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CNN’s John King Falsely Declares CRT the GOP’s New ‘Horsesh*t’ ‘Dog Whistle’

cnn’s-john-king-falsely-declares-crt-the-gop’s-new-‘horsesh*t’-‘dog-whistle’

CNN Inside Politics host John King agreed with Democratic strategist Paul Begala on Thursday that Republican attacks against Critical Race Theory were nothing more than racist dog whistles for suburbanites who don’t like diversity. At one point, King went so far as to echo Democratic allegations that it was a “horsesh*t” issue.

Begala was lamenting that both the more left-wing and relatively moderate factions of the Democratic Party were to blame for the party’s woes as the infighting alienates both liberals and swing voters and allows Republicans to “sweep into that with this divisive Critical Race Theory, cultural racial dog whistles. That’s a more effective strategy when the Democrats aren’t delivering on middle class economics so the Democrats can do a lot to change this and they by god better.” 

“You mentioned the dog whistles and I want to bring this issue up because again, I think it’s a challenge of how the Democrats deal with it. Because you’re right, when you talk about Critical Race Theory in Virginia and it’s not taught in Virginia schools, that’s a dog whistle,” King Agreed.

King was hardly alone in falsely stating that CRT was not used in Virginia as he took his “dog whistle” remarks a step further, “That’s a dog whistle to people who maybe lived in an affluent white suburb 20 years ago and they’re seeing a lot of diversity, a lot of change and they’re thinking ‘oh my god, I’m worried about this,'” he said.

He then turned to Democratic pollster Margie Omero, asking how Democrats could fight back on the issue, asking: “One of the challenges is some Democrats, forgive me, my language, you can disagree if you want, get elitist about this and they say ‘horseshit. It’s not taught in the Virginia schools, so forgot it, this won’t work.’ But it does work. So, what is the answer? How do Democrats talk about this and take it on?”

Omero took a while to actually answer the question. At first, she argued that there was more to Virginia’s gubernatorial race than CRT, citing long school closures as one example. When she finally did get around to answering the question, she agreed with King and Begala, saying what Republicans actually oppose was teaching history accurately: 

I think you say, first of all, you have you to acknowledge this is not being taught in public schools. At the same time we should be teaching complete honest history to our students and this should not be something that politicians are using as a political football and that way you are recognizing that people are hearing something and you’re addressing it, but you’re also noting, like, look, what is the issue here, the issue is we should be teaching actual history, not what politicians want. 

Teaching complete history was something no Republican, including Youngkin, had a problem with, but admitting that would have been boring and not allowed King to swear on air.

This segment was sponsored by Walmart.

Here is a transcript for the November 4 show:

CNN’s Inside Politics

November 4, 2021

12:18 PM ET

PAUL BEGALA: The left on The Hill tells voters “we’re not delivering for you. We’re not getting your child care, we’re not getting your—”. Okay. The moderates, we just saw Joe Manchin do it, The moderates are saying “we’re too liberal” so the liberals are depressing the Democratic base and the moderates are alienating the swing and the Republicans then sweep into that with this divisive Critical Race Theory, cultural racial dog whistles. That’s a more effective strategy when the Democrats aren’t delivering on middle class economics so the Democrats can do a lot to change this and they by god better. 

JOHN KING: You mentioned the dog whistles and I want to bring this issue up because again, I think it’s a challenge of how the Democrats deal with it. Because you’re right, when you talk about Critical Race Theory in Virginia and it’s not taught in Virginia schools, that’s a dog whistle. That’s a dog whistle to people who maybe lived in an affluent white suburb 20 years ago and they’re seeing a lot of diversity, a lot of change and they’re thinking “oh my god, I’m worried about this.” But, but, how do Democrats deal with it when it does prove, if you look at the exit poll, Margie, you look at the issues in Virginia, economy and jobs and education. Economy and jobs, part of the COVID frustration is the Democrats’ problem there. Perhaps as the virus has tamed, that number’s different next year or that number works to Democrats’ advantage maybe by next year. That’s possible. The education issue, traditionally a Democratic issue. One of, one of the challenges is some Democrats, forgive me, my language, you can disagree if you want, get elitist about this and they say “horseshit. It’s not taught in the Virginia schools, so forgot it, this won’t work.” But it does work. So, what is the answer? How do Democrats talk about this and take it on? 

MARGIE OMERO: Okay, so there are a few things. First of all, when people say education, it doesn’t mean necessarily that everyone is thinking about Critical Race Theory. There are lots of things happening. You’ve had schools, particularly in parts of Virginia closed and shut down for a long time and so there’s a lot happening with COVID, et cetera. So I would not just say anybody who says they are concerned about education that their one concern is preventing their child from reading Beloved in their senior year. So, at the same time I also want to note that this discussion about CRT was not effective for Republicans on the right all over the country. You had school board races in Ohio, you know, that did not flip. You had huge investment in a recall effort at the school board level in Wisconsin, those did not flip, so this isn’t just…

KING: Did it only work in Virginia because Terry McAuliffe said in a debate, you know, “I’m not going to listen” he just said something that was frankly dumb. 

OMERO I don’t know. I think there’s a lot to unpack. It’s not just simply one issue. Now, how do we talk about it? I think you say, first of all, you have you to acknowledge this is not being taught in public schools. At the same time we should be teaching complete honest history to our students and this should not be something that politicians are using as a political football and that way you are recognizing that people are hearing something and you’re addressing it, but you’re also noting, like, look, what is the issue here, the issue is we should be teaching actual history, not what politicians want. 

What do you think?

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