Pennsylvania lt. gov., Senate hopeful Fetterman: Republicans’ use of critical race theory ‘divisive dog whistling’


Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who is running for the state’s open Senate seat in November, described Republicans’ use of issues such as critical race theory (CRT) as “divisive dog whistling.”

Ryan Grim, the Washington, D.C. bureau chief at The Intercept, asked Fetterman about how education matters were being handled in the Senate race, saying that Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year hinged on issues related to anger around schooling, such as CRT and masking. 

“[W]ith respects to the critical race theory and some of the issues you brought up in Virginia, it’s divisive dog whistling and the Republicans know that and, you know, if they bring that back, of course that’s an option, but we push back against the truth. Critical race theory isn’t taught in any Pennsylvania public schools, and it’s just not an issue,” Fetterman replied during a Wednesday appearance on Hill.TV’s “Rising.” 

CRT is a decades-old academic theory mostly taught in higher education circles that says that racism has been embedded in laws, institutions and U.S. history. In recent years it has become a lightning rod issue for conservatives. 

“We need to teach all of American history in our schools — the good, the bad, the horrific — and we need to always remember that parents have an absolute right to fully participate in their child’s education, their curriculum and voice their views and work in conjunction with school boards, and I think that’s the winning formula,” Fetterman said. “And I think that’s what Governor [Tom] Wolf has demonstrated during this pandemic.”

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