Bill Maher supports parents upset by CRT in schools
HBO Real Time host Bill Maher has defended parents who oppose Critical Race Theory in public schools, saying it is “dishonest” to suggest they are angry about including African American history in the curriculum.
During his Friday night panel discussion, Maher debated Vanderbilt Professor Michael Eric Dyson about the role parental frustrations played in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia. It was won by GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin after a last-minute wave of support attributed to parents concerned about what their children are being taught in state schools.
Dyson argued that parents were outraged that black history was being “centered” in schools, saying they were “appalled” by CRT, even though “none of them can define it.”
Maher fired back: ‘I think that’s an unfair argument because I don’t think that’s what people object to… They don’t object to black history being taught. There are other things going on in the schools.’
HBO Real Time host Bill Maher has defended parents who oppose Critical Race Theory in public schools
Vanderbilt professor Michael Eric Dyson argued that parents were outraged that black history was being “centered” in schools, saying they were “shocked” by CRT, even though “none of them can define it”
Maher urged examples, saying parents objected to “separating children on the basis of race and describing them as oppressed or oppressor.”
“I mean, there are children coming home who feel traumatized by this. That’s what parents object to,” he added.
Dyson responded by stating that much of the public discourse on CRT is driven by conservatives who believe the controversial ideology will “make good publicity.”
“It’s not a critical racial theory, it’s the idea of centering black people as historical agents,” he said.
“I think you are underestimating the anti-black sentiment that is deeply rooted and that goes way beyond Trump. … It’s not just Donald Trump, it’s the [Republican] party itself,” Dyson added.
Defenders of current progressive school policies argue that CRT is a university-level academic theory not taught in schools, and that it is used as a catch-all to scare parents.
But opponents say many lessons and school policies — most under the umbrella of “diversity, equity and inclusion” — are made by adults affected by CRT.
Schools have sparked outrage with classes urging white children to see themselves as oppressors, with black children being told they are victims.
And others have created “affinity groups” where students can spend time with other people of the same race, which critics have denounced as segregating.
In his monologue on Friday, Maher also spoke about the Virginia election, in which Youngkin defeated former Governor Terry McAuliffe in a shocking shock to Democrats.
Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Governor Terry McAuliffe in a shocking surprise for Democrats in Virginia’s governor’s race on Tuesday
Opponents of the academic doctrine known as Critical Race Theory protest outside the Loudoun County School Board headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia, earlier this year
Education became a hot-button issue in the race after McAuliffe said in a debate that parents should not have a say in what is taught in schools, follow parents’ protests over alleged CRT elements in education.
Democrats insist that CRT, which argues that racism is systemic in American institutions, is not taught in Virginia’s K-12 public schools. Republicans view this claim as false and say there are clear elements of ideology in the school system.
“Virginia folks, the only race they want their kids to learn is NASCAR,” Maher joked in his monologue on Friday. “That seems to be the message.”
“I think Democrats should study Critical Race Theory, the theory that winning races is critical,” he added.
Later, during the panel discussion with Dyson, the Vanderbilt professor doubled down on his argument that parents were actually angry about the inclusion of black history in the curriculum.
“I think Democrats should study Critical Race Theory, the theory that winning races is critical,” Maher joked
“But that’s not all we’re talking about,” Maher retorted. “We’re talking about kids who sometimes seem too young to fully appreciate all this.”
“I think if kids looked at you, they wouldn’t know many of those words. So to ask them instead of maybe letting kids be kids, where kids are usually pretty nice to each other when instructed not to be,” Maher said.
Glenn Loury, an economics professor at Brown University, also joined the panel from a conservative perspective, arguing that “we need to get beyond race.”