A Looming Compelled Speech Fight: Could California’s Ethnic Studies Law Force High School Students To Profess White Privilege?

On October 8, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that requires all California high school students to take an ethnic studies class before they graduate high school. Many critics have called the new law an excuse to force critical race theory into school curriculums.

Critical race theory has drawn intense political and social criticism over the past few years because its most notorious versions compel the acknowledgement of “white privilege” or the acknowledgment that white people, by the very virtue of their skin color, perpetuate an evil system of discrimination against people of other skin color without regarding for their personal struggles and labors. In other words, to be white is to be evil in many formulations of the theory.

Understandably, many Americans including me vehemently object to a political ideology that deems them evil just based on their skin color. We also view the entire theory as a political shakedown for free handouts called reparations. We will never bow to a self-righteous mob’s demands for us to acknowledge our evilness by admitting “white privilege.”

California sets up an interesting showdown in its school system. If critical race theory makes its way into the public school system, I will bet that, within two or three years of it being implemented, students will be given an assignment that forces them to admit their own white privilege and discuss how they can be less evil. Someone will refuse to make that admission, and they will fail the assignment and possibly the class.

Put me on record now as saying I want to represent that person in court. The Supreme Court has emphatically established that, even during classwork, the state and a public school cannot force a student to profess beliefs with which they disagree with. The case? West Virginia mandated that students salute the American flag and recite the pledge of allegiance during their civics classes. The Supreme Court held that such a requirement violated the First Amendment because it compelled speech.

If the First Amendment protects the right to decline to pledge allegiance to the United States, it also protects the right to tell a bunch of woke, race-baiting freeloaders to take a hike.

Sooner or later, this issue will come to a head in California, and a brave student will defy a woke mob’s demands for them to acknowledge their evilness. The First Amendment says the student will win that fight. I just hope that I am the one to tell the mob to get stuffed.

Cameron L. Atkinson

Cameron Atkinson is a Christian, a published constitutional scholar, a trial and appellate lawyer, and a general hell-raiser. He has received national recognition for his victories in civil rights cases, especially in First Amendment cases. Attorney Atkinson stands out for his written advocacy, and he has taken the lead role in briefing cases to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Connecticut Supreme Court, the Connecticut Appellate Court, and multiple New York appellate courts. Attorney Atkinson has successfully represented clients facing criminal charges, including successfully arguing for the reversal of a sexual assault conviction before the Connecticut Supreme Court. He will accept requests for public speaking engagements on a case-by-case basis.

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4 Responses

  1. QU Advocate says:

    I’d like to throw down the proverbial gauntlet and grant you the attention you sought in your “scorched earth” post against QU. Pick any of the inflammatory issues you’re peddling and let me know in advance what said topic is. I’ll submit my argument and we can debate the matter on the merits. You can post our respective stances side-by-side. I will defend a liberal view and will be as forthright as possible in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of said liberal position. You can put your logic and reasoning to the test in defense of your conservative views accordingly. I’d even challenge you to put a survey at the end of your post and let your readership decide who was more convincing.

    If you’re interested, respond to this comment and let me know!

    • You’ve spent the last two to three weeks anonymously taking personal shots and now want to “grant [me] the attention [I] sought…?” Just how arrogant and self-righteous are you?

      If you have a problem with me, I am not a hard guy to find, and I don’t need to hide behind internet anonymity.

      In other words, I am not interested in a personal war with an internet troll.

      • QU Advocate says:

        Apologies if I offended you, though I am not sure what “personal shots” you’re referring to. I assumed you wrote a blog, posted your thoughts, and created merchandise with your likeness for people to buy, such that you would be heard. You also noted recently on social media you sought national fame, no? Am I incorrect that you’re looking for an audience? Or, is it that you’re looking for an audience who agrees with your views?

        In your QU post, you lamented that no one argued with you on the merits of topics, and instead insulted your mental well-being or tried to silence you. I have done no such thing. In fact, I am offering to have an academic debate with you on whichever topic you choose because I am confident I can hold my own on the merits. I didn’t realize this made me a troll. Isn’t this what you wanted (albeit, perhaps a little later than would have been ideal)?

        As for being anonymous, that’s a choice I’ve made thus far. I have no problem revealing my identity if that makes a difference to you.

  2. QU Advocate says:

    I think folks, including yourself, have been introduced to a very distorted definition of CRT – something akin to the mangled interpretation one might expect to hear on Tucker Carlson. I’d encourage you to do a little reading on the matter. Here might be a good place to start:


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