Clay Fired Up Over CRT: They’re Teaching This in Iowa!

22 Jun 2021

CLAY: Let’s start off, I think, here, Buck, by playing a clip from Chuck Todd where you basically get the argument that is misconstruing what critical race theory is and why it’s destroying the foundations of the American democracy, I think, that we have all so richly cherished. Listen to this clip and then we’re gonna unpack it a bit for.

AMNA NAWAZ: Specific to this idea of critical race theory, I have to tell you, I just spent some time reporting on this county in Virginia about an hour outside of Washington. And to your point, this is something that is mobilizing people —

CHUCK TODD: (whispers) It sure is.

AMNA NAWAZ: — and resonating very deeply. It was about a hundred-degree day. Dozens and dozens and dozens of parents, mostly white, in this largely affluent county showed up to a school board meeting — for many of them (snickers), the very first school board meeting they’ve ever attended — specifically because of this one issue.

BRAD TODD: That’s important to note. (sputtering) It — it — that… Y-y-you mentioned critical race theory a couple times. This is a parent-led backlash at the grassroots level.

CHUCK TODD: It’s manufactured —


CHUCK TODD: — and — and — and then sort of teachers been lit.

BRAD TODD: I disagree.

CHUCK TODD: This fire was lit! Eh?

BRAD TODD: I think it started because parents have had it with the education bureaucracy after covid.

CHUCK TODD: (grumbling) Mmm-hmm.

BRAD TODD: They’re fed up with it. Th-they tend to trust Democrats when it comes to education funding, but they trust Republicans on education accountability. I think that what the backlash you’re seeing on critical race theory in schools is another example of parents trying to hold educators accountable.

CLAY: Okay, Buck, critical race theory. Why in your mind is this story coming from? You just heard the debate there a little bit. How would you define it for people out there listening to us right now?

BUCK: It is… There’s the academic origin of it, which goes back to the critical legal theorists and people who are writing that the American legal framework… This is back, really, in the seventies and the eighties, it became more prominent. The American legal framework should reflect the institutional racism of America and therefore address it by treating people differently.

The legal framework has to treat people differently on the basis of race, and from this we get some things like — or some ideas like — affirmative action. But this goes well beyond affirmative action into every aspect of the law. It’s just a question of how they choose to apply it. The way it’s being taught today and discussed today is largely… I think it’s fair to call it racial Marxism.

Now, it’s not classical Marxism in the sense that you have a bourgeoisie and a proletariat and one oppressing the other and that’s an economic oppression argument. But it is Marxist in the sense that it tries to use the inequality that will always exist in any society as a means of dividing and separating people. But instead of class, the critical race theorists use race.

And they demand that people transfer power into the hands of an essentially left-wing elite to address the imbalances in society because of — you guessed it — systemic racism. So here you’ve replaced the class warfare of classical Marxism with a racial Marxism that is now being used not only in, of course, corporate America and a lot of other places that are teaching government institutions that are teaching CRT.

But they’re indoctrinating kids. And I think what was just said on that clip as well, parents like you are more aware because of all the Zoom lessons and everything of what their kids are actually being taught. And they had more time perhaps to even see what they’re being sent. And they realized that this is a very real indoctrination process. But that then brings us to you notice what Chuck Todd does. All of a sudden, critical race theory is a manufactured issue from the right —

CLAY: Right.

BUCK: — which just goes to show you they’re upset that people are paying attention to it now. They much preferred when they could have their way in all the schools without anyone on the right saying a word about it.

CLAY: And this goes to my argument we were talking about yesterday and something that I’m gonna keep beating the drums on. Essentially this is an attack at the fabric of America, utilizing our difference — which is entirely cosmetic — to divide us, and so let’s think big picture here. What unites a nation?

Usually it’s a shared history, a shared belief system. And the reason why so many people are dying to come in the United States of America every single day is because we offer uniquely, in the world, an opportunity for anyone who works hard enough to get ahead. What critical race theory is essentially arguing is you can’t get ahead because everything is so structurally aligned against you that unless you are — let’s, frankly, be honest here — a white man.

