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Anti-CRT Activist Blasts NBC News For ‘Intentionally Misreading’ Critical Race Theory Activism: ‘Pure Propaganda’
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 18: Stage preparation continues for tomorrow's Democratic presidential debate at Paris Las Vegas on February 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 36,000 Nevada Democrats turned out during the first three days of early voting for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus, which concluded today. Nevada is the first caucus state to offer early voting. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Anti-critical race theory crusader Chris Rufo accused NBC News and senior reporter Brandy Zadrozny Tuesday for “intentionally misread[ing]” his stated aims for his activism against critical race theory and of creating “pure propaganda” about his efforts.

Zadrozny wrote an article on the backlash to local school districts adopting curriculum inspired by critical race theory and incorporating resources such as The New York Times’ “1619 Project.” The article focused on national organizations and the network of people working against critical race theory, such as Rufo, and supporting local efforts to purge elementary, middle, and high school curriculum featuring the narrative.

While Rufo declined to be interviewed for the article, Zadrozny took a March 15 tweet of Rufo’s and quoted, suggesting that Rufo and his allies were using “critical race theory” as an imprecise umbrella term to label any idea they do not like. Zadrozny later likened critical race theory to a “conservative boogeyman.” Zadrozny reported:

Rufo, who said he was in touch with then-President Donald Trump’s staff before he issued an executive order last September banning critical race theory’s use by federal agencies, promised in a March tweet to make critical race theory “toxic” in the public imagination. Rufo declined an interview request.

“The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,’” he wrote. “We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.”

Zadrozny left out two prior tweets Rufo had made adding context to his statement. Rufo’s original March 15 tweet thread, written in response to someone saying that critical race theory is “falling,” said:

I agree with you. The activists are realizing that their ideas, once put into practice, are generating discontent. Their racial coalition is also breaking apart — Asian-Americans, in particular, are revolting against CRT, which punishes them more than any other group.

We have successfully frozen their brand — “critical race theory” — into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.

The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think “critical race theory.” We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.

Rufo hit Zadrozny over the quote on Twitter, calling her reporting “trash.”

“My point, which you intentionally misread, is that citizens should understand that policy decisions such as eliminating advanced classes for ‘equity,’ withhold vaccines from certain racial groups, BIPOC-only income programs, etc., are all intelligible within the framework of CRT,” Rufo said.

After a back-and-forth, Rufo agreed to send Zadrozny a quote for her story post-publication. Rufo posted his statement on Twitter, accusing NBC News and Zadrozny of whitewashing critical race theory and disregarding the “abuse, manipulation, and indoctrination” schools engage in to teach curriculum inspired by it.

“NBCNews is pure propaganda,”  Rufo said. “This report conveniently omits all the facts that have mobilized parents to action. I recently completed a twelve-part investigative series on critical race theory in public schools, exposing teachers promoting the ideas that ‘all white people’ are racist, that white-led schools systematically ‘spirit murder’ black children, that white parents should become ‘white traitors,’ and that white teachers are inherently guilty of ‘covert white supremacy.’”

Zadrozny responded that because Rufo’s statement, which she claimed disagreed “with on-record experts, parents, teachers, and activists,” noted that the statement was not likely to make it into the story post-publication.

“Declining comment then demanding an after-the-fact publication of a statement disagreeing with on-record experts, parents, teachers, and activists isn’t likely to get past editors but I’ll pass along. Good luck with the fundraising and should you wish to talk, I’m willing!” she said.

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