GOP governor blubbers while signing bill banning critical race theory – which is not taught in schools
Less than a year after Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said, “I am not aware of any school district that currently allows for” the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in his state, he sounded the alarm about the alleged spread of CRT that had forced him to sign a bill banning it.
“Students are being force-fed an unhealthy dose of progressive fundamentalism that runs counter to the principles of America’s founding,” Reeves said as he signed the law, in a pretty straightforward admission that racism is one of the principles of America’s founding. “Children are dragged to the front of the classroom and are coerced to declare themselves as oppressors, that that they should feel guilty because of the color of their skin, or that they are inherently a victim because of their race.”
Big claim there, but, “He did not point to any real-life examples of the scenario he described happening in Mississippi, though he may have been referring to a single alleged incident at a public charter school in Las Vegas, Nevada,” the invaluable Ashton Pittman of the Mississippi Free Press noted. Nor could the bill’s author point to any such examples at the time he introduced it in the state Senate.
Critical race theory “threatens the integrity of our kids’ education and aims only to humiliate and indoctrinate,” according to Reeves’ social media posts about the new law. And the only humiliation and indoctrination that’s going to happen on his watch are in service of white people.
“I want to set the record straight about critical race theory because the radical left and the media continue to spread misinformation on this critical issue,” said Reeves in his statement about the law. “And while they may be okay lying to you, I believe you deserve the truth. Across this great country, we’re seeing a full-court press by a vocal minority of well-organized and well-funded activists who seek to tear down the unity that has helped make our country great.”
We are in fact seeing a full-court press by a vocal minority of well-organized and well-funded activists, but they’re on Reeves’ side. They’re the reason Reeves is signing a law banning something he said less than a year ago was nonexistent in Mississippi schools, without offering any evidence that anything had changed in the intervening months. They’re the reason state after Republican-controlled state has passed anti-CRT laws, just all of a sudden discovering a massive problem they hadn’t even been aware existed until right-wing think-tanker Christopher Rufo began an organized campaign to make it an issue—“We have successfully frozen their brand—‘critical race theory’—into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions,” Rufo tweeted in March 2021—with Fox News eagerly offering a platform.
This is something cooked up in a right-wing think tank and spread on a right-wing cable network, and Republican lawmakers across the country are seizing on it eagerly. Of course, they’re not actually banning critical race theory, because they know it’s not being taught in K-12 schools. They’re banning, in the Mississippi case, teaching students that “any sex, race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior.” Which sounds unobjectionable, except that very similar language in other states is being used to ban children’s books and intimidate teachers away from teaching basic facts of history, let alone touching on current events.
In his remarks, Reeves insisted that wouldn’t happen, saying, “critical race theory proponents will claim that this law prevents the teaching of history. They’ll claim that our kids won’t learn about important historical events like slavery or the Civil Rights Movement. But we know the truth. Contrary to what some critics claim, this bill in no way, in no shape, and in no form prohibits the teaching of history.”
But we know the truth, which is that this law is part of a movement that is very much about limiting what histories can be taught, what books will be available to children, and which children’s feelings will be protected by powerful people.
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