On Friday, Christopher Rufo, the director of the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute, who has been assiduously documenting the implementation of critical race theory (CRT) in public schools and government agencies, challenged “any prominent critical race theorist” to a debate on the floor of The New York Times after an opinion piece in the Times insinuated that he was afraid to engage in debate about the subject.
Rufo issued two tweets that stated:
Today, the New York Times claimed that I want to ban critical race theory because I am afraid to debate it. This is false. In fact, I will debate any prominent critical race theorist on the floor of the New York Times. I will give them home field advantage—and dismantle them. I give the New York Times and the professors of critical race theory—including those quotes in the article—five calendar days to accept this challenge. If they do not, we’ll know who is afraid to debate, and who uses it as an excuse to shelter their ideas from public criticism.
I give the New York Times and the professors of critical race theory—including those quotes in the article—five calendar days to accept this challenge. If they do not, we'll know who is afraid to debate, and who uses it as an excuse to shelter their ideas from public criticism.
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) February 26, 2021
The article in the Times stated, “But the right, for all its chest-beating about the value of entertaining dangerous notions, is rarely interested in debating the tenets of critical race theory. It wants to eradicate them from public institutions.” The piece followed with a lengthy section about Rufo:
“Critical race theory is a grave threat to the American way of life,” Christopher Rufo, director of the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank once known for pushing an updated form of creationism in public schools, wrote in January.
Rufo’s been leading the conservative charge against critical race theory. Last year, during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, he called on Trump to issue an executive order abolishing “critical race theory trainings from the federal government.” The next day, he told me, the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, called him and asked for his help putting an order together.
Last month, Rufo announced a “new coalition of legal foundations and private attorneys that will wage relentless legal warfare against race theory in America’s institutions.” A number of House and Senate offices, he told me, are working on their own anti-critical race theory bills, though none are likely to go anywhere as long as Biden is president.
As Rufo sees it, critical race theory is a revolutionary program that replaces the Marxist categories of the bourgeois and the proletariat with racial groups, justifying discrimination against those deemed racial oppressors. His goal, ultimately, is to get the Supreme Court to rule that school and workplace trainings based on the doctrines of critical race theory violate the 1964 Civil Rights Act. …
Rufo insists there are no free speech implications to what he’s trying to do. “You have the freedom of speech as an individual, of course, but you don’t have the kind of entitlement to perpetuate that speech through public agencies,” he said.
In January, after Joe Biden had been sworn in earlier in the day as President of the United States, Rufo announced he was forming a coalition of legal foundations and attorneys to fight against the use of critical race theory.
Rufo, noting that Biden announced he would end the Trump administration’s 1776 Commission, which was created to fight against the implementation of critical race theory, tweeted, “Today, President Biden doubled-down on critical race theory in the federal government. In response, I am announcing a new coalition of legal foundations and private attorneys that will wage relentless legal warfare against race theory in America’s institutions. The fight is on.”