The Republican Party hopes to capitalize on growing opposition from parents and conservatives across the country to radical left-wing Critical Racial Theory (CRT) as a viable campaign issue in 2022.
It is believed that focusing on the issue will help strengthen the party's base, especially parents who are concerned about what their children are learning in public schools.
Some red states have either passed laws or executive ordinances to ban school practice, and some groups are preparing to use the theme in the 2022 midterm elections.
"We're going to make sure our kids learn how to think, not what they think. Racial critical theory will be outside of our schools." – VA GOP gubernatorial candidate @GlennYoungkin on the Laura Ingraham Show. Subscribe to @QuakeMedia to listen: https : //t.co/d7bzEE7rrX pic.twitter.com/MkB0GDvVDu
– Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) May 16, 2021
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Conservatives are pushing back
The backlash to the Critical Race Theory has begun in Republican-controlled states.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential president in 2024, recently signed a $ 106 million initiative in support of a new statewide civics curriculum. Critical racial theory is expressly excluded from the curriculum.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, also mentioned as a likely GOP presidential candidate for 2024, was recently touted by a local newspaper as "the first candidate" to sign a pledge entitled "1776 Pledge to Save Our Schools." .
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The idea behind the promise is to restore “patriotic” education in the country's K-12 schools.
The promise also promotes a curriculum in which all human beings are created equal and "students do not compete based on race or gender."
In Virginia, where a recent Loudon County Virginia School Board meeting was making national news because parents opposed Critical Race Theory, gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin said he was "banning" Critical Race Theory from schools in Virginia.
If I am governor, we will NOT be teaching critical racial theory in our schools. We're going to give accelerated math classes.
I ask that you vote for me as your first choice today so that we can teach our children how to think, not what to think.
Polling stations: https://t.co/1r3maR6rrp pic.twitter.com/tSBKotQ33y
– Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) May 8, 2021
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Stick to GOP with a familiar strategy
While Donald Trump may not have won re-election, the Republican Party fared much better than expected in races in the House and Senate. The GOP was able to hold onto several important seats in the Senate and win seats in the House of Representatives, giving Nancy Pelosi the smallest majority in decades.
Part of that victory resulted from the pushing back of Hispanic and Black voters on radical agenda items like defusing the police – a common refrain advocated by Critical Race Theory supporters.
The same game plan could work with Critical Race Theory, as it now has a "brand name" that the public can be associated with.
And Democrats could inadvertently help the GOP use CRT as a viable campaign strategy. Defending the movement, Democrats insist that racism is pervasive in the United States and that teaching CRT compels American school children to talk about it.
Opponents of CRT argue that not only is it inaccurate, but that teaching in America's classrooms creates division and hatred among students, and teaches students that America is inherently a bad place.
Charismatic, ex-marine and great in front of the camera. Watch for Her Ascent – The GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate in Virginia criticizes racial critical theories curriculum as "nonsense" https://t.co/Ub2S7uaYI4 #FoxNews
– Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) May 13, 2021
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Will it be a winning strategy for Republicans to tie CRT to Democrats?
According to an organization called Parents Defending Education, a poll last month found that 58.3% of respondents said they disagree that children should be taught that America is based on racism and that it continues to be a racist country .
ABRUF: Americans in K-12 largely reject the “woke” race and gender policy.
"75% oppose teaching, there is no biological gender, and people should choose the gender they prefer for themselves. Only 18% supported teaching such concepts." Https://t.co/eEh6fY2mPb
– Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) May 10, 2021
Not all Republicans believe that using Racial Critical Theory as an election theme will win the day. American Principles' Schilling project also suggested that "Suburban America has woken up more and more over the past four years."
Virginia suburbs like Loudon County have turned blue in recent election cycles, but so have other places like Orange County California, which went to Joe Biden by a 53-44% lead, ousted two Democrats and voted Asian Republicans into last fall House.
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