A topic heavily weighed and discussed during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was Critical Race Theory (CRT) — what it is and how to fight it.
Former President Donald Trump during his final speech at CPAC condemned the ideology and warned of indoctrination in schools. He specifically slammed New York Times writer and recent tenured Howard University hire Nikole Hannah-Jones.
“We will completely defund and bar Critical Race Theory — 1776 not 1619,” Trump said, referring to Jones’ highly controversial 1619 project, in which Jones asserts the United States was founded on the institution of slavery as well as the “legalized discrimination against black Americans.”
Critical Race Theory was the invention of a group of radical left-wing intellectuals known as the Frankfurt School, who developed it to achieve through cultural change what Marxism could not achieve politically, Breitbart News reported.
“The Democrat obsession with race is only dragging us backward into the past, and it is bringing our country down to a point where even China and Russia are lecturing us on human rights, race — and they’re doing it in a very humiliating fashion,” he added.
Trump’s sentiments mirrored an earlier discussion in the conference on Sunday where panelists called for conservatives to quit playing defense in America’s culture war.
“Let’s take a step back from Critical Race Theory … For the past 20 years, it’s the political left that is creating the culture war … The left is constantly pushing the culture war, and they’re doing it in our schools,” Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) said during a panel led by Terry Schilling from “American Principles Project.”
“We have to start spreading our values and our ideas across the country,” Donalds said later. “We have to actually engage in the education of our children because they truly are the future.”
Panelist Inez Stepman from the “Independent Women’s Forum” said the lack of attention given to education by conservatives and Republicans in the past few decades is partly to blame for the lefts’ rise in K-12 schools.
“It’s not going to be enough to ban Critical Race Theory on the legislative level,” Stepman said. “We have decades to undo.”
Trump, in his speech, also called for school choice if “government-run schools are going to teach children to hate their country.” Stepman noted that while parents should do what is best for their children, they should not give up on saving public schools from the infiltration of woke ideology.
“You cannot live in a country where the public schools are actively anti-Americanizing children and expect that you’ll be able to keep your homeschooling and your private schools. So we have to care about what’s happing in the public schools,” she said.
“We’re graduating rank after rank of woke cultural revolutionaries into every institution in this nation — and it starts in the education system. If we fix that, then a lot of things downstream will start to become better I think,” she concluded.
More than 20 states have proposed legislation banning Critical Race Theory so far, with several signing bans into law.