John Oliver on Critical Race Theory

His show Last Week Tonight did an excellent job deconstructing what Critical Race Theory is and how the right wing, by means of massive distortions funneled through their echo chambers like Fox News, has managed to persuade some white people that it is part of a widespread campaign to demonize them as evil. They are not evil. But these people are snowflakes who get really bent out of shape by any suggestion that the history of the US has resulted in racist policies that favor white people being embedded in its political and legal structures. They also do not want their children to engage with issues of race at all, never mind the fact that children of color have no such choice since they have to engage with issues of race pretty much every day.

Oliver says that the laws to ban the teaching of CRT in schools (something that rarely happens since CRT is an academic discipline usually taught in graduate schools, especially law schools) are really being pushed by those who want public funds can be given to allow parents to pay for their children to attend private schools, a movement that goes by the name of ‘school choice’.


  1. John Morales says

    My usual principle is that, if the video is geoblocked in my jurisdiction, I will only bother to watch it if it’s something that seems interesting. This does not qualify.

    (“Video unavailable
    The uploader has not made this video available in your country”)

  2. K says

    The war on education is a major part of the Republican playbook. Back in the 2010s it was “Common Core is going to kill us all!”. In the 1990s “Dr.” Laura was on the airways shrieking about mandatory gynecological exams on kindergarteners in public schools and “pc” culture, in the 1980s it was “crack babies coming to your schools to give you AIDS!”, in the 1970s it was “desegregated schools!” and “new math!”

    The solution to this, of course, was to give parents the money to send their kids to private--usually fundagelical “Kris-chun” madrasas.

    In the 1960s, the tail end of the Boomers were in school and there was never too much money that could be spent on their education.

  3. seachange says

    Fifty years ago the arrogantly unethical study saying you should do this with eye color was published. It was very brand new at the time. That it is still around, and is now used with brown eyes shows part of the problem of the pedagogy of education.

    And my first grade teacher who was all modern and stuff, she did the eye color thing, declaring blue-eyed children to be the lesser part of the class.

    It didn’t go the way she wanted. It took me a few days, but I staged a violent revolution. I didn’t have the metaphors then but I was going to be hung for a sheep and not for a lamb. I didn’t realize then, that I got away with it *because* the racist society we live in valued those blue eyes and my other recessive phenotype traits.

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