Ryan Girdusky, Founder of the 1776 Project PAC

5 Nov 2021

CLAY: We are joined now by Ryan Girdusky. He is the founder of the 1776 Project PAC and author of They’re Not Listening: How the Elites Created the National Populist Revolution. Ryan, we all owe you a debt of gratitude because you are starting to actually put the pedal to the floor here when it comes to holding many of these different school boards accountable for what they are teaching our kids. Thanks for joining us. Explain what you’re working on and the success you’ve already had.

GIRDUSKY: So, yeah, back in May I started a super PAC, the first federal super PAC for school board election. No big-dollar donors. No billionaire helped me with it. It’s just something I kind of created on my own. I did some media for it, and 15,000 people donated small-dollar donations, and with that I was able to help campaign on behalf of 50 state candidates in 29 school districts and so far as of right now we have a 75% win rate.

CLAY: That’s incredible.

BUCK: Ryan, I just spoke last night… Good to talk to you, my friend. I just spoke last night to a big group out in Wisconsin and to say that the folks were fired up about what they feel is a grassroots parents uprising against the apparatus of the school system, the Democrat leftist domination, indoctrination… It’s an understatement to say they’re fired up about it.

How do we see this now spread? The big thing for us on the right is, how does Virginia become the template for winning in other places? Because the CRT training, critical race theory training in Virginia, it’s not unique. In fact, there’s more of it in other places too. So, what have you seen? How do we make this a movement and not a one-off?

GIRDUSKY: So, I think that what people don’t understand is that critical race theory is being practiced — not necessarily taught, but practiced — in the way they do the teaching in all 50 states. Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the 1619 Project, often boasts that it’s being her exact program, the 1619 Project, is being taught in all 50 states, in hundreds of classrooms.

And that’s a program that says that the American Revolution happened because the British wanted to abolish slavery and the American colonials didn’t. It’s a total fabrication that never, ever happened. Historians have debunked it. Nonetheless it’s being taught in schools. I think there’s a lot of things to be done that could be done.

You’ve seen a lot of governors across the country sign bills and executive orders banning CRT. The problem with that is that they do not have any repercussions if the teachers continue to do those programs. So there’s a law that necessarily says, “You can’t teach CRT,” but if you do there’s no punishment. I think what has to happen is the school board level, it’s where the fight is.

It’s why I decided to create this PAC. I think the curriculum must be altered. And for decades you’ve had Republicans sit there and fight all of our colleges and universities being too far left — or over school choice is another big Republican talking point — but they’ve kind of let curriculum slide and they let curriculum be controlled by the Democrats.

Magnifying curriculum I think is the way to do it, and if you go to the PAC website, 1776ProjectPAC.com, if your school district is promoting and practicing critical race theory, you can send me examples of it. I think the problem is a lot of kids, a lot of people can’t identify exactly what critical race theory is, but they kind of know it when they see it. And they just need more examples of it, and we need to know which school districts are problematic. Not every school district is problematic, but many of them are.

CLAY: When you see this issue motivate, I think, to such a great many people came out to vote in 2021, do you foresee it as also being a major issue in the 2022 elections? Is this energy, in your mind, only gonna grow surrounding what kids are being taught in school and parental involvement in those lesson plans?

GIRDUSKY: Yeah, because here’s the thing: why Democrats are losing on this issue is because they’re putting down parents who are concerned. Rather than sitting there and addressing it or fighting over the merits of why they think it should be taught, they’re saying, “No, you idiot, this is not even being taught. You’re being lied to,” and their kids are coming home, or their grandchildren are coming home and saying, “My teacher is making me feel bad about being born white.”

That’s not something that is… That charges parents up when they are openly criticized and then when the Justice Department calls them domestic terrorists. Democrats’ response to this has been so abysmal on every single issue — and it’s not that Republicans have done such a great job on championing this issue or thinking of an alternative to fighting against it.

But what Democrats have done is, they’ve just sat there and they’ve mocked parents. They told them that their opinions are wrong, and it’s not just — people understand is that critical race theory is not just history, it’s not just the teaching of history and indoctrinating kids in the 1619 Project or making them “privilege walks,” which is where white children have to show how privileged they are by walking in front of the rest of the room.

Or in a case in Atlanta, Georgia, where kids were being literally separated in classrooms by their race. You have programs in, like, Los Angeles County where school districts receive less funding if they have a majority of their population being white. In New York City, my hometown, you’ve seen the mayor — in his last few months in office — gut gifted and talented programs because there’s not enough racial diversity in them.

You’re going to see them after — and you’ve already seen them go after — the hard signs, math and science, because they’re not diverse enough. And it’s, quote-unquote, “equitable” enough. I think that this charges people up — normal, rational people — not drinking the Kool-Aid on woke progressivism that they’re in recoil from this, including many Democrats. And I think that’s why you’ve seen so many — or, sorry, not Dems, but-left-leaning independents. And that’s why so many of them sat there to go and vet or to vote Republican some for the first time ever.

BUCK: We’re speaking to Ryan Girdusky. He is the founder of the 1776 Project PAC. Ryan, is there you think an opening here as well — I spoke last night to someone you may know as well, Vivek Ramaswamy, who wrote Woke Inc. And we were talking about how this parents’ uprising against critical race theory in schools — and as you rightly point out a lot of snide sneering from the Democrat apparatus did not work out well for them in this last election.

But there’s also the wokeness and really a form of CRT that’s being taught in or really enforced in corporate America too. Do you think there’s a plate to have people actually start to make gains…? You know, I don’t know if you saw this Microsoft. We’ll have to play it for everybody. They have to start off a Microsoft meeting now saying, “We know we’re on indigenous land,” basically apologizing for that.

GIRDUSKY: (laughing) Yeah.

BUCK: This is at Microsoft. I think the same way people have seen the schools have lost their minds when it comes to kids, corporate America, in large part… I mean, Clay talks about it in the sports world or not. It’s broader, all over the place now, corporate America too. Is there a pushback we can get going there that will have political effect?

GIRDUSKY: Yeah. This is where Republicans are just missing the ball completely because too many of them are still adopting libertarian talking points on business and letting business do whatever it wants to do. What President Trump did so successfully in his last year in office was he sat there, and he denies federal contracts to companies that practice critical race theory.

And you saw immediately, speakers who promote critical race theory being dropped, their contracts being dropped from corporate America ’cause they wanted federal contracts. All it would take is a Republican governor, especially in big states — in states like now Virginia or Florida or Texas or Ohio sitting there and telling businesses, “We will not have any government contracts with you if you promote CRT.

“If you bring CRT speakers to your thing, if you use race-based hiring practices or race-based whatever, we are not going to give you a state contract.” Those state contracts are worth millions if not billions of dollars that always go up. It’s the easiest money you can possibly get if you can get a state contract. Every corporation desires them.

And to deny them would hit them where it really hurts. I think that is where politically they should move if they can just — if Republicans can just — open their eyes to “Big Business is not your friend,” which the Republican voters have warmed up to and woken up to, but Republican politicians are still lagging behind on that issue.

CLAY: Ryan, good stuff. We appreciate you. It’s Ryan Girdusky. We encourage you to check out the founder of the 1776 Project PAC and author of They’re Not Listening: How the Elites Created the National Populist Revolution. Thank you, Ryan.

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