The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines boogeyman as…
1: a monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening childrenThe Republican party is good at generating boogeymen.
2: a terrifying or dreaded person or thing : BUGBEAR
Just look at the big bro-ha-ha over Critical Race Theory… what is it? It seems to have a million definitions and the number of things CRT is suppose to do keeps growing and it is being pushed by far right political pundits like Fox News, One News Now, and other far right-wing political conspiracist.
So lets look first at what CRT really is and not what the right-wing conspiracy theorists claim it is.
What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack?Now look at what the Republicans claim it is, New York magazine wrote,
By Stephen Sawchuk
May 18, 2021
Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.
The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures are debating bills seeking to ban its use in the classroom.
Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.
The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.
A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.
This is a classic phantom menace. To the extent it is even clearly definable, CRT is an academic school of thought (initially developed in legal circles) existing almost entirely in higher education. It encourages reevaluation of history, literature, and other bodies of received knowledge to take into account racism as an often-pervasive social construct. It’s an approach, not a set “theory” that is “taught” or “trained,” and it focuses on analysis of institutions and policies, not individual culpability for injustice.
In other words, the current panic-stricken right-wing movement to condemn CRT in settings ranging from K-12 education to corporate diversity training is wildly off-target. There is no there there, for the most part. And the proponents of this witch hunt without witches generally aren’t bothering to supply any evidence of what they are attacking…
“It basically teaches that certain children are inherently bad people because of the color of their skin, period,” Pringle said.
When asked for examples the lawmaker said,
“Yeah, uh, well — I can assure you — I’ll have to read a lot more,” he said …
“These people, when they were doing the training programs — and the government — if you didn’t buy into what they taught you a hundred percent, they sent you away to a reeducation camp,” Pringle said.NBC reported that,
"Any anti-racist effort is being labeled as critical race theory,” said Jonathan Chism, assistant professor of history at the University of Houston–Downtown and co-editor of "Critical Race Studies Across Disciplines.”In other words they created a boogeyman.
“Many that are condemning critical race theory haven’t read it or studied it intensely. This is largely predicated on fear: the fear of losing power and influence and privilege,” he said. “The larger issue that this is all stemming from is a desire to deny the truth about America, about racism.”
The Oswego Country News Now said this about CRT,
The first rule of critical race theory is that nobody knows what critical race theory is.Where else have the Republicans and the right-wing pundits created boogeymen?
Okay, a few people do, but they’re a small fraction of the people who’ve been talking about it lately. Critical race theory (CRT) is an obscure area of legal scholarship. In my two decades of teaching American economic history, including much on slavery and race, I did not come across it until recently. Yet somehow any number of conservative politicians and pundits can’t stop talking about how teaching it endangers our children and our republic.
The “anti-CRT” campaign is massive. Conservative politicians and pundits are using this fake issue to whip their followers into a frenzy. Fox News has mentioned “critical race theory” some 1,300 times in the past three and a half months. Viral videos denouncing CRT have been viewed a combined thirty million times. Legislators in 22 states have introduced legislation to ban or limit the teaching of CRT, again without ever accurately defining or describing it.
How about all the laws that the Republicans have passed against trans people?
What about immigrants and Muslims?
And what about the Black Lives Matter movement?
The Republicans and the right-wing pundits are very good at stirring up fear and hate.
In a USA Opinion article the writer says, “That is why the policies promoted by governors, typically Republicans, that critical race theory should be banned from their state’s public schools are so idiotic, so irrelevant, and so manifestly designed to add fuel to the fires of the culture war.”
The Heritage Foundation has supplied pseudo-intellectual credibility to the crusade against CRT, and Fox News has been its chief propagandist, with a reported 1,300 on-air references to CRT in just the last three-and-a-half months.The Republicans and their far right-wing news outlets are very, very good at creating fear.
But to an ever-increasing extent, it’s the MAGA wing of the Republican Party at the center of this appropriately paranoid movement, as Politico explains:
Former top aides to President Donald Trump have begun an aggressive push to combat the teaching of critical race theory and capitalize on the issue politically, confident that a backlash will vault them back into power …
“This is the Tea Party to the 10th power,” Steve Bannon, Trump’s former adviser who has zeroed in on local school board fights over critical race theory, said in an interview. “This isn’t Q, this is mainstream suburban moms — and a lot of these people aren’t Trump voters.”