Beating a Zombie Horse: Yes, Virginia, CRT Is Real

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by James A. Bacon

If these were normal times I could file this post under the “beating a dead horse” tab. Jim Sherlock and I have blogged repeated on the topic of Critical Race Theory in Virginia schools, providing abundant documentation along the way. But various parties — from the McAuliffe campaign to the Washington Post to commenters on this blog — insist upon revivifying the expired equine.

Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I’m beating a zombie horse — a dead horse that refuses to go down.

Hilariously, we are led to believe that Critical Race Theory is an arcane academic theory popular among legal scholars but is not, repeat not, taught in Virginia. Watch Terry McAuliffe dodge the question from a reporter about how he defines CRT. He doesn’t need to define it, he says. “It’s racist. It’s a dog whistle. It’s not taught here.”

The only interesting question here is whether McAuliffe is deliberately and knowingly deceiving the electorate, or if be actually believes his foolishness.

Two days ago legal blogger Scott Greenfield tweeted the following document in which Equity Leadership Coaching invoiced Loudoun County Public Schools $34,000 for coaching support, for developing a “culturally responsive teaching framework,” and for “equity committee planning,” all of which are ubiquitous buzz words in the educational establishment today.

Who, you might ask, is the Equity Collaborative? The company is more than happy to tell you on its website. Its principals do not shy away from talking about Critical Race Theory.

Definition: CRT analyzes the role of race and racism in perpetuating social disparities between dominant and marginalized racial groups.

CRT’s purpose is to unearth what is taken for granted when analyzing race and privilege, as well as the profound patterns of exclusion that exist in U.S. society.

The website lists “5 tenets of CRT”:

  • Counter-storytelling (critique the dominant, male White, heterosexual ideology)
  • Permanence of racism (an inherent part of American civilization that privileges White individuals over people of color)
  • Whiteness as property (Whiteness is so beneficial to White people it represents a form of property)
  • Interest convergence (whites as the primary beneficiaries of civil rights legislation)
  • Critique of liberalism (liberalism helps Whites maintain their power in society; the concept of “meritocracy” buttresses the status quo).

In closing its overview, the Equity Collaborative proposes this question for breakout group discussions: “How might you use CRT to identify and address systemic oppression in your school, district or organization?”

So, let’s sum up the logic chain:

  1. Loudoun County Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in Virginia, pays $34,000 to the Equity Collaborative for training and consulting about “equity” and “culturally responsive teaching”;
  2. Equity Collaborative openly describes its thinking as Critical Race Theory;
  3. Equity Collaborative explicitly suggests “using CRT” to discuss systemic racism in schools; yet…
  4. Conservative talk about Critical Race Theory in schools is all fear-mongering and dog whistles.

Well, that’s one explanation of what the controversy is all about.

Here’s another explanation: The people who are claiming that CRT in schools is a bunch of crazy, right-wing scare talk…. are lying through their teeth, and they will continue to lie for the rest of the gubernatorial campaign because they know the issue is a political loser. But they can’t disown it because they don’t want to face the Twitter Outrage Mob.

Perhaps there is a third explanation. If so, readers, please illuminate.

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59 responses to “Beating a Zombie Horse: Yes, Virginia, CRT Is Real”

  1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “…for developing a “culturally responsive teaching framework,” and for “equity committee planning,””

    “…but [CRT] is not, repeat not, taught in Virginia”

    I am sure you are smart enough JAB to see the difference between training teachers in being culturally responsive and actually TEACHING CRT in the classroom. I am CONFIDENT that you are smart enough so I can only conclude that you are being intentionally obtuse for some kind of political point-making… sad…

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      more than smart enough. This is a game.

    2. How am I being obtuse? I have never claimed CRT is being taught in the classroom (although Kendi’s books have been used in classrooms in two Fairfax schools). That’s a fabrication of the left. But many of the policies and much of the teacher training is derived from CRT. It strikes me that you’re in total denial.

      What’s odd about that denial is the fact that, for the most part, you are entirely in agreement with the core precepts of CRT.

      Why not just come right out and say, yeah, you’re damned right Virginia educational policy is derived from CRT, as it should be, because the educational system is systemically racist, and the country is divided between White oppressors and Black victims, and I’m happy to debate you if you believe otherwise. Just be honest.

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        “I have never claimed CRT is being taught in the classroom”

        “Hilariously, we are led to believe that Critical Race Theory… is not, repeat not, taught in Virginia.”


