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A Critical Moment

Memory Wars brings you a special episode from Louisville Public Media. Many American teachers and students say it’s time to learn about our country’s legacy of racism. But some conservatives are calling these lessons indoctrination. They’ve co-opted a new label for those discussions: critical race theory.

Now, Republican politicians in Kentucky and many other states are trying to reign in classroom conversations on race. At least nine states have already banned teachers from bringing up certain topics around race. Another five have state-level action around this issue.

Even more have legislation in the works, including Kentucky. But the U.S. isn’t the only country with an unsettling history to deal with. In Germany, students are required to learn about one of their nation’s darkest chapters — the Holocaust.

In WFPL’s “ A Critical Moment, ” Arts and Culture Reporter Stephanie Wolf explores how the Holocaust is covered in German schools, and Education and Learning Reporter Jess Clark looks at how race is covered in Kentucky classrooms. The result is an unflinching look at how two countries teach about their difficult histories, and why.