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This is exactly how stupid our politics got

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“There is no place for critical race theory in our school system, and why on day one I’m going to ban it,” Youngkin told Fox News’ Mark Levin over the weekend, adding that Critical Race Theory “teaches children to see everything through a race lens, then to break them into buckets and have children [who] are called privileged and others [who] are victims. “

This focus has dissipated on GOP voters, many of whom name education – and critical race theory, in particular – as the main problem with the campaign. But, what does CRT actually mean? Well, those same voters seem to have a hard time answering that question.

“Getting back to the basics of teaching children, not teaching them critical race theory,” he replies.

Then he was asked what critical race theory is, you know.

“I’m not going to go into detail because I don’t understand it that much, but it’s something – the little that I know – I don’t care,” he replies. Pushed further to all details about CRT, he replies, “I don’t have a lot of knowledge on this, but it’s something I don’t like.”

Which, well, that’s true. If you need an example of how stupid American politics are right now, here it is.

For the record, here’s what Critical Race Theory really is – courtesy of Education Week:

“Critical Race Theory is an academic concept that is over 40 years old. The central idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not simply the product of prejudice or individual prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies … A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas considered to be of low financial risk, often explicitly in because of the racial makeup of the inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to blacks in these areas. “

And here’s another helpful explanation via Brookings:

“CRT does not attribute racism to whites as individuals or even to entire groups of people. In layman’s terms, critical race theory states that America’s social institutions (e.g., the criminal justice system, the education system, the labor market, the housing market and the health care system) are steeped in racism rooted in laws, regulations, rules and procedures that lead to different outcomes depending on race. “

The basic idea is that racism is systemic in many American institutions – and that by recognizing this reality, we can work to overcome it.

It’s not new or particularly new, but it suddenly became a burning issue for the Conservatives – in large part thanks to Fox News’ decision to put it at the center of their daily programming.
In June, Florida banned the teaching of CRT in its public schools – Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis insisting via Twitter that it “teaches children to hate our country and to hate each other. This is state-sanctioned racism and has no place in Florida schools.”
A few months earlier, Idaho had banned any teaching that “individuals, by reason of their sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or national origin, are inherently responsible for” acts committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity. , religion, color or national origin. “

To be clear: there can be serious discussion – and disagreement – about the best ways to teach our children about race and racism. It is a legitimate debate. That’s not what we have in this country right now.

Instead, we have conservative media – and politicians – mistakenly suggesting that the CRT is teaching white children that they are bad and that they are to blame for the racial problems in the country. And, unfortunately, people don’t do any research to understand the basics of what CRT is and what it really is.

Which leads to interviews like the one above: A man who says CRT is the biggest issue in the race for governor but has no idea what CRT really is.



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