Mara Gay and Brian Kilmeade: Dueling Critical Race Theories

Depending on your media diet, critical race theory is either a dire threat to the social fabric of American society or an entirely re...


Mara Gay and Brian Kilmeade on Critical Race Theory

Depending on your media diet, critical race theory is either a dire threat to the social fabric of American society or an entirely reasonable way to teach about the nation’s complicated history on race.

On cable news Thursday morning, the difference between those approaches was illustrated in stark relief.

The New York Times’ Mara Gay offered a simple yet nuanced explainer of CRT on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. At the same time, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade and his guest, Indiana AG Todd Rokita, warned of what they described as the dangers of Marxist ideology at the root of CRT that separates the nation into two classes: the oppressed and the oppressors.

During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz accused the U.S. Military Academy of teaching critical race theory. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin rebuked Gaetz forcefully.

Milley explained in simple and rather elegant terms. Austin responded more tersely.

“We do not teach critical race theory,” he said. “We don’t embrace critical race theory, and I think that’s a spurious conversation.”

Fox News has gone long on warning its viewers about the dangers of teaching critical race theory, which has led to riotous school board meetings featuring parents freaked out about the dangerous indoctrination of their children.

Kilmeade introduced Rokita to explain the parent’s “bill of rights” he has designed to give parents the tools to confront educators over curriculum with which they disagree.

“You see things like ‘math is racist,’ and other things that are going on where kids have to apologize for being the color that they are,” Kilmeade noted. “Will we see critical race theory in the curriculum headline, or do we have to look at the subtext?”

Watch Rokita’s reply below:

As you can see above, Rokita advised viewers to look at the “subtext” of all curricula, which of course, opens up a pandora’s box of subjectivity for anyone to find fault with, well, anything with which they find fault.

The Indiana AG then explained how his “bill” gives a list of names for CRT. He said it includes “any kind of Marxist ideology, and takes kids and divides them into two groups, oppressed and oppressor, and indoctrinates them into ‘one group is bad, one group is good,’ and there is nothing you can do to change that.”

He added, “there is nothing more hateful or bigoted that than indoctrinating kids that way.”

Over on Morning Joe,  you may not be surprised to learn that the controversial subject was described in a very different manner. Following the clip of General Milley explaining the military academy curriculum, AP’s Jonathan Lemire presented the issue as something “Trump advisers feel that could be the key to putting Republicans back in power in the midterms of 2022 and perhaps the presidency of 2024.”

He added that they feel the Democrats have “fallen in this rabbit hole of wokeness and [that they] can’t get out of.”

Gay opened by lauding General Milley, saying he cut through the “coded speech and language and rhetoric around critical race theory and started talking about what it actually is to the American people directly.”

She then gave a brief and simple history of critical race theory and its origins from professor Derrick Bell at Harvard University.

“All it is is the study of racism and how it has been embedded in America’s laws and institutions for generations,” Gay explained. “And so, the prime example of that, you know, just to throw one out there would be redlining, in which essentially the government itself took out a map and said, ‘well, because black people live in these neighborhoods, we will not give federal loans to allow Americans to buy mortgages in these neighborhoods,’ and everything that followed from that, you can see generation to generation the loss of wealth and capital that took place when that occurred.”

“So what critical race theory suggests is American racism is not simply the product of individual biases,” Gay added, “but is actually embedded in the structure of American institutions.”

“By the way, that is not a theory,” she concluded, “but a fact.”

It’s as clean an example as you can find of how divided America is on just one hot button issue. Should teachers be allowed to teach children about an American history that includes oppression, slavery, segregation, and proven systemic racism? Or does that challenge the very fragile nature of those so uncomfortable with America’s complicated past that they consider the honest teaching of it a dire threat to the country — and their place in it?

But as with many issues on which such a divide exists, the wise course is to look at the facts, and not into the mirror that reflects people’s worst fears and instincts back at them.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Mara Gay and Brian Kilmeade: Dueling Critical Race Theories
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