By Diana Glebova
A November study from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) found that reporting on critical race theory (CRT) was “misleading, slanted, and dismissive” and regularly omitted the most controversial ways CRT has been implemented in schools.
The media’s posture seems to be filtering down even to local school districts. Many schools pay exorbitant fees for speeches from CRT consultants and sign pledges to incorporate CRT into curriculum, but refuse to answer simple questions from the public or even publicly address their intent to integrate the ideology. (RELATED: New Study: Media’s Coverage Of CRT Has Been ‘Misleading,’ ‘Slanted,’ And ‘Dismissive’)
CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through ending meritocracy and objective truth, and adopting race-based policies.
The AEI report definitively showed how legacy and education media refuse to acknowledge the hard evidence — numerous clear examples of CRT curriculum taught to students, a CRT pledge on a state website, and the political implications of parents speaking out about CRT at school boards. Far-left activists and establishment media outlets claimed — in strikingly similar language — that CRT isn’t in schools, that conservatives don’t know what CRT is and that anyone who opposes CRT is against teaching children about slavery.
The left also argues that CRT is exclusively taught at the university level, as it was developed as a legal theory by professors such as Columbia University’s Kimberlé Crenshaw. The “critical” approach has “trickled down,” however, and is now a part of the “philosophy of education-school pedagogy and administration,” wrote John McWhorter, an associate professor of linguistics at Columbia University, in the opinion section of the New York Times.
A hulking, nearly 1,500-word New York Times news article about a proposed draft of California state education policy seeking to end colorblindness in math education contained 26 hyperlinks, seven interviews, and even a shot at “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” but still managed to omit a key element of the policy’s inspiration: the rantings of an avowed CRT evangelist.
Cited in the draft policy was “Rethinking Teaching and Learning Mathematics For Social Justice From a Critical Race Perspective” from D. B. Martin, a mathematics professor at University of Illinois Chicago, and a proponent of CRT.
There are so many extreme voices in the CA curriculum. The standards cite Prof. D. B. Martin to claim a colorblind approach to math promotes inequality. If you look up Martin, he believes math education is a project of “violent white supremacy and racial capitalism.” pic.twitter.com/0BjuFaYYFI
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) November 6, 2021
Martin wrote “Equity, inclusion, and antiblackness in mathematics education” in 2017, in which he said math education is an “anti-Black space” and that “mathematical illiteracy is invented in the violence of knowledge production and in the white frames and imaginaries.” According to Martin, “students should feel empowered to refuse oppressive conditions” in math and stage walkouts “to disrupt anti-Black violence in mathematics education.”
In the aftermath of the Virginia gubernatorial election, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace claimed that CRT “isn’t real.” In one segment, CNN’s Brianna Keilar repeated that CRT is not taught in Virginia three times as Republican Florida Sen. Rick Scott literally read it off the Virginia Department of Education website live on air.
Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe claimed that CRT is not taught in Virginia, and when pressed, refused to provide a definition.
Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe suggests parents concerned about Critical Race Theory are racist, then refuses to define CRT. pic.twitter.com/MKnnb5BC4S
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 8, 2021
As Virginia Governor-elect Republican Glenn Youngkin’s office told the Daily Caller, however, Virginia’s Department of Education (DOE) itself has been pushing CRT. While McAuliffe was in office in 2015, the DOE had a presentation titled “Legal Implication of School Discipline: Street CRED (Culturally-Responsive and Equitable Discipline)” with one slide directly suggesting incorporating a “critical race theory lens” when considering whether to suspend a student.
The Virginia DOE also promotes pro-CRT content on its website in the “What We Are Reading” tab, which compiles a list of recommended reading materials from the Office of Equity and Community Engagement. The list includes titles such as “Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education” that “acts to further spur developments in education policy, critical pedagogy, and social justice, making it a crucial resource for students and educators alike,” according to its description. (RELATED: Virginia Education Department Promotes Pro-CRT Book, Despite McAuliffe’s Claims The Curricula Isn’t Taught In The State)
The principal of James River High School in Virginia, Amanda Voelker, sent out a memo to parents in July of 2020 promising to create “an equity team that will include staff, students, and the community,” according to Youngkin’s office. The memo included an article by Ohio-based educator Jamilah Pitts urging teachers to let students “apply critical lenses, such as critical race theory and Marxist theory, to the reading of news articles to allow students to think more deeply about who is being most affected and why.”
