Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s disastrous interview with a local station on Friday didn’t just show his unpreparedness and inability to budge from one-line talking points, it also outed him as a bald-faced liar.
“How do you define critical race theory?” asked WAVY News 10’s Anita Blanton.
“I answer this question very clearly,” McAuliffe responded, before not answering the question. “It’s not taught in Virginia, it’s never been taught in Virginia. And as I’ve said this a lot: It’s a dog-whistle. It’s racial, it’s division, and it’s used by Glenn Youngkin and others — this is the same thing with Trump and the border wall — to divide people.”
“So how do you define it?” Blanton pressed.
“Anita! It is not taught here in Virginia,” McAuliffe snapped.
“But how do you define it?”
“Doesn’t matter, it’s not taught here in Virginia,” McAuliffe said. “I’m not even spending my time because the school board and everyone else has come out and said it’s not taught. It’s racist. It’s a dog-whistle.”
“But if we don’t have a definition how can we say it’s racist? I just want a definition from you,” Blanton continued, prompting McAuliffe to blame her for “wasting precious viewers’ time” by asking.
When asked how he defines the racist Critical Race Theory, Democrat Terry McAuliffe refuses and instead scolds the host for daring to ask him. pic.twitter.com/2Jdltb7N55
— MediaResearchCenter (@theMRC) October 8, 2021
Even worse than McAuliffe’s condescending tone or hostility to answering a basic question was the obvious untruth of the talking point he fell back on. Yes, critical race theory is indeed in Virginia classrooms. There may be no other state in the union where examples of radical and pervasive critical race theory in the public school system abound more.
CRT Pervades Virginia Schools
In Alexandria, a page on the Alexandria City Public Schools website promotes resources including “How To Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi, “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo, “White Rage” by Carol Anderson, and “White Teachers Need Anti-Racist Therapy” and “Why Teaching Grit Is Inherently Anti-Black” by Bettina Love.
Another ACPS webpage encourages parents to “let go of colorblindness” and “ensure your kids are aware of race,” while also linking to a Forbes article that suggests understanding “our country’s deeply rooted racism” with resources such as:
- a Medium article encouraging readers to donate to their local Black Lives Matter chapter, ask their representatives to decriminalize marijuana, ask their representatives to ban voter ID laws, join their local “white space,” and ask their high school to teach a mandatory class on white privilege,
- an article titled “White People Have No Culture,” and
- “Black Marxism: The Making of Black Radical Tradition” by Cedric Robinson.
In Loudoun County, Loudoun County Public Schools first hired consulting firm The Equity Collaborative in April 2019 and has since poured money into critical race theory consultants. The Equity Collaborative, which LCPS paid more than $400,000 for an “equity audit,” operates on the assumption that “racism controls the political, social, and economic realms of U.S. society.”
Monica Gill, a 25-year veteran government and history teacher in Loudoun County, observed in June: “Much of what is being touted in Loudoun County teacher trainings and trickling down into classrooms are poisonous fruit straight off the critical race theory tree.”
The Loudoun County School Board also infuriated teachers and parents in fall 2020 when it tried to introduce a code of conduct for employees that would prohibit even private speech that was “not in alignment with the school division’s commitment to action-oriented equity practices.” Those “equity practices” include the school district’s “Action Plans to Combat Systemic Racism” and its “Comprehensive Equity Plan.”
Andrea Weiskopf, an English and Latin teacher at River Bend Middle School in Loudoun County, tweeted in June, “The best thing about the summer is that I can spend all my time planning how to incorporate Critical Race Theory into my lessons.”
In Fairfax County, Superintendent Scott Brabrand announced in a survey to parents over the summer that Fairfax County Public Schools would be “developing a new Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias Education Curriculum Policy.” The survey came from a New York consulting firm, which FCPS has contracted with for a four-year CRT program and which has been paid nearly $50,000 from FCPS’s chief equity officer.
Fairfax schools also sent a PowerPoint to teachers in July explaining that CRT is an “interpretive framework” that “examines the appearance of race and racism across dominant cultural modes of expression.”
“CRT scholars attempt to understand how victims of systemic racism are affected by cultural perceptions of race and how they are able to represent themselves to counter prejudice,” the PowerPoint claimed, adding that critical race theory is a useful approach to issues such as “school funding, segregation, language policies, discipline policies, curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, and accountability policies.”
In Arlington County, the director of diversity and inclusion at Arlington Public Schools asked Amazon to send the school district copies of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by critical race grifter Kendi, after which Amazon sent hundreds of copies of the book to the school system to the tune of $5,000.
In conservative Powhatan County, as Ashley Bateman reported for The Federalist in July, “County Supervisor David Williams shared slides from the Virginia Inquiry Collaborative (VIC), a consortium encouraging race-based teaching to include the oppressiveness of ‘white culture’ and learning through the lens of ‘systemic racism.’”
And at the Virginia Department of Education’s 2020 equity summit, critical race theorist Bettina Love gave a keynote address about “systemic racism” and “dismantling capitalism.”
McAuliffe Is Flat Wrong
McAuliffe’s cringe-worthy conversation with Blanton about CRT comes on the heels of his comment in a debate against Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Terry McAuliffe: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” pic.twitter.com/7S15pTv1gY
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2021
A majority of Virginians disagree with McAuliffe’s sentiment, however, with a new poll showing that 52 percent of respondents believe parents should have more control of school curricula than school boards, and only 33 percent saying school boards should have more power than parents.
New Virginia polling: “Should parents or school boards have more of an influence in the school’s curriculum?”
School Boards: 33%
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) October 11, 2021
Critical race theory is rampant in Virginia public schools, and McAuliffe is either lying out of his rear or ignorant to a disqualifying degree about one of the hottest topics in his state.
Elle Reynolds is an assistant editor at The Federalist, and received her B.A. in government from Patrick Henry College with a minor in journalism. You can follow her work on Twitter at @_etreynolds.