        I do agree that it is important to train teachers to be culturally responsive and to promote equity in their classrooms. And, yes, education is systemically racist in much of the US. I’m not all in for oppressors and victims as that implies intent. I am, if nothing else, honest.

    3. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      It’s his PTSD (Privilege Trauma Stress Disorder) causing his WWD (Whiny Whitey Disease) to flare out of control and complain that people of color might learn something true.

      They are always wondering here at BR why the kids of color do poorly in schools. Once any kid realizes you’re BS’ing on anything, they pretty much turn you off.

      1. Love the default name calling.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          You’re welcome. Ya know, as the good doctor said, “Sometimes a cigar is just a smoke.”

  2. to beat the zombie horse again…. ‘There you got citing facts [this time THE MONEY] and reality again..such a White Euro-centric logical empirical based analytic attempt.’ Your errors are very obvious.

  3. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    It’s moot! You don’t have to teach K12 kids that whites in this country were racist and enslaved and lynched people of color. By pre-K they know it already.

    1. Those damn Democrats… and what about the nasty killings and enslavement by the indigenous tribes of those they conquered? Happy Indig Day

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          The funny part… Youngkin copied it straight from the Kansas State School Board approved textbooks.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Wow! That must be a valuable pre-Columbian artifact you got there. What’s the ethnicity of the artist? Aztec? Mayan? Carrib?

  4. LarrytheG Avatar

    ” The Spirit of Lee Atwater Lingers Among Us: How Critical Race Theory Became the GOP’s new Southern Strategy”

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      LaKeshia N. Myers? LaKeshia, eh? Is that a ‘Merican name?

  5. LesGabriel Avatar

    Permanence of racism seems to imply that the principle that all people should be treated equally is an outdated concept. I have even been told that by a couple of my daughters. I am told that it is not OK to not be a racist–one must be an anti-racist, as that term is defined by those who have appointed themselves to define our language and our way of thinking today.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Your daughters tell you this? Does it work? 😉

      1. LesGabriel Avatar

        I was brought up to treat each person equally and with respect. I don’t think I would be any good at discriminating on the basis of race. So, no I don’t think it works.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          But that doesn’t right the boat. The goal is to achieve your first sentence, not just proclaiim it.

          1. LesGabriel Avatar

            OK please explain how treating people differently based on skin color achieves the goal of each of us treating each other equally.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            It corrects the time line, but doesn’t reset the state.

            Suppose you’re Coke. Pepsi runs an ad presumably showing that more people prefer Pepsi in a random taste test. Your sales drop every time the ad runs. After several weeks, you discover that Pepsi was rigging the tests, people always prefer the red cup to the yellow regardless of content.

            What’s the first thing you do? You get an injunction and stop future runs of the commercial. That’s CRA64.

            But, what do you do about weeks and weeks of lost sales and revenue? You could sue. You might even recover. That would be reparations — something that totally freaks out white people.

            Or, you could run your own rigged ad.

            Kendi isn’t asking to be treated equally. He’s asking to be made equal.

          3. LesGabriel Avatar

            People are not Coke and Pepsi. There are billions of us at one time on earth and many billions more over time. There is only One who has any idea who treated who unfairly. For humans to try to keep track of such things is futile and self-defeating. We can only do our best during our time on earth to treat each other fairly in the present moment. Any other plan would require an earthly scorekeeper who could keep track of who owes what to whom. Who should that earthly scorekeeper be and what would be their qualifications?

          4. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            “Corporations are people too, my friend.”


        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          How were your daughters brought up if they think different from you?

          I too was brought up to be “respectful” but my Mother (circa 1950-70s) had a black woman come in to clean house, do dishes, and cook, but that woman had a separate set of plates for her to eat off of and glasses to drink from – even though she prepared, cooked and served the food and did the dishes.

          My Mom believed in “equal” also – but separate and with “respect”. She always called that lady “Miss ___”.

          That maid did not have Social Security nor Medicare (because as a maid, FICA taxes were not collected) and did not have a high school education because it was unavailable. She lived in what some would call a shack heated with wood.

          Her kids quite obviously did not have the same benefits and opportunities that I and others like me had, no matter how much “respect” we have given them.

          This is in my lifetime and the effects of it on those and their families and descendants is the truth that should be told, not banned.

          1. DJRippert Avatar

            So, your Mom was a racist. How does that make me or my kids racists?

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            Did I say that?

