One Word Changes the Dialog on Critical Race Theory

Sometimes one simply has to stand in awe at the evil genius of Conservative messaging strategists. In some cases, the addition or omission of a single word can change the national debate. Consider the following two statements.

“Schools are teaching about Critical Race Theory.”

“Schools are teaching Critical Race Theory.”

A subtle difference, easy to miss, but with profound implications. The first statement implies that children are being taught history, facts, and figures about a socioeconomic phenomenon. The second implies that children are being indoctrinated with a particular ideology.

When scowling TV anchors keep up a steady drumbeat of alarm over a term that few non-academics fully understand (even with a term like “socialism”), it’s easy to rile-up the masses — with harmful consequences for the general public good.

Note that a similar scenario unfolded decades ago over the topic of sex education in the schools. “Teaching kids about sex” informs students about reproductive biology and health, whereas “Teaching kids sex” implies … well, I’ll leave it to your imagination.

“Critical Thinking Theory” is probably the first order of business ahead of anything else.