With the Virginia gubernatorial election at stake, the media have resorted to flat-out lying to boost Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s chances. TV journalists, anchors, and reporters are practically screaming at audiences that critical race theory is not taught anywhere in public schools, especially not in Virginia where it’s become a mobilizing issue for Republican voters.
This is a lie.
When journalists on liberal cable (CNN, MSNBC) and broadcast (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks insist that CRT is nowhere to be found in public schools, they’re pulling a deliberate bait and switch. The claim hinges on an incredibly limited definition of critical race theory, which describes it as a niche, high-level study examining the intersection between race and other cultural forces.
So yes, fifth graders aren’t hearing graduate-level seminars on racial identity and intersectionality, but all of the same concepts are still there — deconstructing “whiteness,” institutional racism, white privilege, and all of the other concepts that everyone (except the media) commonly associates with CRT.
Curiously, this absurdly restrictive definition of critical race theory only came about when parents began to take issue with it being taught to their children. Back in 2015, then-Governor Terry McAuliffe’s own department of education explicitly endorsed critical race theory. The Virginia Department of Education has since scrubbed any mention of the term from their website, but that doesn’t mean any of the teaching standards have changed.