Media Spread Fake News About Joanna and Chip Gaines Donating to His Sister’s School Board Campaign, as She Pushes Back on Critical Race Theory

In this March 29, 2016 photo, Joanna Gaines, left, and Chip Gaines pose for a portrait in New York to promote their home improvement show, "Fixer Upper," on HGTV. (Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP)
Photo by Brian Ach/Invision/AP

“TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines donate to campaign against critical race theory in schools” is an example of the misleading (and nearly identical) headlines corporate media pumped out this week about TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines. Chip Gaines reportedly donated $1,000 to his sister Shannon Braun’s Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District (GCISD) School Board campaign. Braun has opposed Critical Race Theory being part of school curriculum. But she hasn’t made her opposition to it a major part of her campaign.

Many corporate media headlines generally ignored the fact that the purported campaign donation went to Braun and instead focused on her past statements in which she’s lambasted critical race theory being taught in school. Both Chip and Joanna are open about their Christian beliefs but neither have issued any public statements on Shannon Braun’s ideas on Critical Race Theory.

On her Facebook page, Braun said “I’m committed to working alongside our parents and teachers to ensure GCISD students get the education they deserve by returning the focus of our curriculum and teaching to academics, rather than filling curriculum with divisive Critical Race Theory training.” She also posted a video denouncing the ideas in Critical Race Theory.

Indeed, Braun doesn’t mention Critical Race Theory on her campaign website. The Grapevine-Colleyville school district says it isn’t teaching critical race theory.

Still, several media outlets reported on the Chip’s purported donation with headlines about him donating to a campaign “Trying to ban teaching about systemic racism.”

Here are a few of those headlines:

  • “TV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines donate to campaign against critical race theory in schools,” The Hill
  • “Fixer Upper stars donated to school board candidate who wants to ban critical race theory,” San Antonio Current
  • “Chip and Joanna Gaines reportedly donated $1,000 to a Texas school board candidate trying to ban teaching about systemic racism,” Yahoo! News
  • “Chip and Joanna Gaines Donated to a Campaign Aiming to Stop Critical Race Theory,” Dallas Observer
  • “Fixer Upper Couple Donates $1,000 to Texas School Board Candidate Trying to Ban ‘Critical Race Theory’,” Jezebel
  • “Chip and Joanna Gaines reportedly donated $1,000 to a Texas school board candidate trying to ban teaching about systemic racism,” Business Insider
  • “Chip and Joanna Gaines reportedly donated $1,000 to a Texas school board candidate trying to ban teaching about systemic racism,” Insider

And that doesn’t count the smears against the Gains’ on social media.

Supporters of Critical Race Theory claim that the ideas pushed in such training helps fight against racism. But opponents call it the opposite of “anti-racism.” Indeed, former Georgia Democrat Vernon Jones recently said flat out that the curriculum is itself a racist ideology. Vernon’s position of the policy mirrors that of most conservatives.
Andrew Gutmann, a New York parent who fought against his children’s school teaching Critical Race Theory, said he’s received a flood of letters from “those who identify themselves as having immigrated to America from the former Soviet Union or from countries in formerly communist Eastern Europe.”

Gutmann writes:

These emails are never political in nature and are nearly identical in message: These first-generation Americans all write that they have “seen this movie before.” They are familiar with the propaganda, the tactics of indoctrination and the pervasive fear of speaking up that plague today’s United States. Simply put, they cannot believe this is happening here.

Many states are beginning to take action against the dissemination of Critical Race Theory programing in schools. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for one, recently vowed that eliminating CRT programs in schools would be one of his next priorities.

Elsewhere, states including Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, and more, are currently grappling with the alarm raised over these programs in schools, government, and the private sector.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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