The president of the nation’s second-largest teachers union is strongly standing against recent laws that restrict public schools from teaching about racism.

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a speech Tuesday that she is prepared to protect teachers against backlash “for teaching honest history” and is assembling a “legal defense fund" to defame this cultural campaign against the critical race theory.

The theory is a 40-year-old academic concept that asserts racism as a social construct that is woven into history and shapes legal systems and policies.

"Teaching the truth is not radical or wrong," Weingarten told union members during her virtual address.

In her remarks, Weingarten pointed out that critical race theory is not taught at elementary, middle and high schools. The theory is taught only in law school and in college, she noted.

Numerous state legislatures are debating bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom. Republican lawmakers argue this area of study is based on Marxism and is a threat to the country.

But scholars say that it explores the ways in which the history of inequality and racism continues to impact American society, CNN noted.

Kimberle Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and a UCLA and Columbia University law professor, touched o the importance of understanding race in American history.

"Critical race theory attends not only to law's transformative role which is often celebrated, but also to its role in establishing the very rights and privileges that legal reform was set to dismantle," Crenshaw told CNN in May.

The American Historical Association released a statement in June opposing the legislative efforts against discussions of racism in schools and colleges.

"To ban the tools that enable those discussions is to deprive us all of the tools necessary for citizenship in the twenty-first century," the group said. "A white-washed view of history cannot change what happened in the past."