Eric Boehlert
Eric Boehlert
Trying to pull off an upset in the Virginia governor’s race next week, Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin continues his push with an unlikely pledge at the center of his campaign: If elected he would immediately ban the teaching of critical race theory in Commonwealth classrooms.

His promise to voters has produced nonstop media coverage, as the political press eagerly hypes the possibility of a Democratic loss.

What the media have uniformly failed to do in Virginia, and nationwide as deep-pocketed, right-wing activists march on with their manufactured outrage over CRT, is forcefully point out that it’s not taught in schools. Period. When pressed, most Republican parents, politicians and activists aren’t able to explain what CRT is. (It’s an academic framework taught at the college level that examines how systemic racism is ingrained in America’s history.)

Claiming it’s an attempt to “indoctrinate the kids,” Republicans are using CRT as a battering ram to not only take over local school boards, but to try to win the Virginia governorship in what is clearly a GOP dress rehearsal for the 2022 midterms. The media remain widely impressed by the strategy, while refusing to note that the entire enterprise is a con. 

The whole thing represents a stunning failure of American journalism as news outlets defy common sense. It’s the latest example of the media working hand-in-hand with Republicans to spread nonstop misinformation.

What’s happening is that right-wing dark money groups are pumping millions into creating an army of activists who rally around lies about public education in hopes that that hysteria will get people out to vote more Republicans into office, who in turn then will vote to keep the tax rate low for corporations and the wealthy. CRT is being used as a Trojan Horse by big-money donors with Koch ties who likely couldn’t care less about the state of public education in America. Instead, they’re fueling the made-up controversy about teaching race in the classroom in order to build a Republican majority in Congress.