Sunday, May 09, 2021

Deplorables Understand That Wokeism Is A PsyOp...,

theatlantic |  Nonprofit organizations that provide these training sessions argued that the order violated their free-speech rights and hampered their ability to conduct their business. In December, a federal judge agreed; President Joe Biden rescinded the order the day he took office. But by then, critical race theory was already a part of the conservative lexicon. Since Trump’s executive order, Rufo told me, he has provided his analysis “to a half-dozen state legislatures, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.” One such state legislature was New Hampshire’s; on February 18, the lower chamber held a hearing to discuss Keith Ammon’s bill. Rufo was among those who testified in support of it.

Concerned that the measure might fail on its own, Republicans have now included its language in a must-pass budget bill. In March, Republican Governor Chris Sununu signaled that he would object to “divisive concepts” legislation because he believes it is unconstitutional, but he has since tempered his stand. “The ideas of critical race theory and all of this stuff—I personally don’t think there’s any place for that in schools,” he said in early April. But, he added, “when you start turning down the path of the government banning things, I think that’s a very slippery slope.” Almost everyone I spoke with for this article assumed that Sununu would sign the budget bill, and that the divisive-concepts ban would become law.   

Although free-speech advocates are confident that bills like Ammon’s will not survive challenges in court, they believe the real point is to scare off companies, schools, and government agencies from discussing systemic racism. “What these bills are designed to do is prevent conversations about how racism exists at a systemic level in that we all have implicit biases that lead to decisions that, accumulated, lead to significant racial disparities,” Gilles Bissonnette, the legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, told me. “The proponents of this bill want none of those discussions to happen. They want to suppress that type of speech.”

Conservatives are not the only critics of diversity training. For years, some progressives, including critical race theorists, have questioned its value: Is it performative? Is it the most effective way to move toward equity or is it simply an effective way of restating the obvious and stalling meaningful action? But that is not the fight that has materialized over the past nine months. Instead, it is a confrontation with a cartoonish version of critical race theory.

For Republicans, the end goal of all these bills is clear: initiating another battle in the culture wars and holding on to some threadbare mythology of the nation that has been challenged in recent years. What’s less clear is whether average voters care much about the debate. In a recent Atlantic/Leger poll, 52 percent of respondents who identified as Republicans said that states should pass laws banning schools from teaching critical race theory, but just 30 percent of self-identified independents were willing to say the same. Meanwhile, a strong majority of Americans, 78 percent, either had not heard of critical race theory or were unsure whether they had.

Last week, after President Biden’s first joint address to Congress—and as Idaho was preparing to pass its bill—Senator Tim Scott stood in front of United States and South Carolina flags to deliver the Republican response. “From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress,” Scott said. “You know this stuff is wrong. Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.” Rufo immediately knew what he meant. “Senator Tim Scott denounces critical race theory in his response to Biden’s speech tonight,” he tweeted. “We have turned critical race theory into a national issue and conservative political leaders are starting to fight.”

 

0 comments: