Thursday, June 24, 2021

Conservatives trying to add their homophobia & transphobia to Critical Race Theory hysteria

We can always count on conservatives and the right in general to get their white supporters stoked up about some fake controversy.  And these days, it's about Critical race theory. To hear them describe it, Critical race theory is a racist philosophy which teaches that white people are inherently evil and there is a liberal plot to indoctrinate children and America in general with it.

Or something like that. 

To those raising hell, the definition always changes and frankly they don't know what they are angry about. The only thing is they are sure is that they are angry because (wait for it), the right-wing propaganda engine and the GOP have been fearmongering about it.

According to Media Matters, Fox News has mentioned "Critical race theory" over 1,300 in the past three and a half months. 

Media Matters also said the following:

Critical race theory is an academic legal framework which examines the systemic impact of racism in the United States. But “critical race theory,” like “cancel culture” and “political correctness” before it, also functions as an umbrella term the right-wing movement uses to turn its mostly white adherents’ racial anxiety into political energy

 In this case, a sophisticated, nationwide network of conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, media outlets, and GOP officials have seized on the term and, in the words of Christopher Rufo -- a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute and a key player in the effort -- sought to render it “toxic” and apply to it “the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.” Republicans have proposed or passed a slew of legislation restricting “critical race theory” and hope to use it as a core part of their political strategy in upcoming local, state, and federal elections.

Critical race theory (CRT) is a movement that challenges the ability of conventional legal strategies to deliver social and economic justice and specifically calls for legal approaches that take into consideration race as a nexus of American life. The movement champions many of the same concerns as the civil rights movement but places those concerns within a broader economic and historical context. It often elevates the equality principles of the Fourteenth Amendment above the liberty principles of the First Amendment.

 . . .Some of the basic tenets of CRT rest on the belief that racism is a fundamental part of American society, not simply an aberration that can be easily corrected by law; that any given culture constructs its own social reality in its own self-interest, and in the United States this means that minorities’ interests are subservient to the system’s self-interest; and that the current system, built by and for white elites, will tolerate and encourage racial progress for minorities only if this promotes the majority’s self-interest.

In other words, CRT is an amorphous legal argument which has obviously been selected by those on the right to scare its mostly white supporters into hysterically thinking their children are being "indoctrinated" into a dangerous philosophy. And in spite of the fact that CRT is not being taught in K-12 schools, conservative groups are using the "Critical race theory" name to attack all diversity endeavors, even when they have nothing at all to do with Critical race theory:

One conservative organization, the Heritage Foundation, recently attributed a whole host of issues to CRT, including the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, LGBTQ clubs in schools, diversity training in federal agencies and organizations, California’s recent ethnic studies model curriculum, the free-speech debate on college campuses, and alternatives to exclusionary discipline—such as the Promise program in Broward County, Fla., that some parents blame for the Parkland school shootings. “When followed to its logical conclusion, CRT is destructive and rejects the fundamental ideas on which our constitutional republic is based,” the organization claimed.

And especially endeavors to create safe school environments for LGBTQ students. Recently,  a Loudon County school board meeting was inundated with a large group of parents angry about the possibility of Critical race theory being taught to their children. The meeting got so rowdy that it was cancelled and two people ended up arrested. Some parents were also angry at measures which were to be taken for the safety of LGBTQ students.  Safety for LGBTQ students and Critical race theory are two separate issues, but SPLC - designated hate group the Family Research Council connected the two issues:

Surveys have shown that overwhelming majorities of parents oppose schools teaching that America was founded on racism and is structurally racist. It's no wonder, then, that Loudoun County parents turned out yesterday by the hundreds to offer their commentary on what that school system is promoting to students. Not only were many parents supportive of Christian PE teacher Tanner Cross, they were outraged by unfair treatment of a student whose parents opted him out of LGBTQ+ lessons for Pride Month. They also overwhelmingly oppose a proposed policy to allow opposite sex students access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and hotel rooms. And while conservative and Christian parents are painted as "out of order" or "unruly," it was the "screaming" parent of a transgender student who accused the "followers of Jesus" of "dripping with hate."

Unfortunately what happened at the Loudon country school board meeting - albeit not as violent -is replaying across the nation as school boards are dealing with angry parents manipulated by a sophisticated propaganda engine. And according to a recent article in Politico, this hysteria doesn't look like it will be stopping for a while.  The article says that the GOP and its associates hope to use the anger harnessed by this critical race theory moral panic to take control of Congress with next year's midterm elections. 

That is if the folks they are working up don't drop dead of heart attacks from all of their anger.