Chuck Todd Worries: Banning Critical Race Theory to Lead to False History?

MTP Daily host Chuck Todd and reporter Ben Collins asserted, but didn’t prove, on Tuesday that state legislatures and school boards seeking to ban Critical Race Theory are really interested in teaching an incorrect version of U.S. history at the behest of right-wing propagandists. 

Todd welcomed Collins by stating that CRT is a pseudo-controversy drummed up by right-wing agitators, “You have been at this nexus of sort of online propaganda and how online propaganda is used to create issues out of thin air and frankly, buddy, this issue is like something that was created out of thin air by a couple of producers at right-wing media outlets and all of a sudden, now school boards all across the country are dealing with something they did not know was an issue.”

That issue, he would go on to declare, is akin to “30 or 40 years ago, it’s Christian, Christian Coalition groups started targeting school boards in different ways trying to ban things in public schools or limit certain teachings. It feels like they are using the same tactics here.”

Collins agreed and accused conservatives of not defining CRT and just using it as a Get Out The Vote tactic, “The good thing is, the Critical Race Theory could mean whatever you want it to mean, so if you get people really riled up in conservative media, you can win those [school board] seats back.”

Todd then moved to Florida, which is one of the state’s with new anti-CRT regulations. Todd was concerned that Florida teachers will no longer be able to accurately teach history:

I was talking to some school teachers who happen to be in Florida, and who live and work in the state of Florida, and they are a bit confused by the law. Does this mean — can they not teach American history correctly? There’s a real fear among civics teachers that they are going to the front lines, and the Tucker Carlsons of the world will character assassinate them?

If Todd had taken 60 seconds to actually read Florida’s new rule, he would discover that there are certain things that Florida teachers are required to teach including, “the Holocaust, slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the civil rights movement and the contributions of women, African American and Hispanic people to our country.”

And contrary to Collins’ claim that for critics CRT is an ill-defined catch-all phrase, Florida’s rule specifically defines it as, “the theory that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.”

Still, Collins concluded by declaring the GOP fight against CRT is just a show, “it has something to do largely with national politics.” 

This segment was sponsored by Citi

Here is a transcript for the June 15 show:

MSNBC
MTP Daily

1:52 PM ET

CHUCK TODD: You have been at this nexus of sort of online propaganda and how online propaganda is used to create issues out of thin air and frankly, buddy, this issue is like something that was created out of thin air by a couple of producers at right-wing media outlets and all of a sudden, now school boards all across the country are dealing with something they did not know was an issue. 

TODD: There’s obviously school board members, some of who have been elected are being targeted as recalls, you know, Ben it, this looks very familiar, you know, 30 or 40 years ago, it’s Christian, Christian Coalition groups started targeting school boards in different ways trying to ban things in public schools or limit certain teachings. It feels like they are using the same tactics here. 

COLLINS: Steve Bannon said in the “path to save the nation is to save the school boards.” You don’t have to win a lot of votes at the school board level. Also, you don’t have to win, you know, you need to engaged voters, you need people who are laser focused on one specific idea. The good thing is, the Critical Race Theory could mean whatever you want it to mean, so if you get people really riled up in conservative media, you can win those seats back. It didn’t win back that situation in Maine, but it does win all throughout the country, and it’s having this impact where it’s being saturated nationally and having a downstream affect. 

TODD: Well Ben, I was talking to some school teachers who happen to be in Florida, and who live and work in the state of Florida, and they are a bit confused by the law. Does this mean — can they not teach American history correctly? There’s a real fear among civics teachers that they are going to the front lines, and the Tucker Carlsons of the world will character assassinate them? 

COLLINS: Yeah, that’s the worry. I talked to the superintendent, and he said “the biggest worry for me is the kids,” they don’t want to be in the background of a viral YouTube video where a guy is screaming at a school board meeting or graduation about Critical Race Teachings, but that’s the biggest worry is the children, the close people, but the biggest worry for state legislatures and for school boards is not, it has something to do largely with national politics. 

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