sex, or to an individual because of the individual’s race or sex.
- Assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or sex, or to members of a race or sex because of their race or sex, or claiming that, consciously or unconsciously, and by virtue of persons’ race or sex, members of any race are inherently racist or are inherently inclined to oppress others, or that members of a sex are inherently sexist or inclined to oppress others.
HF 802 explicitly prohibits certain “specifically defined concepts” from diversity training unless their discussion is required for context.
- That one race or sex is inherently better than another race or sex.
- That the United States or the state of Iowa is fundamentally racist or sexist
- By virtue of the individual’s race or sex, an individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
- That an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race or sex
- That members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex.
- That an individual’s race or sex necessarily determines an individual’s moral character.
- By virtue of their race or sex, an individual bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
- That any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of that individual’s race or sex
- That meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.
The Iowa House initially passed the bill on March 16 by a 59 to 38 vote. The Iowa Senate amended and passed it on April 28, 30 to 18. The Iowa House passed again 53 to 35 on May 6. The vote in both chambers split along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor of the legislation and Democrats voting against it.