It is no surprise that MSNBC would yet again attack conservatives for opposing their radical education agenda. On Monday night’s episode of The ReidOut, host Joy Reid and critical race theory founder Kimberlé Crenshaw ranted about the GOP’s “freak-out” and “call to arms” over the highly controversial topic.
Reid began the segment by showing a clip of Republican leaders speaking at a Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference about the danger of teaching critical race theory. Instead of analyzing the effects of teaching such radical ideas or the actual reasons behind the recent criticisms, Reid declared:
In a typical leftist fashion, without evidence, Reid smeared conservative parents as liars for saying kids are taught critical race theory in schools. She even attacked parents for addressing their concerns to school boards, claiming they are activists not just parents: “…A lot of these parents that are showing up at school boards inveighing against their children being taught that they’re racist, it turns out they are actually Republican activists, not just regular old parents.” It is obvious her concern is that parents are finally standing up against radical leftist policies and fighting for the sake of their child’s education because she would have no problem with any form of progressive activism. Reid also failed to recognize that since education is a state and local issue, parents have every right to attend school board meetings.
Crenshaw weighed in with her opinion on the right’s fight against critical race theory: “It is a backlash effort to reverse the racial reckoning unlike any we have seen in our lifetime.” She warned viewers that the “anti-racism as racist” framework will win again and urged them to “wake up and have a sense of what is at stake.”
Earlier in the segment, Crenshaw admitted she wanted CRT to be taught in even more schools. This statement proves that the ultimate goal of the left is to promote their policies as the truth and silence any conservative voices who speak out against them.
7:33 p.m. EST
JOY REID: Some of you may be wondering, what’s the deal with the GOP freak-out over critical race theory? It’s everywhere and was even used as a GOP call to arms at a conservative Christian conference last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): The old Marxism used economics to gain control. The new Marxism, the new Marxism uses identity politics. And the result is something that looks nothing like America. There’s no reason to believe that this new Marxism will result in anything but what the old Marxism resulted in.
MIKE PENCE: Critical race theory is racist, pure, and simple. And it should be rejected by every American of every race.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): And let me tell you right now, critical race theory is bigoted, it is a lie, and it is every bit as racist as the Klansmen in white sheets.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: OK, but here’s the thing. None of this is random. This is the result of a highly manufactured strategy created by seasoned political operatives looking for the perfect wedge issue to take back power, something to combat the energy of the multiracial coalition that took Georgia, and something to replace Blue Lives Matter, since January 6 exposed that slogan as a sham. Conservatives in Congress took note and started chattering, which was then ingested into the feeder system of Fox News. The tagline disseminated, and the war against critical race theory took off.
No one wants a boogeyman near their kids, and certainly not in their classrooms. The operatives know this. Those fears got played up. And now, along with the fear of trans kids taking over junior high handball, parents are fighting with school boards in cities and towns across the country over curricula that they believe teaches white kids that they are racist. None of this is actually happening. But who cares about a little old thing like the truth, when you have the perfect campaign buzzword for 2022? It even has the magic word in it, race.
And joining me now is Kimberle Crenshaw, co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, and the legal scholar who coined the term critical race theory. Ah, so it is your fault, madam. You know, I tripped over the curb this morning, and I went, critical race theory, damn you, you tripped me on the curb. You did it — it does everything bad. And the cicadas, y’all really need to stop with the cicadas, critical race theory. That was not nice.
KIMBERLE CRENSHAW: You can throw everything in the bag, everything in the bag.
REID: So, I just wrote down a few of the notes of what people are calling critical race theory: Marxism, racism, bigoted. Let’s start with the Marxism. That’s their favorite one. They’re using that every single time. And I hate to ask you, I hate to ask dumb questions. So, please don’t think that I’m dumb. Is critical race theory Marxism?
