One thing I can’t stand about manipulative and delusional conservatives is the way they pretend they’re not doing exactly what they accuse the opposing side of doing.
The Republican anti-Critical Race Theory campaign is indoctrination. It’s historical revisionism. It’s ideological nonsense that prioritizes one race over others.
Of course, when white conservatives talk about “divisiveness,” they’re really only referring to things that make white people uncomfortable and contradict the notion of American exceptionalism. They don’t seem to care about the Black people and people of color their war against CRT alienates. That’s not the part of the divide that concerns them.
Remember early last year, on MLK Day, when the Trump administration released the 1776 Commission report—which read like a white supremacist guide to fictionalizing history in the name of Caucasian fragility—as a direct response to Nikole Hannah-Jones Pulitzer Prize-winning work The 1619 Project? Well, a group of conservative activists and politicians is taking that ode to Anglo-Saxon butthurt and turning it into a campaign to further whitewash historical teachings that have already been centered around whiteness for generations.
According to Business Insider, more than 300 state and local politicians have signed the 1776 Action pledge, which calls for a restoration of “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country.”
You really can’t rally for a history curriculum that exists with the expressed agenda of cultivating “in our children a profound love for our country” and call it “honest.” That would be like me saying, “I’m going to tell the honest and absolute truth about myself so long as that ‘truth’ makes everyone love me.”
1776 Action claims it is fighting “anti-American indoctrination,” but what it’s really doing is patronizing white people and coddling the abject insecurity of these so-called patriots.
Adam Waldeck, the group’s president, told Insider that 1776 Action will back conservative candidates in 2022 elections and that doing so is “about moving the needle public-opinion-wise and trying to get the right policies done.”
“Moving the needle public-opinion-wise” sounds like an indirect way of describing “indoctrination,” but conservatives simply don’t possess the sense of self-awareness to make that connection.
People who have signed the pledge have vowed to “prohibit any curriculum that pits students against one another on the basis of race or sex,” and “prevent schools from politicizing education by prohibiting any curriculum that requires students to protest and lobby during or after school.”
Imagine prohibiting any curriculum that doesn’t align with your views—as a way to “prevent schools from politicizing education.” And if teaching in detail things like Jim Crow, Reconstruction or that most of the Founding Fathers were slavers and bigots “pits students against one another on the basis of race,” then so does teaching a curriculum that excludes those truths. Black parents and students have, for eons, felt pitted against the dominance of whiteness through the “shining city on a hill” approach to teaching about what America is.
But white people have been comfortable and that’s all that has ever mattered.
“It promotes dishonest education that discourages accountability and atonement for racist acts in US history,” parents Luana Nelson-Brown, Shalome Musignac-Jordán, and Lya Williams, representatives of the group Johnston Parents for Equity and Anti-Racism, wrote to Insider in a statement. “It promotes that children have unequal value. It pits students against one another on the basis of race and sex.”
The group also said the pledge has the “exact opposite effect” of its words and has “politicized our educational system.”
To further illustrate how disingenuous the pledge is, look no further than the following excerpt:
“Our Founding Fathers – including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson – as well as leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. were among the greatest Americans to ever live, and they deserve to be honored as heroes.”
Let’s not pretend Douglas and MLK weren’t tossed in there as a “see, I have Black friends so I can’t possibly be racist” statement. Douglas’ famous Fourth of July speech alone would be considered by Republicans to be CRT today, and conservatives purporting to love them some MLK were silent when Texas passed anti-Critical Race Theory legislation that dropped requirements for educators to teach the works of MLK, who, by the way, said plenty of disparaging things about white people and America during his life.
“Our children and grandchildren should be taught to take pride in their country, to respect our founding principles of liberty and equality, and to have a sense of American history that is both truthful and inspiring,” the pledge also states. And yet teaching history that is “truthful” would mean pointing out that America’s so-called “founding principles of liberty and equality” were established nearly a century before slavery ended and nearly two centuries before the Civil Rights Act was passed.
These people don’t want honesty, they want to preserve the big American lie at all cost.