Speaking at the National Archives on Constitution Day, President Donald Trump ripped Critical Race Theory—the left-wing ideology that purports that racism is an effectively permanent and inescapable feature of American society—saying that it was a form of child abuse to teach it to children.
“This is a marxist doctrine, holding that America is a wicked and racist nation—that even young children are complicit in oppression—and that our entire society must be radically transformed,” said Trump.
As an example of Critical Race Theory in practice, Trump cited a recent digital pamphlet from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The document, which has since been changed, “alleged that concepts such as hard work, rational thinking, and the nuclear family and belief in God were not values that unite all Americans, but were instead aspects of whiteness,” said the president.
The National Museum of African American History & Culture wants to make you aware of certain signs of whiteness: Individualism, hard work, objectivity, the nuclear family, progress, respect for authority, delayed gratification, more. (via @RpwWilliams)https://t.co/k9X3u4Suas pic.twitter.com/gWYOeEh4vu
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 15, 2020
“This is offensive and outrageous to Americans of every ethnicity,” Trump continued, adding: “It is especially harmful to children of minority backgrounds who should be uplifted, not disparaged. Teaching this horrible doctrine is a form of child abuse in the truest sense of those words.”
During the speech, Trump said that he would be launching a “1776 Commission” to promote patriotic education. The commission will be launched at a future date, and will help “educators to teach our children about the miracle of American history.”
Earlier this month, the Trump administration moved to block Critical Race Theory training sessions—which help advance the idea that American society is hopelessly racist—from being run in federal agencies with federal money.
In “Cynical Theories,” a recent book on the subject, James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose, two of the most vocal scholars against Critical Race Theory, explain how the ideology works: “[E]very interaction between a person with a dominant racial identity and one with a marginalized one must be characterized by a power imbalance (the postmodern political principle). The job of the Theorist or activist is to draw attention to this balance — often described as racism or white supremacy — in order to begin dismantling it. Because the member of the marginalized racial group is said to have a unique voice and a counternarrative that, under theory, must be regarded as authoritative…everything the marginalized individual interprets as racism is considered racism by default…”
There is no room for disagreement or logical reasoning when a Critical Race Theory activist identifies racism, particularly because, as the authors also note in the book, “the word critical here means that its intentions and methods are specifically geared toward identifying and exposing problems [e.g., so-called manifestations of racism] in order to facilitate revolutionary political change.” Critical thinking is strictly prohibited in Critical Race Theory.
Trump also railed against the 1619 Project, which won a Pulitzer Prize, during his speech, saying: “This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth. America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that abolished slavery, secured civil rights, defeated communism and fascism, and built the most fair, equal, and prosperous nation in human history,” said the president.
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