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Media Warns Nation Not to ‘Whitewash’ History by Rejecting Racism

June 16, 2022

Take note, USA Today: Stopping public schools from teaching children to discriminate based on skin color does not constitute an “attack against teaching the history of enslaved Africans and their descendants.” And parents who just want to know what their kids are learning are not trying to “whitewash” history.

In yet another blatant instance of media bias, USA Today is framing the national movement to reject Critical Race Theory’s (CRT) race-based radicalism and restore parental rights as an effort to ban schools from teaching history. And the newspaper is doing it against the backdrop of Juneteenth, a holiday where Americans celebrate the end of slavery and commemorate our progression toward a country that lives up to the lofty ideals upon which it was founded.

“As the nation prepares to celebrate the 156-year-old observance, efforts continue to limit discussions about the role racial discrimination has played in shaping American history and modern society,” USA Today claims, adding that “civil rights leaders and Democrats condemn bans as attempts to whitewash the history of enslaved Africans, their descendants in America and other marginalized groups.” The article goes on to call out the Goldwater Institute for helping “draft much of the anti-CRT legislation proposed across the nation,” before citing proposed legislation in Arizona “that would allow parents to review instructional material.”

USA Today’s narrative is clear: CRT—which isn’t being taught, by the way (wink, wink, nod, nod)—is necessary to help children fully understand U.S. history, and criticizing its doctrines is akin to denying that racism has ever existed. Indeed, the newspaper seems incapable of distinguishing between the significance of Juneteenth and the toxicity of CRT, suggesting that anyone opposed to the latter is little more than a bigot seeking to undermine the former.

Never mind that CRT isn’t just an educational tool. It’s a destructive ideology that rejects the ideals on which America was founded in exchange for a culture of fear—pitting children against each other by teaching them that America is fundamentally based on slavery, racism, and hate.

Never mind that CRT runs contrary to the constitutional principles of liberty for all and equal protection under the law that we celebrate on Juneteenth. Yes, it’s important to teach America’s awful history of slavery and racism. But instead of rejecting the evils of racial discrimination, CRT adherents want to take us back to the days of state-sponsored racism.

Never mind that national polling has repeatedly reaffirmed Americans’ opposition to race-based policies in our public educational institutions.

Never mind that parents around the country are speaking up, demanding to know what’s being taught in public schools—not because they want their children uninformed about history, but because they want and deserve to know if schools are indoctrinating their kids on the taxpayers’ dime.

USA Today is just the latest media outlet to misrepresent the national movement to shine a light on what’s going on in the classroom. We saw it when the Daily Beast maligned academic transparency as “authoritarian” and “censorious”; when Vox suggested transparency laws are a veiled attempt at book burning; when National Public Radio’s Rhode Island affiliate failed to honestly cover a mom’s battle to see a kindergarten curriculum; and when state-based news outlets across the country worked to gaslight parents and mislead the public about the very nature of academic transparency legislation.

At the Goldwater Institute, we celebrate Juneteenth because it symbolizes our constant progress toward the realization of this nation’s promise—that the American Dream is for everyone. CRT, on the other hand, instills a sense of failure and despair by telling certain individuals that the American Dream is not open to them—when, in fact, generations of Americans have fought to bring the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all Americans. We have sometimes fallen short of realizing the American Dream, but the promise is still alive, and that is what makes America unique and worthy of saving.

But USA Today is running interference for an ideology whose base beliefs contradict what Juneteenth is all about. Don’t buy it. Let’s celebrate Juneteenth—and reject race-based radicalism for good.



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