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WATCH: Rep. Clyburn Denies Critical Race Theory Is Being Taught In K-12 Schools
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: House Coronavirus Subcommittee Chairman James E. Clyburn, (D-SC) speaks during a House Coronavirus Subcommittee hearing on the Federal Reserves response to the Coronavirus Pandemic on Capitol Hill June 22, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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During an online broadcast with Axios, South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn denied that elementary school students are learning about Critical Race Theory.

Clyburn told Axios Congressional reporter Alayna Treene that his opponents were using Critical Race Theory as a “red herring.” Clyburn also claimed that Critical Race Theory is taught exclusively at the university level.


This whole issue on race, and all this activity we see going on in elementary schools all about Critical Race Theory … We do not teach Theory in elementary schools. We teach people in elementary school to read, write, and how to be well-mannered, how to be respectful of others. Critical Race Theory is something at the university level. And for us to continue to apply that to these elementary schools and high schools, [inaudible] that debate around the country … come clean to the American people and let them know this is a red herring.

Democrats and their progressive allies have struggled to create a clear message on Critical Race Theory. They often alternate between pledging to push Critical Race Theory and denying that it exists.

Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said that Critical Race Theory is “another right-wing conspiracy theory” that was “totally made up by Donald Trump.”

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers union, pledged to teach Critical Race Theory in all 50 states across the more than 14,000 school districts the union works with. The pledge specifically called to “share and publicize” “information  already available on critical race theory (CRT) — what it is and what it is not.”

The union also pledged to create a team of staffers dedicated to providing members with information about how to “fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members, as well as their community members.”

Shortly after, the NEA scrubbed its website of any mentions of Critical Race Theory.

Related: Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Scrubs Website Of Pledge To Teach Critical Race Theory

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, claims that Critical Race Theory isn’t being taught either.

“Critical Race Theory is not taught in elementary schools, or middle schools, or high schools,” Weingarten said. “It’s a method of examination taught in law school and in college that helps analyze whether systemic racism exists, and in particular, whether it has an effect on law and public policy.”

Often, curriculum designers do not insert the words “Critical Race Theory” into children’s curriculum — they put it into practice by generating lessons that introduce racial grievances and calls for advocacy in virtually every subject. Critical Race Theory, after all, is a theory.

The theory holds that America is inherently oppressive and parses virtually every interaction through the lens of a racial power struggle. Teaching these lessons under a different name is still teaching Critical Race Theory.

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