Koch network slams ‘using government to ban’ critical race theory
Leaders of the political network built by the Koch family are slamming conservatives they accuse of using “government to ban ideas” on critical race theory.
“Using government to ban ideas, even those we disagree with, is also counter to core American principles — the principles that help drive social progress,” Evan Feinberg, executive director of the Koch-affiliated group Stand Together Foundation, told The Associated Press in an interview published Wednesday.
Critical race theory, particularly in schools, has become a major focal point for Republicans heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
A handful of states have considered or passed legislation banning the theory, which examines the nation’s history of institutional racism, arguing in part that the theory itself is discriminatory.
Charlie Ruger, vice president of philanthropy for the Charles Koch foundation, wrote in an op-ed for RealClear Education in May that the bills “however well-intentioned—would do more harm than good.”
“In each case, the legislation would sow confusion and threaten academic freedom far beyond those supposedly targeted. And the measures are short-sighted: They amount to heavy-handed overreach that will discourage the open educational environment they claim to champion,” Ruger said.
But, as the AP notes, the network has contributed thousands to groups promoting the bans on critical race theory. Stand Together and its affiliates have reportedly given $2.7 million to the American Legislative Exchange Council between 2015 and 2019.
The Hill has reached out to Stand Together and the Koch Foundation for comment.
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