Eight special guests will accompany first lady Jill Biden to her husband’s State of the Union address Tuesday, including one educator who has frequently advocated for teaching Critical Race Theory, which proposes that racism is systemic in America, in schools.
Melissa Isaac, founder of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Project AWARE Program and the “Gizhwaasod,” or “Protector of the Young” at the Michigan Department of Education’s Indigenous Education Initiative, has repeatedly slammed arguments against the teaching of CRT on social media.
In a June 2021 tweet, Isaac wrote: “1/2 The argument against teaching Critical Race Theory is a smokescreen. Let’s call it for what it is CENSORSHIP. That’s what we’re really talking about. Censoring systemic racism, injustice, and inequality will NOT ungay the gay, unqueer the queen, nor will it reduce the ….”
In a second tweet, she added: “number of BIPOC people killed by police brutality. It will not keep my Indigenous sisters from going Missing and being Murdered, and it definitely won’t kill the Indian to save the man…..We are still here.”
The same month, she hit at Republicans in Lansing, Michigan who looked to get CRT banned from local schools.
“Apparently this is a GOP effort sweeping across the nation. It is showing up by “Mt. Pleasant Patriots” at the MPPS Board of Education Meeting. There is a vast difference between what Critical Race Theory is and what the intention is. The goal seems to be the “banishment” of concepts like systemic racism, marginalized populations and inequity taught in schools,” she posted on Facebook.
“Think about WHY they would want this. Why don’t they want our kids to think critically and question everything? Why don’t they want people to have the ability to have minds of their own?”
In March of the same year, Isaac praised a “Tribal Critical Race Theory” authored by Bryan Brayboy, the President’s Professor in the School of Social Transformation at Arizona State University.
“I’m a huge fan of his Tribal Critical Race Theory!” she wrote in a Facebook post, linking to a career update for Brayboy.
In announcing Isaac as a guest, the White House touted her membership of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and role in the Michigan Department of Education.
“Most recently, Isaac worked as the Director of Education for the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. As an elementary school teacher at Saginaw Chippewa Academy (SCA), Isaac recognized the need to support the mental health of her students and their families,” the White House said.
Isaac and the first lady met in October of last year during a listening session “focused on youth mental health with members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, educators, and families in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.”
Other guests of the First Lady during Tuesday’s address include Ukraine Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova, Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, and 13-year-old Virginia student Joshua Davis, who is diabetic.