A controversial bill mandating that all public schools teach Asian-American history is heading to the governor’s desk in Illinois after the state legislature passed it, as reported by Politico.
On Monday, the bill passed the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 108-10, having previously passed through the Illinois Senate by a unanimous vote. Governor J.B. Pritzker (D-Ill.) plans to sign the bill into law, setting up for all public schools in the state to be required to teach Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history in the 2022-2023 academic year.
The bill, formally known as the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act, or TEAACH, was introduced by State Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Ill.) back in 2020, where it was ultimately shelved so that the state could focus solely on responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Gong-Gershowitz described her gratefulness for “support from the Asian-American community and from the non-Asian community.”
Her cosponsor, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Ill.) recalled his experiences growing up as “an Asian kid in a mostly Caucasian class,” and then as “an Asian-American youth in a mostly African-American class,” which he said led to “a struggle to figure out who I was.”
The bill’s premise is built upon the conspiracy theory that there has been a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes following the outbreak of the coronavirus, which originated in China, and with many on the Left attributing this alleged trend to white Americans. Statistics do not support these claims, and in fact show that many of the most prolific hate crimes against Asians are carried out by African-Americans and other minorities. Nevertheless, the Left pushed a social media campaign called “Stop Asian Hate,” claiming that America was founded on racism against Asians and that Asians played a larger role in the country’s foundation than has previously been taught.