Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said that critical race theory is “completely evil” and should be outlawed, and that any teachers found teaching it should be fired “on the spot”.
The Georgia Republican made the comments while appearing on the “ToddCast Podcast with Todd Starnes”.
“Congress should immediately outlaw critical race theory, it should be completely against the law. It’s racism, it’s hate and it’s dividing our children and teaching them something horrible,” she said.
She criticised The American Federation of Teachers, one of America’s largest teachers unions, for recently announcing a fund to defend any teachers punished for teaching the theory.
Greene said that such “communist teacher’s unions” should be disbanded.
“We have to be able to fire any teacher on the spot, immediately, if they are found teaching critical race theory,” she said.
Critical race theory is an academic concept that considers how America’s history of racism and discrimination impacts the country today.
Several Republican lawmakers have moved to introduce restrictions on how race is taught in schools, with Florida recently banning critical race theory.
As Insider has previously reported, experts have said the GOP campaign against critical race theory distorts the concept, and is linked to a broader effort to stifle or invalidate conversations on the pervasiveness of racism in the country.
On his show, Carlson said: “The overwhelming majority of Americans – and pollsters have found this pretty clearly – think this is insane,” Carlson said.
“They think you should judge people by what they do, not on the basis of their skin color.”
“We can’t really be sure until we finally get cameras in the classroom, as we put them on the chests of police officers, until we finally get a civilian review board in every town in America to oversee the people teaching your children, forming their minds. And let’s hope we get both of those very soon. But until we do, we can’t know exactly how widespread this is.”
In recent years, elements of critical race theory have been taught in classrooms, which advocates say helps educate pupils about pervasive racist attitudes and the long history of racist oppression in the US.
Some Republicans say the discipline is divisive, and seeks to indoctrinate children with a partisan view of US history. In typically hyperbolic terms, Carlson on Tuesday called the subject a “civilization-ending poison.”
GOP Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana on Tuesday blasted legislation that would remove Confederate statues from public display in the Capitol, decrying the effort as rooted in the “concepts” of critical race theory.
Rosendale, a freshman congressman who was one of 14 Republicans who voted against the formation of a federal holiday for Juneteenth, described the removal of certain statues as “attacks on American history.”
“The South lost, and our Union is strong today, and the great victory of our constitutional government in the Civil War over slavery and secession should be celebrated,” he said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Democrats, animated by the Critical Race Theory concepts of structural racism, microaggressions, and a United States based solely on white supremacy, have chosen to remove statues that underscore the failures of our pre-1861 Constitution. Make no mistake, those who won the West and George Washington are next.”
The congressman noted that last year, the National Archives published a report “concluding that the Capitol Rotunda was an example of structural racism, a building that ‘lauds wealthy White men in the nation’s founding while marginalizing BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color], women, and other communities.'”
He added: “Loyalty to the United States involves recognition of its history, bad and good, and the Left’s iconoclasm over the previous two years, aided and abetted by the Democratic party, is unwarranted and unwise.”
Despite Rosendale’s opposition, the bill on Tuesday easily passed the House in a 285-120 vote, with 218 Democrats and 67 Republicans backing the legislation.
The fate of the measure in the Senate is uncertain.
The politicization of critical race theory has set off a national debate over race and free speech, only a year after protests driven by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis galvanized millions to demand action against anti-Black racism in the United States.
The House bill that passed on Tuesday would remove a bust of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote the majority opinion in the 1857 Dred Scott decision, which said that Black people couldn’t be citizens. It would be replaced with a bust of Thurgood Marshall, the legendary civil rights attorney who became the first Black Supreme Court justice in United States history.
Last year, a similar measure also passed the House, but stalled in the Republican-led Senate.
Democrats now control the Senate, but since chamber is split 50-50, the party still needs to reach the 60-vote threshold to advance the bill and avoid a legislative filibuster.
Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas called for one of the top American track and field stars to be “removed from the team” after she protested the national anthem during qualifiers for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Crenshaw has frequently derided cancel culture in media appearances on Fox News and the podcast circuit, calling it a “radical progressive religion.”
However, in a Fox News appearance on Monday morning, the Texas Republican said Berry should lose her spot for trying to make a political point on the podium.
“We don’t need any more activist athletes,” Crenshaw said. “You know, she should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point, OK.”
“So it’s one thing when these NBA players do it – OK, fine, we’ll just stop watching – but now the Olympic team?” he continued. “And it’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement.”
Berry said she was not expecting the anthem to be played during the ceremony at the winner’s podium, where she held the third spot with a bronze medal for her performance. “The Star Spangled Banner” isn’t usually played after American qualifying meets like it would be with other nations present at the Olympics or other international competitions.
“I feel like it was set up,” she said after the meet. “I feel like they did that on purpose, and I was pissed, to be honest.”
Crenshaw attributed Berry’s protest to the academic and legal framework of critical race theory, which examines the effect of racism in laws and policies that have a disproportionate impact on people of color, regardless of intent.