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), where parents have been the most outspoken about CRT in Virginia, paid $3,125 for “Coaching support for LCPS leaders – follow up meetings focused on Critical Race Theory Development” in May of 2020, according to information provided by Youngkin’s office. One presentation in the program was titled “Introduction to Critical Race Theory” and stated that “in CRT, racism is seen as an inherent part of American civilization, privileging White individuals over people of color in most areas of life, including education.” The presentation also stated that “whiteness can be considered a property interest.”
Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), paid overt racist and CRT’s top cleric Ibram X. Kendi, the author of “How to be an Anti-Racist,” $20,000 for an hourlong discussion in August of 2020. The district defended its decision to host Kendi, and the price tag, saying that his discussion was important for the community, according to Fox5.
In “How to be an Anti-Racist,” Kendi condemns colorblindness as a veil for racism, and says that racism is found in every point of America’s power structure and is institutionalized. He also states that “the only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
Fairfax County spent 5 figures inviting Ibram Kendi for a virtual speech…at a time when all of its schools were closed for in-person learning. I suppose people will argue this didn’t actually happen too? https://t.co/fHbRnIO3ab
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) November 6, 2021
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nardos King and Executive Director Of Communications Helen Lloyd also did not respond to emails and calls from the Daily Caller about the purpose of Kendi’s speech, the cost and whether they hoped his lessons would resonate throughout the schools’ curriculum.
Another teacher from FCPS, Sarah Kugler, posted about leading a presentation called “Decentering Whiteness in the Elementary Classroom.”
So excited for #NCTE21 and excited to share some current thinking around Decentering Whiteness in the Elementary Classroom with brilliant friends and colleagues @RavenACompton and @GraceKChoi.
Our session will be on-demand beginning Thursday, November 18! pic.twitter.com/5YHbK2YMAt
— Sara Kugler (@SaraKugler) November 11, 2021
Kugler did not respond to the Daily Caller about what the presentation will specifically include and whether similar concepts are included in her lessons as a literacy coach.
Seventy-two percent of parents said that CRT was an important factor in deciding who to vote for in the Virginia gubernatorial election, with 25% saying it was the single most important issue in their decision, according to a Fox News Voter Analysis survey. The survey polled 2,500 Virginia voters and has a margin of error of +/- 2.5%. Youngkin capitalized on the sentiment when he pledged to “rid political agendas from the classroom by banning critical race theory” in Virginia in his first day in office.
The trend of outright denial despite contrary evidence is national. In Minnesota, Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips also claimed that “critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools or high schools,” in a CNN interview.
Eighty teachers in Minnesota signed a pledge in August of 2021 to continue teaching the idea that that America “was founded on dispossession of Native Americans, slavery, structural racism and oppression; and structural racism is a defining characteristic of our society today.”
Only one teacher who signed the pledge would respond to request for comment, but refused to get into specifics about how she plans to implement the CRT pledge into her lessons.
“Nice try, troll,” Leah Hood, social studies teacher from Lakeville Public Schools, wrote back simply.
Phillips’ own website recommends a list of books including “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo and Kendi’s “How to be an Anti-Racist.” It also recommends a list of anti-racist books that white parents should talk about with their children.
Phillips’ campaign team did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment at the time of publication.
Investigative journalist Christopher Rufo, who has documented the presence of CRT in schools and the state’s legislation pushing back on it, told the Daily Caller, “[Legacy media and Democrats] have a schizophrenic strategy: they deny the existence of critical race theory one minute, while arguing that it is essential for teaching history the next. The reality is that they are forced to adopt this absurd position because they cannot defend critical race theory on the merits. It’s deeply unpopular and traffics in the ugly rhetoric race essentialism and collective guilt. So they whipsaw between denial and deflection. Eventually, the voters will punish them, both for their racialist ideology and for their utter dishonesty.”
Rufo said he understands why so few teachers are willing to speak up or resist these racist ideas.
“[They’re] scared,” he told the Daily Caller. “Speaking out against critical race theory is to violate a social taboo. They are scared of public denunciation, losing their jobs, and getting attacked by left-wing activists. That’s why our reporting is so important: we give a voice to those who are too scared to speak for themselves. We are their champions.”