‘Cause that’s what this is really about, right? The attacks on Western civilization are about white men in positions of power who made decisions that have led to the greatest country in the history of the world. As our democracy has expanded, we have allowed everyone to be involved in it, right? I mean this is kind of the history of the legal system.

This is me putting on my lawyer hat in a big picture. Initially, who could vote in the United States of America? Rich people who owned the land, white men. And then we expanded it to white men. And then we expanded it to black men when the civil rights movement, we finally expanded it to all people having access to the ballot, and we added women in the 1920s.

I gotta include them as well. But we’ve expanded. So now the entire universe of American life — as long as you’re 18 years old and a citizen — you can vote. Did you see the clip that Bill Maher put out about “progressophobia,” like the idea being that America now is more racist than ever it’s ever been before or more sexist than it’s ever been before —

BUCK: Yes.

CLAY: — which effectively comes out of that, right?

BUCK: Of course. And this is why you have people who will say things… Let’s be very clear, folks, with what we mean. You have Joe Biden saying that Georgia passing certain laws about early voting —

CLAY: These are lies.

BUCK: — is Jim Crow 2.0.

CLAY: Yeah.

BUCK: The level of exaggeration from Democrats about the degree of racism in this country is intended as a control mechanism and to keep them in power, to keep the Democratic and the left in power. The things that they say — I mean, it’s outrageous, you know, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game which got so much attention —

CLAY. Oh, my God. I’m still fired up about that.

BUCK: — a few months ago back, you know, they moved it to a state that had largely you could sort of compare them on a more direct basis, moved to Colorado which has more restrictive voting laws in many respects than the state of Georgia did in the first place.

CLAY: And your state of New York —

BUCK: Of course.

CLAY — where Major League Baseball is located, is more restrictive than Georgia. In fact, if you look at restrictive voting rights, the bill that was supported by Joe Manchin as a replacement for the voting rights bill that’s supposedly on the floor of the Senate right now being voted down? It was actually basically the Georgia bill. And yet all these people out there arguing that this is in some way — in any way — connected to the historical basis of Jim Crow is one of the most dishonest things that’s been said in the twenty-first century, which is saying something.

BUCK: And it also unfortunately is to this point has been effective politics for Democrats, and we know the BLM movement, for example, has also raised a whole lot of money and has a tremendous influence in corporate America. We talked about that a little bit before, but now you’re starting to see what people are calling a backlash to it. There are other words you could even use.

You could say trying to establish a balance or just take us back to a reality-based perception of what’s going on and what’s being taught to kids in schools. So now they’re playing all these games, Clay. They’ll say, “That’s not really critical race theory,” when something comes up. When there’s either a school… There are these super, fancy, expensive schools in places like Los Angeles and New York that are teaching kids straight-up oppression theory, right? And if you question it, by the way? (chukcles)

CLAY: You’re racist.

BUCK: Then you’re racist. So you have to framework here where infused with racism. That’s what critical race theory is. “There’s racism everywhere.” There’s no way to get around it or deal with it that doesn’t involve treating people differently on the basis of race, which a lot of people would say is racism —

CLAY: Is racism.

BUCK: — and if you question this, you are —

CLAY: Racist.

BUCK: Bam!

CLAY: There’s no way to have a legitimate argument or discussion about this. And that, to me, is really what is so integral about this is you have an argument going on. First of all, this is a stat that I saw that kind of blew my mind, Buck. What do you think the average age in America is right now? You’re dead on. I’ll just tell you: Over half of Americans have been born since 1981 in this country right now. I was born in 1979. You were born in ’82, something like that.

BUCK: ’81.

CLAY: ’81. So, if you do the math on this, we have not grown up in a fundamentally racist country. Yet the people who are most embracing the idea of critical race theory are the people who have grown up in the least racist version of America. And these people are running around legitimately saying, “America’s never been more racist! America’s never been more sexist.”

And it just makes me want to pull my hair out because you have to have a fundamental misapprehension and misunderstanding, assuming that you’re not doing it intentionally, of all of human history to even make an argument such as that right now, and it’s rooted in what I think are the twin pillars — and we’ll continue to explore this topic as we go forward.

