Accuracy in Media

It wasn’t critical race theory that won the Virginia gubernatorial election for Glenn Youngkin, according to a new piece from Vox.

After all, CRT isn’t taught in schools, so how can a revolt against it being taught in schools have any effect? Which entirely misses the point. CRT is taught in education colleges to those who become teachers, CRT informs textbooks, the curriculum and the attitudes within the education establishment. That is what parents are arguing against and that was what informed a significant part of the Virginia vote.

The crucial claim by Vox, one that has been standard in recent months in much of the media:

“ Critical race theory was, until recently, an obscure school of thought in legal academia focused on analyzing the failures of mainstream legal approaches to fully remedy racial inequalities embedded in American law and society. It is not a standard part of the K-12 curriculum in Virginia or elsewhere. “

 Voters in Virginia and elsewhere are not fools – we’d not use the system of democracy if we believed that to be true. That we are a democracy is because we believe entirely the opposite, that the wisdom lies with the people.

 If we define critical race theory as an obscure school of thought in legal academia then everyone knows that this isn’t taught to 6 year olds. Quantum chemistry is also an obscure theory taught to graduates and discussed by professors. However, both – like other academic theories – are taught to those who go on to teach children. Which is the very thing being complained of. The chemistry not so much of course, but that idea of CRT that the racist evil of modern society is inherent and cannot be erased.

That CRT isn’t taught in kindergarten is true – that it is taught as truth to those who teach kindergarten is also true and is the problem. For the teachers will embed the untruths of what they have been taught into that curriculum, into the interactions they have with the children. This is what is being complained of – rightly – and is one of those things that really did swing the election.

Vox gains some 30 million readers a month. The declared aim of the site is to explain the news to millennials. It’s within the top 100 news sites globally. As such there’s a duty to actually explain that news, not just put forward the current party line concerning partisan political issues. 

Critical race theory isn’t a problem because it exists in some dark corners of academia but because it has become one of the central belief structures of the education system. It’s not that CRT is being taught to children but that those who teach the children accept it uncritically.

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