Sian Norris and Heidi Siegmund Cuda look at what happened on January 6, 2021 at the United States Capitol and investigate how the insurgents’ white supremacist goals led to a far-right takeover education policy
“This is America,” one man shouted into the camera during the January 6, 2021, attempted insurrection. “We are America.”
Anyone watching the scenes unfolding outside the US Capitol a year ago will likely notice one thing: This was a revolution led by white men. Yes, there were women and black people and ethnic minorities present. But they were extremely rare in a tumultuous crowd dominated by white men.
They were men who believed the ‘big lie’ that the 2020 US presidential election was stolen and wanted Donald Trump to stay in power – a desire so great that some, at least, were willing to trigger a second civil war to achieve this. . It is also the day that conservative white men became murderous towards police officers.
This desire for civil war is part of the new far-right’s fascist architecture of thought – an architecture of thought that underlies the actions of extremists participating in the attempted insurrection.
Simply put, the modern far right buys into a conspiracy theory known as the “Great Replacement”, which baselessly claims that white people are being “replaced” by immigration from the Global South as a form of “genocide White”. To defeat this apparent replacement, the far right aims to wage a race war, codenamed “boogaloo”. That was the goal of some, if not all, of those heading to the Capitol on January 6.
It was a white supremacist revolution eager to keep a white supremacist president. Although he failed, the goals of white supremacists did not go away. Instead, they waged their race war in schools and cultural institutions across the country.
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The Race War in American Schools
Having failed to ignite a literal war, the white supremacist far right in the United States has launched an all-out assault, in coalition with mainstream Republicans, against a concept known as “critical race theory,” leading to book bans in American schools and libraries and racial tensions simmering across the country.
Critical race theory is an academic field that explores ideas about white privilege and institutionalized racism. It’s a subject taught in college, not school, but that truth hasn’t stopped a lie from taking hold that white schoolchildren in the United States are indoctrinated through “politicized” teaching about ” awakening” and even “cultural Marxism” – a fabricated enemy of the far right. who has come to represent a range of progressive movements such as Black Lives Matter, feminism and LGBTIQ rights.
Its opponents claim that the theory blames white people for past crimes against humanity such as the enslavement of black Africans – ignoring that, far from doing so, it simply demands that white people recognize and play a role in dismantling racism. structural.
“They’ve built their recent campaigns on the hijacking of the term, Critical Race Theory,” said Anne Nelson, author of Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Radical Right’s Secret Hub Recount Signing time. “It’s all based on a misrepresentation that amounts to a lie saying ‘we need to protect our kids in primary school from being told they’re racist’.
“First, that’s not what CRT does, and second, that’s not a feature of elementary schools. So they are scaring based on a totally false premise, multiple false premises.
There is now a right-wing attack on discussions of racism in the American school system. Nine states – Idaho, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Arizona and North Dakota – have passed legislation banning discussion, training and /or the orientation that the United States is inherently racist, as well as any discussions of conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression. The legislation also extends to gender discussions.
Of those nine, Idaho and North Dakota explicitly mention critical race theory, while Arizona’s ban was overturned by the state Supreme Court. School boards in four other states – Florida, Utah, Georgia and Alabama – have introduced new guidelines banning critical discussions related to race theory, while state actors in Montana and South Dakota have denounced educational concepts that are associated with it. It was also militarized during the Virginia Governor’s campaign, as Signing time reported.
The white supremacy education agenda extended to book bans.
Last month, Oklahoma State Senator Rob Standridge proposed legislation that gives parents the power to ban books from school shelves, with a $10,000 bounty to be collected by parents. parents for each day a disputed book remains on library shelves. Stanridge justified his proposal by saying that “more and more schools are trying to indoctrinate students by exposing them to programs and lessons about sexual, sexual and racial identity. My bills will ensure that these types of classes stay home and out of the classroom.”
The American Library Association has even reported attempts to burn books offering perspectives on race and gender, in what is a disturbing echo of 1930s Germany. In Texas, a new state law restricts the how teachers can educate students about race and history, while a politician asked why 850 books dealing with race and gender issues were on library shelves.
Attacks on critical race theory, black literature, and writings raising questions about gender roles and stereotypes demonstrate how far-right white supremacist goals voiced by those on Capitol Hill have become mainstream over the course of the following year. For Republican lawmakers to embrace this goal of white supremacy in the legislature demonstrates the capture of a mainstream party by the far right.
But in this area, the United States is not alone.
The interests of the radical right behindthe school board race line
The impact in the UK
The UK faces its own backlash against critical race theory and tries to explore the role of racism and white supremacy in British history.
Conservative Equality Minister Kemi Badenoch has publicly attacked the theory, saying that “any school which teaches these elements of critical race theory, or which promotes partisan political views such as defunding the police without offering a balanced treatment of opposing opinions, breaks the law”. .
His intervention came as more and more of his colleagues attacked ‘revivalism’ and so-called ‘cultural Marxism’ – a conspiratorial concept rooted in anti-Semitism – within Britain’s cultural institutions such as museums.
One example was the backlash against the heritage charity, the National Trust, which moved to recognize the role the slave trade played in creating the wealth that built many of its properties. In response, 28 Tory MPs from the Common Sense Group wrote to the Telegraph newspaper condemning the decision as a form of cultural Marxism, saying their aim is “to ensure that the institutional guardians of history and heritage, tasked with safeguarding and celebrating British values, are not tainted by dogma cultural Marxist”.
Such actions are part of the fabricated “war on revival” currently being waged by the right against what the Common Sense Group calls the “liberal elite bourgeoisie” but which are, in fact, simply schools, universities and colleges. cultural institutions recognizing the reality of British imperialism. the story.
If lessons from the United States are any guide, the culture war on education about race and gender issues is an example of a far-right agenda being implemented by mainstream governments.
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