Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) went on Don Lemon’s CNN show on Monday night to defend critical race theory, and to question why Republicans do not want children to learn “how not to be racist.”
When asked about the backlash over critical race theory being taught to American children, Ocasio-Cortez questioned, “Why don’t you want our schools to teach anti-racism? Why don’t Republicans want their kids to know the tradition of anti-racism in the United States? Why are Republicans trying to ban books in this country? Why are Republicans trying to ban speech? Why are they trying to fire certain professors? Why are they attacking the core roots of history in this country that strays anything beyond what we already know?”
“Why don’t Republicans want us to learn how to not be racist? Why don’t Republicans want kids to know how to not be racist?” she asked. “Republicans are using these words like Critical Race Theory, which again is a law school curriculum that is not even taught in schools. Their argument is well, some teachers may be exposed to it.”
“Oh, wow, so your child’s teacher is anti-racist and actually fluent in how to dismantle racism in the dynamics of racism in a classroom,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “That is something that teachers should know how to do. Republicans are trying to ban this. They are trying to ban us from knowing our own history. Because if we don’t know our own history, then it is easier for them to curtail our rights to vote and take us backward to the 1960s as they have been doing with many state laws.”
“Do you think Republican efforts to redefine it and use it as a scare tactic, do you think it is working?” Lemon asked.
“I think it’s working because what we have seen is that will Republican base and party has pivoted to using race and using the changing demographics of this country and as we saw on January 6, using a white supremacist core logic in order to reanimate a very core fear of the other in this country,” Ocasio-Cortez replied. “So what is really important is that we come together and have a very strong rebuttal to the core logic.”
“Not just in fact checking Republican claims, it’s important we are actually confronting the core logic and addressing the core fears they’re trying to really tap into when they try to use terms like Critical Race Theory as a proxy for just talking about race in schools in general,” she added.