Republicans unveil bill to ban federal funding of critical race theory
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 Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.). North Carolina Reps. Madison Cawthorn (R) and Virginia Foxx (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.
Critical race theory has been around for decades, but has just recently caught the ire of the GOP.
In September, former President Trump 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.