Ahead of Republican Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial win in Virginia, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison became the latest liberal to accuse him of “a racist dog whistle” for siding with parents concerned about the teaching of critical race theory.
Parents confronted school boards over CRT over the last several months because they were concerned that the curriculum would divide their children by race. A Fox News analysis found that it was a top factor for 25% of Virginia voters, while 72% found it important. Youngkin pledged to ban CRT on his first day as governor.
But for Democrats like Harrison, CRT opponents like Youngkin are stoking racial hatred.
“This is a dog whistle to divide people,” Harrison said on MSNBC Tuesday night before polls closed. “And so let’s call it what it is. It is about racial divisions, racial hatred, racial animosity. And that’s what they want to focus on right now. But what Terry [McAuliffe] wants to focus on is all of the people in the Commonwealth of Virginia, how he can continue to deliver for them, making their lives better. And that’s what all Democrats want right now. It’s sad to see where the Republican Party is going, because they have become a party of fascism and fear.”
“CRT is just another Lee Atwater Racial dog whistle from the GOP… America’s Fascism Party! Not one damn K-12 school in VA is teaching this theory which is taught in law schools,” Harrison added on Twitter.
Harrison’s rhetoric was a common theme on the liberal network throughout the night, with personalities like Nicolle Wallace, Rachel Maddow, and Joy Reid also targeting CRT opponents as racist or delusional. Wallace claimed Tuesday that CRT “isn’t real” at all.
“He worshipped at the altar of Donald Trump … he did not really put much distance between himself and Donald Trump on the big lie or the deadly insurrection,” Wallace said of Youngkin. “So, I think that the real ominous thing, is that critical race theory, which isn’t real, turned the suburbs 15 points to the Trump-insurrection-endorsed Republican.”
Host Joy Reid also defined education in Virginia as “code for White parents who don’t like the idea about teaching about race.”
The phrase “Critical Race Theory” appears on the state Department of Education website and reports have revealed that the Virginia Department of Education recommended a book called, “We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom” in March 2020 that told teachers they “must embrace theories such as critical race theory.”