Critical Race Theory: the ‘Banning Books’ Narrative Is a Red Herring

AP Photo/Steven Senne

The Critical Race Theory (CRT) debate has taken a new turn, with progressives employing a new tactic to defend teachers using concepts from the theory and other forms of wokeism in their classrooms. First, they attempted to gaslight the nation into believing that problematic material was not being taught to students. Then, they tried deceptively claiming that CRT is just about teaching accurate history. But now, even though some are still using the first two tactics, another one has emerged.

Now, progressives are attempting to distract from the issue by claiming conservatives are just using the matter to ban books and erase black history from the curriculum. Since Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s victory last November, the left has claimed parents who oppose the teaching of far-left ideas on race in class are just trying to ban books.

CNN media activist Joe Lockhart tweeted:

The same people screaming about Joe Rogan’s right to express himself are banning books in our schools. What a country.

Media activist Molly Jong-Fast did the same:

You can’t be against cancel culture but for banning books, that’s actually canceling culture.

Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change also chimed in:

The Republican agenda isn’t about “critical race theory.” It’s about banning Black history, and therefore banning American history.

To be fair, some on the right have taken actions that lent credibility to the claims of folks on the left. Last year, some members of the Tennessee chapter of conservative group Moms for Liberty appeared to be trying to ban certain history books, including some that told the story of Ruby Bridges. The Williamson Herald reported:

Moms for Liberty claims in its complaint that reading materials used in the Wit & Wisdom curriculum are not age appropriate, including texts in a nine-week second grade module titled “Civil Rights Heroes” that include “Separate is Never Equal” by Duncan Tonatiuh, “Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington” by Frances E. Ruffin, “Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story” by Ruby Bridges, “The Story of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles and the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr.

While the group’s complaint mentions the book, it does not actually call for banning them. Indeed, much of their complaints are related to how the material was taught. But it is also worth noting that this is the only real example the left has tried to use in their bid to push their “book banning” narrative.

Some outlets have even claimed Tennessee’s anti-CRT law would prohibit the teaching of black history. Even PolitiFact rated this claim as “Mostly False.”

The reality is that the “book banning” narrative doesn’t exactly hold water. The fact of the matter remains the same: Parents and conservatives pushing back against CRT and other forms of wokeism being infused into K-12 curriculum are not attempting to ban books or erase black history. They are opposing attempts to indoctrinate their children into hard-leftist ideology, plain and simple.

The hard truth for the left is that people are not on board with CRT. Several polls revealed most Americans do not have favorable attitudes toward the theory. The situation has become so bleak for them that even high-profile leftists like Dr. Ibram X. Kendi promoting ideas derived from CRT have attempted to distance themselves from the theory. RedState’s Bonchie explained:

That’s the cynical game here. Conservatives fight CRT and have success doing so. Then Kendi and the like claim that what conservatives are fighting isn’t what they promote. Yet, anyone who has read his book knows that’s not true, and it is telling that Kendi feels the need to make this faux distinction now. That’s not something he’d do if he thought he was winning the argument.

It can be no wonder, then, that the left would develop a new tactic to wage against people who oppose teaching wokeism in the classroom. But, like the other strategies they have used, it seems destined to crash and burn. What will they try next?


Trending on RedState Videos