As more school districts and states push back against efforts to include critical race theory lessons in public and private education, recent polling shows how deeply unpopular teaching these concepts are across the political spectrum. Rather than reflecting on what said polling means, the left blames Trump.
The culture war’s intrusion into the classroom has become increasingly unpopular according to new polling data shared exclusively with National Journal, with over two-thirds of respondents opposing curriculum that says “America remains structurally racist” and 75% of respondents disapproving of schools teaching students “there is no such thing as biological sex, only gender preference.”
- Despite this, New York state’s Board of Regents is urging local school districts to create new curriculum that includes emphasis on race and equity so that “all students benefit when schools focus on diversity, equity and inclusion”.
- While New York pushes for more race-based lessons, Texas is one of several states considering legislation banning critical race theory instruction and lessons based on the New York Times’ (academically-flawed) 1619 Project from public classrooms.
- The president of Ohio’s School Board Association was forced to resign Monday after he criticized publications by the school district for which he serves that included “columns, poetry, and discussions about diversity”, which he compared to “Nazi education” and said there was “no evidence of systemic racism.”
- Academic linguist, commentator, and provocateur John McWhorter recently explained how using the term “systemic racism” is unhelpful, particularly in reference to education inequalities, saying “the usage of the term is more rhetorical bludgeon than a simple term of reference” as a means to browbeat opponents into submission.
- The Atlantic characterized the popular pushback to race-based curriculum as an attack on free speech while criticizing whistleblower Christopher Rufo for writing about race-based training sessions in local and federal governments, and blamed Trump for the proliferation of state legislation banning the use of critical race theory.
- NBC News blamed Trump for states looking to ban critical race theory lesson plans, saying his executive order to end its use in the federal bureaucracy is the basis for it, while NBC News provided a biased opinion on the (again, academically-flawed) 1619 Project that proposes America’s true founding was in 1619 when the first slaves were brought to the American continent.
- Typically left-wing Newsweek provided space in its opinion section to conservative commentator Dana Loesch who offered advice to parents on how to organize against race-based curricula and school policies, while also publishing an op-ed from a pair of leaders from Parents Defending Education who say the push for “culturally responsive school systems” and the expensive consultants espousing it are taking education policy out of the hands of school boards.
- The Washington Examiner reported on the banning of specific curricula and diversity trainings for Iowa businesses, institutions, and schools, prohibiting ten concepts including the notion that the United States is “fundamentally or systematically racist or sexist”, noting Idaho’s state government passed similar legislation days before.
- The Jewish Voice wrote about a letter written by parent Andrew Gutmann, whose child was subject to “indoctrination” about race at one of New York City’s most elite private schools, and the support Gutmann is receiving from parents and educators from across the nation while lamenting how quickly critical race theory has become embedded in American education.
- The editors of National Review celebrated states like Idaho for pushing back against critical race theory, which it says “leads to rank racialism”, saying it “shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nation’s schools” and that there is room for “sober reflection and instruction about the legacy of racism” in education but that critical race theory is the wrong avenue.
The value of adding critical race theory to public education curricula aside, whenever faced with the fact one of their ideas is unpopular, the left will always retreat to blaming Trump. Border crisis? Blame Trump. Vaccine hesitancy? Blame Trump. Americans are uncomfortable with a theory that says the greatest nation in the history of nations is irredeemably racist and white people must feel guilty? Blame Trump.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021