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This Is What Conservatives Mean When They Say CRT Is Being Taught in Schools

Critics of the movement to ban “critical race theory” from K-12 schools have insisted the academic concept isn’t being taught in the first place — but, willfully or not, they’ve been missing the point.


Word games aren’t going to make nationwide activism against teaching “CRT” go away.


THE DENIAL: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an executive order on his first day in office, Saturday, to prohibit the teaching of “divisive concepts, like Critical Race Theory and its progeny.”

  • Some mainstream media outlets and many liberal commentators responded by once again suggesting Republicans invented the CRT issue to rile up racist voters.
  • Youngkin’s predecessor, Ralph Northam, said Monday on MSNBC, “Critical race theory is nothing more than a dog whistle,” and “it’s not being taught in our schools.”

THE FACTS: Whatever you want to call it, anti-CRT activist Chris Rufo and others have exposed dozens of examples of schools teaching a hierarchy of race-based oppression, including these blockbusters:

1. January 2020: We learned third-graders at an elementary school in Cupertino, California, were made to deconstruct their racial identity and rank themselves based on their “power and privilege.”‏

The students were told they lived in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speakers.”

2. September 2020: We learned Buffalo Public Schools in upstate New York created an explicitly anti-family curriculum for fifth graders based on the Black Lives Matter agenda.

“We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another, and especially ‘our’ children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable,” the lesson taught, echoing the BLM website at the time.

3. January 2021: We learned a Las Vegas charter school required high school seniors to list “privileged” elements of their identity as part of a course on social justice.

“William Clark was compelled to participate in public professions of his racial, religious, sexual and gender identities, and would be labeled as an ‘oppressor’ on these bases,” according to a lawsuit filed by the black mother of one biracial student in the course.

  • The students also learned that “reverse racism isn’t real” and traditional families “reinforce racist/homophobic prejudices.”

4. February 2021: We learned a Philadelphia elementary school had fifth-grade students celebrate the “black communist” Angela Davis.

The students were asked to act out “free Angela Davis” rallies, demanding that the government release the Black Panther activist who has imprisoned on charges of murder, conspiracy and kidnapping.

  • Last summer, the Philadelphia public school system released an “Antiracism Declaration” that declared: “Race is the social construction that set the foundation and built the infrastructure for the United States we know today. Racism is the root of all other forms of injustice and provides the nourishment needed for other systems of oppression to thrive. As such, in order to destroy the tree, we cannot simply pick at the leaves or chop away at the trunk, we must destroy the root.”

5. March 2021: We learned that a private high school in New York City asked students to stop referring to their parents as “mom” and “dad.”

“While we recognize hateful language that promotes racism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of discrimination are already addressed in our school handbooks, we also recognize that we can do more than ban hateful language; we can use language to create welcoming and inclusive spaces,” read a memo from the school, where tuition was around $53,000 a year.

6. March 2021: We learned the Arizona Department of Education created a program to help parents prevent their children from becoming racists, starting in infancy.

The “equity toolkit” warned that babies as young as 3 months old can be racist because “they look more at faces that match the face of their caregiver.”

  • Parents should be aware of their own bigotry, too, and they “can have a black friend, partner, or child and still be racist,” according to one recommended reading.


As Youngkin explained on “Fox News Sunday,” Virginia schools may not offer a “course called critical race theory,” but “the fundamental building blocks” of the ideology are being taught to students.

  • “All the principles of critical race theory —‏ the fundamental building blocks of actually accusing one group of being oppressors and another of being oppressed, of actually burdening children today for the sins of the past, for teaching our children to judge one another based on the color of their skin —‏ yes, that does exist in Virginia schools today,” he said.
  • “And that’s why I have signed the executive orders yesterday to make sure that we get it out of our schools.”
  • According to the Brookings Institution, officials in more than 30 states have enacted or are considering regulating the teaching of CRT.