CNN has found an explanation for what it calls the nationwide “panic” over Critical Race Theory: white people are “afraid that they might be complicit in racism” and that they will be “blamed for their ancestors’ crimes,” the network reported Tuesday.
CNN has been defending Critical Race Theory for nearly a decade, ever since Andrew Breitbart and Breitbart News brought it to national attention. Then as now, CNN portrayed opposition to the theory as the product of white people’s irrational fears, rather than reasoned objection.
In a story and video by New York-based correspondent Elle Reeve, and video producers Deborah Brunswick and Samantha Guff, CNN claims, without evidence, that conservatives use “Critical Race Theory” to mean “any instruction about the role of race in America, past or present.”
That is what Democrats claim conservatives want, usually as a straw man to deflect criticism, but what conservatives really object to is far more specific — as the story inadvertently reveals.
CNN interviews public high school teacher Keziah Ridgeway, who says that “race and racism are literally the building blocks of this country.”
That is what conservatives oppose, pointing instead to the principles of liberty and equality in America’s founding documents. Conservatives also oppose the idea that America is beset by “systemic racism,” which suggests the country’s institutions remain racist even after the civil rights era, the Civil War, and generations of change.
In interviews dripping with condescension, Reeve continues CNN’s tradition of targeting ordinary people for humiliation when their views conflict with the left.
At one point, Reeve challenges a parent named Elana Fishbein, who appears to be Jewish and an immigrant, and who says she fears for her children. Reeve asks scornfully: “Were your children beat up by Antifa kids?” Reeve does not mention recent antisemitic attacks, including several during Black Lives Matter protests.
Throughout, CNN refers to parents by race, as if to discredit them: “A White man in a suit said…”. (The three CNN staff involved appear to be of pale complexion.)
Reeve also argues with the people she interviews — claiming, for example, that the Constitution’s Three-fifths Compromise is evidence of racism (rather than a way to limit the power of the slave states) and that the 1994 crime bill treated crack differently from cocaine because of race (rather than fear of its potency).
The story claims that Critical Race Theory is feared because it puts “White people in danger of being blamed for their ancestors’ crimes.” No “crimes” are specified. It also declares that Critical Race Theory is resented because “it could bring attention to the ways that White people today continue to benefit from racism,” as if that is an accepted fact.
The story concludes by predicting that new laws banning Critical Race Theory in some states will eventually be repealed.
The video version of the story aired on Erin Burnett Out Front.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new novel, Joubert Park, tells the story of a Jewish family in South Africa at the dawn of the apartheid era. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, recounts the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.