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Once again, the nation is witnessing the terrifying ease with which the FOX News network and other right-wing propaganda outlets can concoct and promote an entirely baseless moral panic with just a few weeks of nightly fearmongering. The latest absurd fake issue of the day is the “critical race theory” conspiracy, which alleges far-left public school teachers are teaching suburban children that they are inherently racist because they are white and being taught to hate their country.
To be clear, this is not happening. “Critical race theory” is an intellectual framework for looking at racism, certain ideas of which — like the concept that racism is systemic and not just the ideas of a few bad apples — are being incorporated into certain schools’ efforts to teach kids about racism in America. But there is no widespread effort to promote critical race theory in schools; instead, the term has been hijacked by Republicans to mean “anything that teaches kids to not be racist” or “anything that would criticize the state of race relations in America today.”
PBS Newshour journalist Amna Nawaz’s experience at yesterday’s school board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia, highlights just how effective Republican propaganda efforts have been in turning parents against their public schools with ridiculous conspiracies. Over 121 parents had signed up to speak at this meeting, and what they had to say is extremely disturbing:
Like the “Satanic rock music” panic of the 1980s, the hysteria around “critical race theory” is entirely contrived to fuel hate clicks and TV ratings in a period of general political stagnancy — but like everything FOX does, it also serves to promote white supremacy by convincing suburban parents that any attempt to grapple with or acknowledge the horrifying treatment of African-Americans in America is some kind of communist plot.
There’s no getting around it; FOX News and the right-wing propaganda machine are literally poisoning the minds of the American people, filling their heads with outrageous conspiracies and smearing the Democrats with a brush of radicalism that they are far too timid to deserve. FOX hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham regularly promote open white supremacist ideas from their enormous platforms, and the latest conspiracy about “critical race theory” is just the next narrative that they’re pushing to fill in lieu of offering any actual political solutions to the issues facing the American people today.