MSNBC is known for its insane and vile commentary which occurs on an almost daily basis, but this might be one of the craziest comments of the week. During a segment on MSNBC’s “The Beat With Ari Melber”, fill-in host Jason Johnson discussed Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) support of legislation that would ban Critical Race Theory in public schools in Florida.
Johnson claimed that the proposed legislation titled the “Stop Woke Act” is DeSantis’ “new effort to codify white supremacy for political gain”.
While it is perfectly normal to have disagreements on matters of public policy, what isn’t okay is conjuring up false motives to smear your political opponents. Which is exactly what Johnson did. No sane person thinks that banning the teaching of a racist and anti-historical agenda like Critical Race Theory is an attempt at reinforcing white supremacy in America.
Johnson also repeated the lie that CRT isn’t an influence in public schools and that it's merely a graduate-level course. There have been many examples of the tenants of Critical Race Theory being taught to children and applied in public schools across the nation. One such example occurred in Philadelphia where fifth-grade students were forced "to celebrate 'black communism' and simulate a Black Power rally in honor of political radical Angela Davis.”
None of this matters to Jason Johnson, the narrative is all that matters to leftists on MSNBC. Johnson wasn’t alone though, he brought on his panel to join him in spewing crazy conspiracy theories and strawman arguments against DeSantis.
Howard University Associate Professor Niambi Carter accused DeSantis of wanting to “stoke white fears and raise anxiety levels to win elections.” While Democratic strategist Juanita Tolliver chimed in saying that “racist people and parents in Florida are going to be suing every school, every teacher, every school district” who dares to apply CRT in school.
Johnson, Carter, and Tolliver know what they are saying isn’t true. They are fully capable of reading the full text of the Stop Woke Act and realize that what they are saying is completely false. Ironically, they are doing the very thing that they are accusing DeSantis of doing: stoking racial grievances for political gain.
To read the full transcript, click “expand”:
The Beat With Ari Melber
JASON JOHNSON (GUEST HOST): Critics accusing Florida’s MAGA Governor Ron DeSantis of combining vigilante-style justice with right-wing culture wars, in a new effort to codify white supremacy for political gain. DeSantis proposing a new law that would let parents sue school districts teaching critical race theory. A graduate-level framework for understanding racism that no one is actually teaching in regular public schools. It's a variation on the anti-abortion law in Texas that lets citizens sue abortion providers. Critics say this looks like race-baiting political theatre since there is literally no evidence of critical race theory being taught in Florida schools. Florida Board of Education already passed a separate measure banning critical race theory before. DeSantis announced the plan at a campaign-style event where he tossed hats into the crowd and quoted MLK. But let’s be honest, no one likes quoting MLK more than folks who know they’re wrong from Aaron Rogers to Ted Cruz, and now Ron DeSantis.
[Cuts to video]
GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS: You think about what MLK stood for, he said he didn't want people judged on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character. You listen to some of these people nowadays, they don't talk about that.
[Cuts back to live]
JOHNSON: DeSantis calling the measure the, quote, Stop Woke Act. Bernice King, MLK’s daughter blasting the misuse of the word woke to deter the fight against injustice. Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson ripping the Florida Governor’s lies, lies, lies, and more lies. Others calling it a racist dog whistle. Whatever it is, it’s part of a growing right-wing trend. With MAGA making it a campaign issue in eight states passing anti-CRT laws. DeSantis now raising the stakes with a vigilante solution as opposed to say I don’t know looking out for kids’ test scores, graduation rates, or COVID cases. Joining me now is Dr. Niambi Carter Associate Professor of Political Science at Howard University. I don’t think she teaches critical race theory. And Juanita Tolliver, Democratic strategist, and MSNBC Contributor.
Um, Dr. Carter, I, look, I tend to avoid what I think are unnecessary conversations about critical race theory, cause I don't want to give oxygen to bad-faith actors, but I want to ask you, as an actual educator, who’s in the classroom, and you teach at an HBCU, how many of your incoming freshmen students have some deep, intense knowledge of critical race theory. Is it actually something you have ever met a student who understands when they enter the university.
NIAMBI CARTER: Not really. I mean it’s not taught widely and I think this conversation is really using critical race theory to be a catchall for anything that makes white people uncomfortable, quite frankly. I mean, we know that CRT is a very specialized theory, it’s usually done by legal practitioners. Even in graduate school, Jason, we don't do CRT as a matter of course. So this is all just smoke and mirrors to do what people like Ron DeSantis want to do, which is stoke white fears and raise anxiety levels to win elections, because we know he's about to run for reelection. So this is all to sort of gin up the base and the fact that he was throwing hats out at the end, lets us know this is all political theater. This is not anything of substance. And it's also, of course, really seriously going to have a chilling effect on academic freedom in the state of Florida.
JOHNSON: Juanita, so they want to introduce this Stop Woke Act. And DeSantis says, hey, you know, critical race theory is being driven by elites, it’s being driven by elites. What I want to ask you, is who are these mysterious elites, who are driving critical race theory. He says it’s corporate elites, he says it is pop culture elites. Last time I checked, and maybe I need to check the airlines, I don't see Dr. Ibram Kendi parachuting into school and force-feeding kids the 1619 project. Maybe I missed that part. Right? So who are these elites that they're talking about? Or is this just kind of a red herring for black folks who talk too much?
JUANITA TOLLIVER: You named it, Jason. They don't what to hear the truth. And as the good professor also noted anything that makes white people uncomfortable, is what they're going to latch on to. So you would better believe that racist people and parents in Florida are going to be suing every school, every teacher, every school district that they possibly can without basis, without evidence because this entire charade has been happening without evidence. I think it's also evident that the Republicans look at Glenn Youngkin's victory in Virginia and are like that’s our playbook. We can spread another lie that we know is going to resonate with white voters and even in some cases welcome them back to the GOP. Because what we saw in Virginia was 57% of white women voting for Youngkin and that's a 13-point swing back to the GOP after they lost so many women in under Trump's reign during the 2018 midterms. They are now coming back to the party, because they see this, and they’re like, oh well, I need to protect my child when in reality they're just embracing a new form of white supremacy and racism.