How stupid are Republicans? (#2)

I need to start numbering these, because this clearly will be a series, and this headline is destined to get recycled a lot. (#1 is here.)

Today’s story involves a GOP legislator in Rhode Island who claimed critical race theory (aka CRT) cost her a black friend.

She tweeted, “I had a Black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me, too. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure I didn’t do anything to her, except be White. Is that what teachers and our political leaders really want for our society? Divide us because of our skin color? #CRT”

The internet immediately lit into her, but I want to skip over that (you can read the details here), and go directly to what she said that enshrines her as a Stupid Republican.

She added, “It was me saying, ‘Do we want to start separating people and picking friends based upon skin color? Is that where we want America to go?’ I am really concerned that this whole critical race theory that is being pushed through our schools and universities and workplaces is doing just that – it is separating people.”

That’s just plain stupid on every level.

Since she’s been white all along, it’s unlikely her “black friend” (more about that below) suddenly became “hostile and unpleasant” because she’s white. Nor is it plausible that what’s taught in schools (more about that below, too) has anything to do with it, unless she’s still stuck in tenth grade because she can’t pass the tests.

I suppose it’s possible her “black friend” finally got fed up with her politics. School instruction hasn’t changed, but that has. Republican politics are much more white supremacist now, and that wouldn’t sit well with any black person.

There are two CRTs in America right now. The first one has been an academic subject in graduate schools since the 1970s that studies the effects of systemic racism on society. While the writings and pedagogy of some of its practitioners have drawn some criticism from within academia (details here), it never upended anything in broader society. Nor, for over 40 years, was it a political football.

The second one is a vernacular phrase of squishy meaning that Republicans recently began using as a catch-phrase when they commenced falsely accusing America’s public schools of teaching white kids to feel bad about being white. (Makes you wonder if these people have ever been in a classroom.)

This appears to be a subterfuge for banishing any mention of historical or contemporary racism in schools. That embraces books, course materials, curricula, and also includes burning school boards, administrators, and teachers at the stake. It takes the form of angry mobs, and what they’re objecting to is age-appropriate instruction about the role of racism in American history and society. (That role happens to be very large.) By all appearances, it’s heavily salted with white supremacy.

Those books, course materials, curricula, school administrators, and teachers were quietly minding their own business, until Republicans made faux-CRT a thing and angry mobs goaded by hate-talk descended on them en masse. Nobody is pushing anything through schools and universities that wasn’t there for several generations; the only thing that changed was Republicans coming along with this #CRT nonsense. If you ask school kids if they’re being “separated” by the books they’re assigned to read, or by classroom instruction or seating, I’m 99.9% sure you’ll get blank stares.

Republicans had been attacking diversity programs in schools and colleges for years, and now they’re also going after instructional content as part of a new (or newly reinvigorated) movement to reassert white dominance in our society and culture, most likely provoked by the realization that in the not-too-distant future white people will be an ethnic minority in the great American melting pot.

Most white people aren’t threatened by that. These people are. By all appearances, there is massive overlap between them and the Trumper movement, which I tend to view as white supremacy’s last gasp in America before it vanishes forever.

New young generations have a way of casting off the bad habits and attitudes of their elders.

The legislator in question, Patricia Morgan (photo, above left), didn’t identify her “black friend,” so there’s no way to fact-check her story. She doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who has black friends, but if she does, and they had a falling out, it probably wasn’t over some newfangled ideology taking over public schools. Or any ideology at all, because if they’re ideological foes, they wouldn’t have become friends in the first place. Friendships usually end over pedestrian things, or people simply getting tired of each other, or moving on to new relationships. Life isn’t static.

She does strike me as a Stupid Republican who mouths mindless partisan talking points, without thinking about what’s she saying, or any clue of how ridiculous she sounds.

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