Republicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory

Republicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory
© Greg Nash

A trio of Republican senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would ban federal funding for what they believe to be “divisive concepts” such as critical race theory, which has become a key talking point for conservatives as midterm battles start to take shape.

The Protect Equality and Civics Education Act was brought forth by Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China MORE (R-Fla.), Kevin CramerKevin John CramerSenate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair Lobbying world The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - After high drama, Senate lifts debt limit MORE (R-N.D.) and Mike BraunMichael BraunIndiana recruiting unvaccinated Chicago officers Indiana's GOP senator: Chicago police who defied vaccine mandate 'deserve respect' Bottom line MORE (R-Ind.). North Carolina Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R) and Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxStudents, not teachers unions, should be at the center of education Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued K metal detector fine Republicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory MORE (R) introduced the bill’s companion legislation in the House.

“The story of our nation is under attack as the radical left continues to attempt to rewrite American history and categorize our citizens into an oppressor and oppressed class,” Rubio said in a statement. 

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Critical race theory has been around for decades, but has just recently caught the ire of the GOP.

In September, former President TrumpDonald TrumpHarris stumps for McAuliffe in Virginia On The Money — Sussing out what Sinema wants Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — The Facebook Oversight Board is not pleased MORE issued an executive order banning federal agencies, contractors and grant recipients from conducting diversity training which he has deemed “anti-American.” 

Trump in his order alluded to critical race theory, claiming that many of the trainings being conducted by federal agencies were “rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.”

The academic theory, which isn’t widely taught outside of higher education settings, asserts that the U.S. was built upon racist structures such as slavery and Jim Crow and that remnants of these systems are present today and need to be dismantled because they continue to drive inequality and inequity across the country.

In this way, the theory states, racism is systemic and therefore ingrained in everyday life instead of being an abnormal personal affliction.

Nonetheless, the issue has gained traction with parents and school boards across the country, at least in part because of the rhetoric used by conservatives — that children are being “indoctrinated” by critical race theory.

“I will not allow American students to be subjected to propaganda that seeks to divide and indoctrinate future generations into believing that some individuals are inherently racist solely due to the color of their skin,” Rubio continued. 

Discourse surrounding critical race theory is in stark contrast to the Biden administration’s overarching goal of advancing equity throughout every part of the federal government.