The twin pillars of leftist thought right now, which is, “Your identity defines you,” identity politics, and then if you question identity politics, what do they full it with? Cancel culture. You’re racist. You’re sexist. If you question any of this, you don’t deserve the right to have your opinion heard. God forbid you be a white guy who questions any of it, and (chuckles) then you’re even more of a cancel culture suspect. I mean, it’s really a terrifying dynamic that has been put in place here and we’re gonna continue to break it down for you going forward.


BAUCHAM: Critical race theory, just like all the critical studies, really comes from a Marxist perspective, this idea that you divide the world up into oppressors and the oppressed. And in critical race theory, white people, white America and America itself is the oppressor, and all people of color, minorities, are the oppressed. The purpose of it is a revolutionary political change. So this has absolutely nothing to do with — and is contrary to — biblical principles, and it’s obvious when you read the literature.

BUCK: Critical race theory, folks, neo-Marxist in its approach. There you had — and welcome back to The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show — Dr. Voddie Baucham who is an African-American minister and intellectual talking about the roots of this ideology and, you know, Clay, every day now it seems like there’s another school district, another… And this is government teaching sometimes. They’ll do government seminars with this stuff that will start to define what they view as white supremacy, will refer to America as a white supremacist nation. I remember your seeing… It’s funny. Clay, we didn’t actually coordinate this.

CLAY: I’m just looking. During the commercial break, like, just so people know, like, into our studio, like, what do we usually do? We catch up on whatever the news is, right? We want to make sure that we’re not missing anything. So we’ll have conversations. But we pull up our computers or our phones or whatever and make sure we’re seeing everything and literally while we’re having this discussion on this critical race theory… This is crazy, right? You’re looking at this chart in Iowa?

BUCK: Yeah, this is from Benny Johnson, so hat hip to Benny Johnson here. “Leaked documents,” and Benny’s at Newsmax, I believe, “from Iowa school system show teachers are forced to classify Make America Great Again as a type of racism and white supremacy — This is done through mandatory critical race theory,” he writes, “training forced on teachers at taxpayer expense.” That’s right. MAGA is —

CLAY: Teaching in Iowa.

BUCK: They’re teaching kids in school. It’s just on the borderline of overt white supremacy. So it’s essentially covert or, you know, just below hate crimes and swastikas. That’s what they have on this chart they’re showing people.

CLAY: I want to read some of these that are covert white supremacy. Are you ready? You’re looking at this now. This is what they are teaching in Iowa schools right now. All right. Are you ready? Here is something that is covert white supremacy. I hope that you guys have not done this. If you celebrate Columbus Day, you are a white supremacist. First of all, Columbus was Italian, right? I mean, he was selling on behalf of Italy, if I’m not — or is it Spain? Spain on —

BUCK: He is Genoese, but he was sailing on behalf of Ferdinand and Isabel.

CLAY: So I got that. Right I didn’t screw that up. All right. So I don’t know that I would necessarily say, like, “Hey, hard-core white supremacist there.” You are a white supremacist, if you assume, Buck, that good intentions are enough. If you are doing your best, you are a white supremacist. Here are some other things that this would be considered covert white supremacy. Saying, “Don’t blame me. I never owned slaves.” No one owned slaves! (laughing)

BUCK: (laughing)

CLAY: No one! Half of America has been born since 1981. They weren’t even alive when Ronald Reagan got elected. That’s a long time after slavery.

BUCK: I remember when we used — and this has been an intentional effort. The left’s control of language is something we’re gonna continue to hammer here because they get away with it all the time. I remember when white supremacy, not long ago, was guys with swastikas —

CLAY: Yes, yes.

BUCK: — and shaved heads who were gonna hurt people. Now it’s good intentions are enough. They’ve done this on purpose, obviously.

CLAY: It’s white supremacy, Buck, to believe we’re just one human family.

BUCK: Man, a lot of changes we gotta make here.

CLAY: And look, by the way, this is Iowa!

BUCK: Yeah.

CLAY: This ain’t, like, far left-wing New York City school. Iowa! They are teaching you that, if you believe we’re all one human family, you’re a white supremacist.

BUCK: Clay, we have every line lit here.

CLAY: I’m fired up. This is crazy.


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