“Taking it a couple levels deeper, this is the pathology that occurs when we’re teaching critical race theory in our institutions … It results in these displays of hatred towards our own country, and it’s gotta stop,” Crenshaw said.
American Olympians have long used their visibility to draw attention to political and social causes, most notably with the 1968 Olympics “Black power” salute from track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
Later in a press conference following the meet, Berry said her role as an athlete is secondary to fighting racism.
“I don’t need to do anything sport-wise,” she said. “What I need to do is speak for my community, to represent my community, and to help my community. Because that’s more important than sports.”
Donald Trump mocked “woke” military generals and critical race theory on Saturday as he addressed thousands of supporters at this first post-White House rally in Wellington, Ohio.
The former president accused the country’s “weak and ineffective” military of becoming more concerned about being politically correct than they are about “fighting their enemies,” the Telegraph reported.
“The Biden administration issued new rules pushing twisted critical race theory … into our military,” Trump said, according to the Telegraph. “Our generals and our admirals are now focused more on this nonsense than they are on our enemies.”
“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military … of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” Miley told the House armed service committee on Thursday, according to the Guardian. During the remarks, was joined by the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin.
For generations, millions of US soldiers have fought valiantly for the country, hoping to defend democratic freedoms across the world.
However, for much of the early 20th Century, the military was racially segregated, with its formal integration put into place by President Harry Truman in 1948.
During Friday’s episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, Sean Parnell, a veteran and GOP candidate for the 2022 Pennsylvania US Senate race, had an intense discussion with host Tucker Carlson about comments made by Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, related to critical race theory.
Critical race theorists have examined how America’s history of racism continue to reverberate through laws and policies that exist today.
“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned or non-commissioned officers of being, quote, woke or something else because we’re studying the same theories that are out there,” he said at the time.
He added: “I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open minded and be widely read.”
Carlson opined on the issue (starting at 3:25 in the video below), expressing that “from the outside in, the US military seems like by far the least racist institution in American life” and “has been for many decades.”
“It’s absolutely true,” he said. “We have been a colorblind culture in the United States military for almost 200 years. We’ve gotten a lot of things right. Keep your politics and your social experiments out of our military, and let us focus on what we were always intended to do – protecting the United States of America and winning wars.”
In 1948, Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which mandated that “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”
However, even in the early 1960s, Black soldiers continued to grapple with discrimination in the military, especially off base, according to a New York Times report.
Douglas Bristol, a history professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, told The Times that changes were “a very gradual thing.”
“Most bases are in the South,” he said. “You can train year round. The congressmen there get re-elected forever, so they have tremendous clout. And in the South, segregation is the law.”
The problems were so pervasive that in 1962 then-President John F. Kennedy summoned a President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces, also referred to as the Gesell Committee, to correct policies and deficiencies that continued to perpetuate racial discrimination.
Bristol told The Times that in the years since the turbulent 1960s, the military has become a leader on issues of equity.
“The commanders who were supporters of segregation, there’s just no place for them anymore,” he said.
After Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham made sure to note she respects Gen. Mark Milley’s service – an infantry officer who served in the Green Berets during his four-decade career – she tore into the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The segment on her 10 p.m. show is the latest episode of prominent Fox personalities putting the military on blast, with the network’s top-rated host, Tucker Carlson, mocking “woke generals” in March after defense officials called him out for spreading misinformation about transgender service members and suggesting pregnant women would fight wars.
Milley’s Congressional testimony went viral on Wednesday when the general swatted away accusations from Republicans that the military has gone “woke” by embracing critical race theory, an academic practice focusing on how racism plays a role in laws and public policy.
The general explained how diversity training is important and that cadets at West Point are also university students who should be “open minded and be widely read,” but that does not mean they’ve been radicalized.
“We are sending our tax dollars to this military in an attempt to weed out so-called extremists, which just means conservative Evangelicals, as far as I can tell,” Ingraham said.
“The fact is, Milley has made his choice,” she said at another point. “And he’s chosen to indulge the radical whims of Democrats. He’ll do everything they tell him as long as they keep the military-industrial complex flush with cash.”
Some of Milley’s testimony was directed at critiques from Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who went from being a fixture on Fox News to not appearing at all ever since he became enveloped in a child sex trafficking investigation that he maintains is a a smear campaign against him.
The attacks show the extent that even Milley, a Trump nominee, has been unable to steer the US military clear of the cultural wars. Milley oversees a work force of nearly 1.4 million active-duty troops and their instruction from boot camps to graduate schools that ensure they are a capable and cohesive fighting force that doesn’t tolerate abuse or discrimination in the ranks.
She then suggested defunding the military over critical race theory, which Milley said isn’t something he’s very familiar with, and focused most of his testimony on broader instruction about the United States’ history of racism within the armed forces.
“Why is Congress not saying we’re not going to give you a penny until all of this is eradicated from the military budget,” Ingraham said. “Nothing. This is my offer to you: nothing. That’s what I would say. I am totally outraged by him and his ridiculous response today.”
Ingraham also accused Milley of being a Marxist, a critique he specifically addressed on Wednesday.
