Right-wing reactionaries learned a long time ago there is no group easier to stir into a frenzy than suburban white parents. Whether the subject was Elvis, Led Zepplin, Satanism, reefer madness, sex ed in school, Eminem, Grand Theft Auto video games, Harry Potter, or any of the other absolutely preposterous parent panics that have gripped our incredibly stupid nation, right-wing propaganda networks have always thrived off of convincing gullible parents that some evil force was seeking to corrupt their precious little angels and turn them cool.
While white supremacist patriarchal conservatism has always been behind each of these contrived controversies, the latest panic over “critical race theory” is decidedly more malignant than fretting over the hip-hop style rappers. The white supremacist response to the national discussion on race and the drive to acknowledge the uncomfortable truths of America’s cruel past has been to accuse our schools of indoctrinating our children in “critical race theory,” teaching them that loving America is bad and that they should be ashamed for being white and that America is an evil nation.
To be clear, this is not happening. “Critical race theory” is an intellectual framework for looking at racism, certain ideas of which — like the concept that racism is systemic and not just the ideas of a few bad apples — that is primarily taught in law school. There is no widespread effort to promote critical race theory in schools; instead, the term has been hijacked by Republicans to mean “anything that teaches kids to not be racist” or “anything that would criticize the state of race relations in America today.”
But that hasn’t stopped FOX News and the rest of the Trumpian propaganda machine from telling parents that it’s the biggest problem in America right now, leading to absolute chaos at last night’s school board meeting in Loudon County, Virginia, where the CRT panic and transphobia seems to have taken a firm hold on the minds of brain-broken parents.
Update: former VA state senator Dick Black spoke out against critical race theory in the board meeting and crowd couldn’t stay silent. The Loudoun Co school board said if there were eruptions like this they’d end public comment pic.twitter.com/dx0oMAy1Fu
— Gabriella Borter (@gabriellaborter) June 22, 2021
Two parents were arrested after the school board ended the meeting early after the crowd got out of control.
"I'm Sorry. I thought this was America" pic.twitter.com/ewds8NZ3OO
— Joyous Panther (@JoyousPanther) June 23, 2021
The hysteria around “critical race theory” is entirely contrived to fuel hate clicks and TV ratings in a period of general political stagnancy — but like everything FOX does, it also serves to promote white supremacy by convincing suburban parents that any attempt to grapple with or acknowledge the horrifying treatment of African-Americans in America is some kind of communist plot.
There’s no getting around it; FOX News and the right-wing propaganda machine are literally poisoning the minds of the American people, filling their heads with outrageous conspiracies and smearing the Democrats with a brush of radicalism that they are far too timid to deserve. FOX hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham regularly promote open white supremacist ideas from their enormous platforms, and the latest conspiracy about “critical race theory” is just the next narrative that they’re pushing to fill in lieu of offering any actual political solutions to the issues facing the American people today.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.