            I was pointing out that what the parent is is not necessarily what the child turns out to be.

            I grew up seeing it and over time saw it in others and came to believe it was very wrong.

            I grew up with opportunities and benefits the sons of our Maid did not. That’s not right.

          3. So, let me get this straight. Your parents were racist so you are going to give your hard earned dollars to someone because your parents discriminated against them? That seems fair.

    2. That’s what Kendi says: “Reuters denied that critical race theory teaches that “discriminating against white people is the only way to achieve equality,” saying that was a “misconception” promoted by “conservative media outlets.”

      “It’s not a misconception. It’s the explicit position of the most famous exponent of critical race theory, Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi. The “key concept” in Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist is that discrimination against whites is the only way to achieve

      equality: “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination,” writes Kendi in that book, a New York Times bestseller touted by many progressive journalists.

      “Ibram Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist is a “comprehensive introduction to critical race theory,” notes the leading progressive media organ Slate. Kendi says he was “inspired by critical race theory,” and he has been described as a leading “critical race theorist.” Kendi said that he cannot “imagine a pathway to” his teachings “that does not engage CRT.””

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        The link is to an article by Hans Bader. Do we believe what he has to say?

        Try this one:

        This article has over 100 references.

        I looked and could not find any advocacy of discrimination as claimed.

        So what is the truth?

        Is it what Conservatives are claiming ?

        Is CRT REALLY being taught in schools?

        CRT is not what Conservatives tell us what they think it is.

        Conservative’s anti-CRT is in my mind, walks and talks like a recasting of a long-time tried and true GOP boogeyman – the Southern Strategy.

        Unfortunately it does work and is working with some folks but others are not fooled. It’s clear what this is about.

        We were just fine teaching the Happy Slave lie for a century or more in public schools named for Confederate heroes and segregationists.

        Kids and parents drove on roads named for racists past monuments dedicated to folks who fought to continue the enslavement of humans.

        But telling the truth about this now is apparently advocating “reverse discrimination”.

        naming public schools and Roads for Confederate heroes and segregationists, but telling the truth about that now is “reverse discrimination”.

        1. wikipedia is not the final word on anything. If is often useful, but only goes as far as the person posting chooses to go. The critical race theory of Boston in 1981 is not being used in the same way in education in 2021. That’s why I went to the 2019 quote from the person who popularized its use in social and educational settings, not law schools.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            Look at the references. That’s what Wikipedia mostly is – a compendium of references. Look at the references. Google the folks who are the authors of the references, etc.

            Yes.. there are folks outside the legal system touting CRT and wanting it embedded in education, I agree, especially after BLM.

            But as far as I can tell the only thing that VDOE and school systems are doing is trying to inform teachers and educators that it’s some of the thinking going on in some people of color – INCLUDING some kids and students of color – and teachers need to know what it is and where it is coming from if they are to understand the kids that are thinking this way especially the ones having trouble academically and behavior-wise with discipline.

            The public schools are in an impossible situation on this and there are folks on the right – who basically want to see more harm done. They have no positive vision on how to go forward, just blow up and walk away.

        2. Larry said he ” looked and could not find any advocacy of discrimination as claimed.”

          Didn’t look very far then. Publisher’s extract:

          “In this extract from his 2019 book How To Be an Antiracist Ibram X. Kendi defines what it means to be an antiracist”

          “Since the 1960s, racist power has commandeered the term “racial discrimination,” transforming the act of discriminating on the basis of race into an inherently racist act. But if racial discrimination is defined as treating, considering, or making a distinction in favor or against an individual based on that person’s race, then racial discrimination is not inherently racist. The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. Someone reproducing inequity through permanently assisting an overrepresented racial group into wealth and power is entirely different than someone challenging that inequity by temporarily assisting an underrepresented racial group into relative wealth and power until equity is reached.
          The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present
          discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            we should define where we looked – in schools and VDOE?

            This is pure Southern Strategy by Conservatives. same old. same old.

          2. Gee, and I didn’t even come from South Philly.

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            Good. Are you a gal from the real SOUTH?

            VDOE and schools like Fairfax got out way over their ski’s in trying to “educate” on what Kendi believes – and others but this is NOT an effort to indoctrinate nor embed it in the curriculum IMHO.

            It’s whataboutism on steroids fostered by the right – and it is effective – and to me reminiscent of the GOPs Southern Strategy.

            It’s working… it’s effective and it’s wrong.

