The Big Lie the Media Tells About Critical Race Theory

AP Photo/Steve Helber

After Tuesday’s elections, the press has been desperate to dishonestly spin the issue.

With a number of upsets across the country serving as a harbinger of the coming midterm elections, the nation’s media have been in overdrive trying to both makes sense of, and diminish, the import of Republican victories. Racism has been, of course, their primary excuse, as is the usual dodge. But also being pointed out frequently has been how much the issues with schools and education have been a motivator, specifically the matter of Critical Race Theory.

This divisive curriculum proposal has been both fiercely defended and denied as existing — sometimes within the same discussion on news shows. It is more than a simple contradiction; this is an organized effort to lie to the American public. This should show both how insidious the content is and how intent the authorities are in seeing its implementation, but it exposes something else — the sheer desperation in the press and their craven agenda to support one political ideology.

Let’s first look at the conflicting messages being presented. By Wednesday, there was dismay from many pundits that this policy was being rejected by voters, so the flailing was on display. One of the more amusing attempts was by the learned journos trying to insist that CRT is not even a real entity.

Yet CRT, this “conspiracy that does not exist,” was held up as the reason voters were called racist. How you can be condemned for blocking something that is not real is a mystery, since the concept of CRT being promoted is required for the parents to block in the first place. The fight to prevent it from being installed has to be preceded by the attempt to install it, which is made impossible if it supposedly does not exist, you geniuses.

But across the news outlets, a more logical but no less false claim was being made.

It was an almost compulsory item in the coverage for the newsreaders to always include in their reports that CRT is not being taught. While it is not, as yet, a national schoolwide curriculum it is, in truth, being taught in certain districts, and that very national desire is being made by the teachers and school boards. We are watching a very paradoxical argument being made; CRT is not anything legitimate, and it is required to be instituted in schools.

Virginia was of course the focus of much of the outrage, and the claims that CRT is not taught there has been the obligatory commentary.

Yet on the website of the Virginia Department of Education, we find that very topic. In a memorandum written years ago — VA DOE Memo – 050-19 — the subject matter is entitled, Resources to Support Student and Community Dialogues on Racism.

The pages are filled with directives on how schools should teach and address racial issues, such as, “We encourage division superintendents to work with your faculty and school leaders to ensure that lessons are designed with racial sensitivity and cultural competence in mind.” But this is not a tangential topic that can be alluded to being CRT — that very subject is addressed directly.

The emergence of Critical Race Theory (CRT) marked an important point in the history of racial politics in the legal academy and the broader conversation about race and racism in the United States. More recently, CRT has proven an important analytic tool in the field of education, offering critical perspectives on race, and the causes, consequences and manifestations of race, racism, inequity, and the dynamics of power and privilege in schooling. This groundbreaking anthology is the first to pull together both the foundational writings in the field and more recent scholarship on the cultural and racial politics of schooling. A comprehensive introduction provides an overview of the history and tenets of CRT in education. Each section then seeks to explicate ideological contestation of race in education and to create new, alternative accounts. In so doing, this landmark publication not only documents the progress to date of the CRT movement, it acts to further spur developments in education.

The claim that CRT is not a real desire for schools is also completely refuted by the words and actions of the educators.

In May the teachers union was pushing out its agenda in full support of getting CRT installed in schools. This cannot be denied, at least by honest reporters. They were very direct and clear on the matter, speaking on the topic with confidence it was moving forward. “Despite a legislative push to ban critical race theory, educators are committed to helping students examine the systems in which we all work and live, and help build a better future for everyone.”

Then later, it was this summer, lost in the news cycle of the July 4th holiday, was that the National Educator’s Association stepped up to approve not only the teaching of Critical Race Theory in schools, but the teachers union also called to have new staff hired to fight back against those who opposed the implementation. “The resolution promises that the NEA will oppose efforts to ban critical race theory and The 1619 Project.” Quite an undertaking if CRT is a phantom philosophy.

Even the claim that CRT is not being taught might have a bit of traction. if the press could lay claim that it has not been installed in schools yet. Some have said that it is an as-yet policy, while others try to deflect by saying CRT is only a secondary education platform, not taught in the lower grades. Except reality pierces this argument as well, as the teachers union also provides that some states have CRT in place, and it is at the K-12 levels.

They give us a map where these green states have existing ethnic studies on the books.

‘K-12 Ethnic Studies by State” Credit: National Educator’s Association EdJustice

And look at that, the claimed, uninvolved state of Virginia is included on their map, which makes the press delivering these ribald false claims appear all the more corrupt. The now obvious lies told by these practitioners who recoil at the thought they are liars, or the enemy of the people, tell the story. They have spent the week demonizing parents and declaring voters to be racist, all based on the prevarications they deliver.