“I’ve read Mao Zedong, I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley said. “So what is wrong with some situational understanding of the country for which we are personally here to defend?”
“I want to understand white rage – and I’m white,” Milley said. “What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here. And I do want to understand that.”
Milley earlier said that “a lot of us have to get much smarter on whatever the theory is,” referring to critical race theory.
“I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open minded and be widely read,” he said, “And the United States Military Academy is a university.”
Republican talking points often refer to diversity trainings and the academic discipline of critical race theory as “indoctrination.” Milley bristled at that accusation, and outlined how reading something does not mean one immediately becomes a devotee of that ideology.
“I’ve read Mao Zedong, I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” he said. “So what is wrong with some situational understanding of the country for which we are personally here to defend?
“And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our commissioned or non-commissioned officers of being, quote, woke or something else because we’re studying the same theories that are out there,” Milley continued.
Mostly confined to the realm of academia, critical race theorists look at how America’s history of racism and discrimination continues to impact the country today through laws and other policies that disproportionately affect people of color, regardless of intent.
Milley listed a series of laws and legal doctrines that discriminated against Black people in the US through the decades after over a century of slavery.
“That [critical race theory] was started in Harvard Law School years ago, and it proposed that there were laws in the United States – antebellum laws prior to the Civil War that led to a power differential with African Americans that were three-quarters of a human being when this country was formed,” Milley said. “And then we had a Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation to change it, and we brought it up to the Civil Rights Act in 1964. It took another hundred years to change that.”
But when asked about the concept by AL.com columnist Kyle Whitmire, Pringle struggled to clearly define it.
As part of his definition, he said the practice teaches students “certain children are inherently bad because of the color of their skin.”
When pressed to name a specific person claiming to teach that, Pringle responded: “Yeah, uh, well – I can assure you – I’ll have to read a lot more,” he said.
“These people, when they were doing the training programs – and the government – if you didn’t buy into what they taught you a hundred percent, they sent you away to a reeducation camp,” Pringle added without evidence.
Republicans across the US are waging an escalating culture war against critical race theory, an academic concept or framework centered on systemic racism and its effects across American society.
What is critical race theory?
Critical race theorists look at how America’s history of racism and discrimination continues to impact the country today.
“Critical race theory is a practice. It’s an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what’s in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a founding critical race theorist and a law professor at UCLA and Columbia University, told CNN last year.
Why is the GOP turning it into an issue?
The GOP campaign against critical race theory, which distorts the concept, is linked to a broader effort to stifle or invalidate conversations on the pervasiveness of racism in the US in relation to its history, experts say. Republicans have launched similar attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement and the 1619 project in that regard.
“The base of the Republican Party is offended by the political focus on racism and racial justice that has been apparent for several years now, but especially since the George Floyd murder,” Andrew Hartman, a history professor at Illinois State University and author of “A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars,” told Insider. “So, GOP politicians and conservative media obsess over the issue to gin up outrage that might translate into future votes, but in the meantime definitely translates into donations and ratings.”
Jelani Cobb, a staff writer at the New Yorker, historian, and professor at Columbia Journalism School, in a recent tweet said that the “attacks on critical race theory are clearly an attempt to discredit the literature millions of people sought out last year to understand how George Floyd wound up dead on a street corner.”
“The goal is to leave the next dead Black person inexplicable by history,” Cobb added.
In the process, they’ve taken an otherwise niche academic theory and legal practice to catapult it into the center of the contentious, ongoing debate on racism in the US.
“I am honestly confused why Critical Race Theory has become the specific target, except to say that conservatives have a LONG history of educational activism against secular and liberal trends in schools, and CRT checks a lot of boxes in that regard,” Hartman said. “It is an academic theory that emerged from elite universities (Harvard Law in particular). It seemingly indoctrinates students with the idea that racism is endemic and institutional, which flies in the face of conservative colorblindness.”
How is CRT being treated by the right-wing ecosystem?
The GOP obsession with critical race theory was in many ways sparked by former President Donald Trump, who has a well-documented history of racism. Last September, Trump sent out a memo ordering the Office of Management and Budget to stop funding training on critical race theory for federal employees. The memo referred to the theory as a “propaganda effort” that teaches or suggests that the US “is an inherently racist or evil country.”
“The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government,” the memo said.
Similarly, Trump also railed against The New York Times’ “1619 Project,” stating that it “rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.”
Although critical race theory is not a staple of K-12 curricula – mostly applying to colleges and universities – local squabbles and highly specific campus incidents have been amplified by Fox News and other outlets and used by politicians for fundraising pushes.
As Fox’s top-viewed opinion hosts struggle to land on a coherent depiction of President Joe Biden in the way they handled Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, critical race theory serves as a convenient programming staple. Coverage of critical race theory dominates Fox News coverage across daytime, primetime, and online.
“Often compared by critics to actual racism, CRT is a school of thought that generally focuses on how power structures and institutions impact racial minorities,” an explainer post reads on the Fox News website.