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Conservatives Are Crushing Progressives on the Debate Over Critical Race Theory

AP Photo/Steven Senne

First, they tried to tell us teachers were not presenting ideas inspired by critical race theory (CRT) in K-12 classrooms. Some are still parroting that lie. But since that particular falsehood has been exposed, others have pivoted to defending it and trying to deceive the public into believing all the fuss over CRT is about teaching America’s true history. But unfortunately for the woke crowd, the country isn’t falling for it according to a brand-spanking-new poll.

An Economist/YouGov poll conducted between May 15 and 17 among 1,500 adults found that most Americans do not hold a favorable view of critical race theory. The survey asked respondents if they had heard of CRT, whether they understand what it is, and how they feel about the theory.

About 72 percent of respondents indicated they had heard of CRT at least “a little[,] while only 26% said they hadn’t heard about the theory at all. Interestingly enough, white college graduates had the highest percentage (52 percent) of those who said they heard of the theory “a lot.” Democrats, Republicans, and Independents each heard about the theory at equal rates.

The survey found that about 61 percent of respondents indicated they have “a good idea of what critical race theory is,” while 21 percent answered “no.” The rest said they were not sure. Again, college-educated white respondents had the highest percentage (74 percent) of those who said they know what CRT is. About 52 percent of blacks and Hispanics answered in the affirmative. An equal percentage (64 percent) of Democrats and Republicans said they know what CRT is, while 59 percent of Independents also answered in the affirmative.

When it comes to opinions on CRT, about 45 percent of participants indicated they have a “somewhat” or “very” favorable view of the theory. But 52 percent said they have a “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable view of the theory. Not surprisingly, attitudes toward the theory fell along party lines, with only 14 percent of Democrats having a negative perception of CRT compared to 88 percent of Republicans who have the same view. But probably the most noteworthy finding is that 64 percent of Independents said they have a “somewhat” or “very” unfavorable view toward the theory.

That last statistic is telling. Only about a third of Independents had a positive view of critical race theory, despite efforts by Democrats and the activist media to spin it into just another right-wing bogeyman. It shows definitively that conservatives actually have the upper hand in this particular messaging war. 2022 seems to be an anomaly in this regard – this is not the only rhetorical battle the right is winning at the moment.

It is worth noting that while many indicated they know what CRT is, the survey did not gauge whether their beliefs were accurate. One thing I’ve found from engaging in this debate so frequently over the past year is that many on both sides don’t truly have a grasp on what the theory is and what ideas it has inspired. However, this does not necessarily mean the results are not useful. People might not know precisely what the theory teaches, but when they see the outworkings of CRT materializing in their small children’s classrooms, they know one thing: They don’t like it.

The result of this poll also demonstrates the progressives’ “it’s just about teaching history” line isn’t fooling anyone. If Democrats and their close friends and allies in the activist media were successful at deceiving the public into thinking the debate is over teaching black history, the overwhelming majority of Independents and at least most Republicans would support it.

Why?

Because everyone wants all of America’s history taught – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I recently discussed this matter with Tim Barton from Wallbuilders on my podcast recently and he laid out the differences between presenting CRT in the classroom and teaching authentic American history. People want the country’s history taught accurately, without a bias designed to advance an agenda – and that’s the problem progressives are having. It is abundantly obvious to the rest of the public that they are not trying to ensure accurate history is being taught; instead, they seek to push a pedagogy designed to cast America in a wholly negative light. The problem is that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed what they are doing — and parents aren’t too happy about it.

The findings of this poll are a positive sign for the right. Public opinion is on our side. But it won’t matter if we do not continue to fight back against the progressive agenda in the classroom. It will take more than just banning the theory. While they push for Marxist ideas in the classroom, we must find ways to shield our children from their indoctrination efforts.

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