No, Virginia did not ban the teaching of critical race theory.
The executive order Glenn Youngkin issued will be ineffective. Here's why.
Day one of Glenn Youngkin’s administration in Virginia was celebrated for the executive order he signed “banning” the teaching of critical race theory in the state!
Except a reading of the executive order reveals that he didn’t actually ban it if you understand how critical race theory is taught in most schools.
Here’s the problem: Youngkin banned the teaching of “divisive concepts,” defining “divisive” as anything that violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Except that the vast majority of the time that critical race theory is taught in the classroom, they are not teaching it in a way that violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They are teaching it based on the concept that America is a country founded on racism - they focus on the racism of the system, not of individuals.
It’s easy to understand why conservatives might believe this is enough to be effective. After all, Fox News constantly runs stories on the “anti-white” nature of critical race theory and there are absolutely instances of overtly discriminatory practices taking place in public schools that make for great clickbait fodder. But the fact is that what you hear on Fox News is only one small part of what the truth is.
I know this because I’ve spent thousands of hours watching how critical race theory is taught in the real world. I’ve seen the curriculum. I’ve seen the teacher trainings. Every week on Fridays on my second YouTube channel, we watch how CRT is actually taught and it’s rarely taught in the way that shows up in conservative media. It’s much worse than you think.
The problem between perception and reality that we are dealing with is that most teachers who are teaching critical race theory are much more subtle in their approach. They aren’t teaching that white people are bad - they’re teaching that America is a fundamentally racist country and therefore the entire system needs to be overhauled.
This is not something that is banned by Youngkin’s executive order.
That means that teachers in Virginia can still teach the 1619 project as though it’s accurate history (it’s not), they can still teach systemic racism as though it’s a real thing (and they’re always vague enough in their teaching of this to make sure it wouldn’t violate the EO), and they can still teach that what we should be striving for it equity (equality of outcomes) over equality (equality of opportunity).
This is a trap that legislators in my state of New Hampshire fell into as well.
The original anti-CRT bill in New Hampshire banned teaching that the state of New Hampshire or the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist. That, sadly, was taken out by my RINO Governor Chris Sununu and his cronies in the state Senate. When that provision was removed, they ensured that critical race theory would still be taught in public schools in New Hampshire, perfectly legally.
Critical race theory is not about race. It is about power. It is about instilling an ideology that is fundamentally designed to destabilize our system. That is why the vast majority of critical race theory is taught from the premise that the United States is a fundamentally racist country. If you do not ban that specific teaching, you do not ban critical race theory in the classroom. It is that simple.
And until conservatives grasp that this is a far bigger question than skin color, they will continue implementing tactics like Youngkin’s executive order that get him featured on Tucker Carlson, but won’t actually change what your kids are being taught in the classroom.
This may not be the news conservatives want, but this is the truth.
Definitions matter. How things are implemented in the real world matters, and they matter more than the headlines you read on Twitter. Unless Youngkin updates his executive order, Virginia parents should continue to keep an eye on what their kids are learning because almost nothing but the most nefarious talking points got banned today. Your kids will still be taught they live in a fundamentally racist country, they will still be taught the entire capitalist system needs to be overhauled, and that teaching will still be perfectly legal.
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