          4. I am now.

            VDOE’s EdEquityVa is telling teachers and schools to incorporate it into HOW they teach. Go look at the anti-racism checklist, and look at the “thought contributors” to the roadmap. Show me one who is not an “anti-racist” who follows Kendi and friends ideology.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yes.. it’s saying teachers do need to know the cultural backgrounds and aspects of the people they teach really no different than a teacher needing to know what disabilities a child might have so they can calibrate and reach that kid.

            This is stupid and ignorant.

            We have people attacking education for basically trying to do what needs to be done to better understand and reach the kids to help them gain the education they need to grow up and provide for themselves and not continue the poverty cycle.

            But there are some zealots up the food chain, I admit.

            Most teachers are just trying to get their kids to stay on grade level – they could care less about CRT but the challenge is kids of different cultures they don’t relate to as easily as kid of their own culture.

            I can relate. I took first year Calc in a room of a hundred or more and the instructor was a grad student from some country with a hell of an accent and he had a totally different way of thinking about Calculus than I did.

            He was brilliant but we were doomed.

        3. Did you graduate from HS Larry? You would have failed HS history or english for using wikipedia as a source. It is no better a source of truthful information than reddit or twitter.

  6. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Those who support CRT in schools are riding the Old 97. It’s too bad there are kids on that train.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      I do NOT support CRT nor some of the material being used in “training” but I very much resent the lying about it being taught and riling up folks who believe it then go raise hell in meetings… It’s modern-Day Southern Strategy in my mind.

  7. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Hey Larry, you got your link to Virginia Indoctrination circa 1960/70 about the Happy Negro? I think it needs posting again.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        No, the Va History book chapter, but this is good. That guy looks familiar. Got one of him on taxes?

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          taxes are totally non-partisan … but opinions are shared, sometimes relentlessly….

  8. Paul Sweet Avatar
    Paul Sweet

    I just wasted an hour this morning completing the Dept. of Human Resources Management “Road to Cultural Competence” training which is mandatory for state employees. It didn’t get into white privilege (although future modules might). I did notice that the examples of people being culturally insensitive always showed the white person as the one who did something wrong, and a couple of them pushed it to the point that might have been common 50 years ago, but not today.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Interesting. Keep us posted especially if they start indoctrinating you with CRT. Interesting point about
      who might be culturally insensitive. Trying to imagine how a black person could be culturally insensitive to a white person. I’m sure it can be…… maybe imply they aint got no rhythm… ? .. oh that came out bad….

      1. ‘Trying to imagine how a black person could be culturally insensitive to a white person’?
        Louie Farrakhan, Rev. Wright, Al Sharpton to name just three….then the squad racists.. unless Jew-hating statements don’t count.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          They do. They’re blunted by those of crackas.

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          oh I think what they say is probably way more than “insensitive”… right?

          but in an ordinary conversion between two regular guys ?

          You know where one is “insensitive”?

    2. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Waste? That’s because you’re racially and culturally sensitive already, right?

  9. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Zombie horses are real — the result of people eating their horse paste.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      but it would be wrong to troll about it? 😉

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        “Well, you can’t provide clemency and that would be wrong for sure.”

      2. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Damned if ya do, damned if ya…
        “The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC has just embarked on the boldest project we’ve ever taken on — suing every school board in Wisconsin that doesn’t follow CDC guidelines to protect the spread of Covid in schools,” a post on the Facebook page said.

  10. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Time for a post from Karen on how Pharrell is wrong about wonderful VB

  11. William O'Keefe Avatar
    William O’Keefe

    I am reminded of H L Mencken’s observation that the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of which are imaginary. Seeing racism at every turn is a hobgoblin and teaching that in schools no matter how you characterize it is undermining the basic principle that all men and women are created equal. The notion that teachers must pursue equity and teach that meritocracy is racist undermines our society.

  12. Oops……. guess that dribble about CRT not being taught is just that…..dribble —–

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      this is how lies are done these days:

      ” Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is requiring parents to sign a form comparable to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to view a portion of the district’s new curriculum inspired by critical race theory, according to documents reviewed by the Daily Caller.”

      From the Daily Caller – yep… and then ” curriculum inspired by critical race theory,”

      who says the curriculum is “inspired by” ? Some fool on the Daily Caller? YEP!

      If you are getting your “facts” from outfits like the Dailey Caller, good luck on knowing the truth and facts.

      1. better than the LCPS superintendent!

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