CRENSHAW: Well, you know what? Here’s — here’s the thing, Joy. Critical race theory is not so much a thing. It’s a way of looking at a thing. It’s a way of looking at race. It’s a way of looking at why, after so many decades, centuries, actually, since the emancipation, we have patterns of inequality that are enduring, they’re stubborn. And the point of critical race theory originally was to think and talk about how law contributed to the subordinate status of African-Americans, of indigenous people, and of an entire group of people who were coming to our shores from Asia. And the point was, quite frankly, to understand the problem in order to intervene in it, to understand why the greatest hopes for our republic were not being realized, even though these hopes were encoded in law.
So, critical race theory just inherits the beliefs and the hopes of Frederick Douglass, of Martin Luther King, who basically want the law to do for the freed people what the law did for enslavers. And we picked that up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, after the civil rights movement, to say, Okay, so now we have had this big civil rights movement. We have all these laws on the books, but things really aren’t looking as different as they should, if we are really the society that we say we are. So we put about the task of understanding how law wasn’t just the neutral referee. Law wasn’t always on our side. In fact, law was less on our side than for on our side. And we wanted to tell these stories in order to do better with the promises that are embedded in the Constitution. That’s what’s in critical race theory.
REID: So, is critical race theory, does — is there a K-12 curriculum that right now is being taught? I’m sorry. I know it’s dumb question. But is there a K-12 curriculum on critical race theory that’s being taught in schools around this country?
CRENSHAW: Well, look, Joy, if it was news to most Americans that critical race theory was in K-12, it was news to me, too. I’m one of the co-authors of one of the few books on critical race theory. I think I would know if we were being taught in K-12. I mean, basically, critical race theory, classic critical race theory is a law school course. And it’s really not taught as widely as I would hope it would.
CRENSHAW: But here’s the deal. This is not about whether anything called critical race theory is in K-12. What they’re calling critical race theory doesn’t exist anyway. It is a backlash effort to reverse the racial reckoning unlike any we have seen in our lifetime. And, as you pointed out at the beginning, they can’t say, we’re for racism. They can’t say Derek Chauvin should have killed George Floyd with his hand in his pocket, looking like he was completely without a care in the world. They couldn’t say that. So, they looked around and found of a strange-sounding theory that they could put all of the grievances and resentments in and mobilize people around this boogeyman.
CRENSHAW: And if our side can’t really understand what’s going on, it’s going to work. It’s worked in the past.
CRENSHAW: It worked in Reconstruction, and it can work to end this reckoning too.
REID: And a gentleman named Christopher Rufo, who’s very vigorously requested to be on the show, we’re going to take him up on it and let him come on this week and invite him on. He literally said: “We have successfully frozen their brand, critical race theory, into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all the various cultural insanities under that brand category.” To wit, FOX News has mentioned critical race theory nearly 1,300 times in the past three-and-a-half months. And we have now discovered that a lot of these parents that are showing up at school boards inveighing against their children being taught that they’re racist, it turns out they are actually Republican activists, not just regular old parents.
CRENSHAW: Big surprise there, right?
REID: Yes, it is not — not surprising at all. So I guess my last question to you would be, what do you worry is sort of the purpose of what they’re trying to do? This is political. It is about getting out the white voters in 2022. Is there a bigger risk to naming critical race theory as some sort of Marxist plot?
CRENSHAW: Well, of course. The biggest risk is that this tried and true framing of anti-racism as racist against white people is going to win again. It won at the end of the civil war when civil rights were framed as reverse discrimination against white people. It won after Brown versus Board of Education when integration was framed as damaging of white children. And it could win now if people don’t wake up and have a sense of what is at stake.
So, yeah, you’re going to hear all these stories, cherry-picked stories. Turns out a lot of them were not verifiable that the other side is putting out there. You’re not going to hear, and you should, what is happening with these. You’re not going to hear that. An essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates was the reason why a school teacher was fired. You’re not going to hear about the affinity groups in colleges and universities, and the programs, the educational programs that are being canceled. So we need to see materially what this is doing in order to weigh into this. If anyone was mobilized by last year, if anyone is concerned about what they saw January 6th, then you are on our side with this and you need to get involved.