Race was not a hot button issue in our city’s mayoral race. Eric Adams, New York City’s second African American mayor, was the Democratic nominee and a predictable victor where seven out of ten voters are registered in his party.
But in Virginia’s gubernatorial contest, race was clearly a factor, and whether the GOP’s Glenn Youngkin played that card or not, he never disavowed some of its vital implications in his triumph over Terry McAuliffe, his Democratic opponent.
First of all, he declared that he would ban the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in the state’s classrooms, which like many proponents of the theory is based on a lie. Nowhere in the state’s school system is critical race theory part of the curriculum. Even so, it was enough of a terrifying boogey man to sway a decisive number of voters.
Of course, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that McAuliffe hurt his chances by declaring that parents should not intercede in the school system and determine what their children should be taught, particularly if they were being fed Black radical thought and textbooks. It was especially disturbing to learn that “Beloved,” the novel by the late Toni Morrison, had been tossed into the mix.
In effect, CRT, has been flipped by reactionary cretins in the same way they appropriated the ideas of Dr. King and rebranded him as a conservative. Now we have to rescue the concept devised by the late legal scholar Derrick Bell from all of its wrongly fused negative perceptions.
The real danger is the extent to which CRT will be inserted into other right wing deceptions, much in the manner of Trump’s Big Lie; at heart the purposes are malicious and aimed at ensuring the continuing dominance of white supremacy.
Clearly, much more needs to be said about this malware, and we will give CRT a full-blown discussion in future editorials. But for now, please pay close attention to how it metastasizes and combines with voter restrictions to undermine the democratic process and our rights.