A Fairfax, Va., mom of three responded Friday to Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali after the writer headlined his latest commentary “You Damn Karens Are Killing America” and lamented the assertion that White women who voted for Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin acted on the “white hot rage anxiety and resentment of a Karen scorned.”
The moniker ‘Karen’ has been used in contemporary jargon to belittle women who engage in disagreements others believe they have limited reason or connection to, such as the proverbial situation of demanding to speak to a store manager about a minor perceived transgression.
In his column, Ali claimed many Americans thought such women were “won over” by the rise of Beyonce Knowles, Oprah Winfrey and chai tea beverages, but that instead they “will always turn on people of color on a dime to uphold oppressive systems that ensure they remain influential and powerful handmaidens of White supremacy.”
Virginia parent Brooke Corbett, who voted for Youngkin on Tuesday, told “The Story” that she did not seek out a confrontation on education policy and said her objections have nothing to do with race:
“In a short period of time, we started hearing more about this thing called, critical race theory, which I had never heard about. And after some investigation, some requests that I started seeing on the news, a lot of taxpayer money … had been invested in some teacher training and that would be rolled into student curriculum that I didn’t agree with,” she said.
Corbett explained that her local school board representative denied that FCPS was teaching critical race theory but instead “antibias education” – which she said was Fairfax’s way to get out of admitting to teaching what some have called a Marxist revision of American and Colonial history.
“It’s clearly in the classroom,” she said of critical race theory, adding that documents and information she has seen led her to further assert that the seeds of such curricula were planted during Democrat Terence McAuliffe’s initial term as Virginia governor, which ended in 2017.
She said that to hide the existence of critical race theory, school boards and activists have hidden it behind terms like “antibias education” or “equity” – the latter of which she said is actually the opposite of “equality”, which was the dream of civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Whenever you see equity training, diversity, equity and inclusion, cultural sensitivity training – those are a lot of the buzzwords that caused me to pick up on this. Because they are all teaching very similar principles, whether I’ve seen it in other aspects of life: whether it is in the government, whether it’s an industry. But definitely in the public school system. And it is in the classroom now,” she said.
Corbett said that King, who was assassinated in Tennessee in 1968, would not recognize critical race theory curriculum as akin to promoting civil rights:
“I don’t see how what we were taught in the principles of Martin Luther King Jr. and judging people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin – I’m curious to know how proponents of critical race theory, or whatever they want to call it, squares with this what they’re trying to push now in the kids’ schools,” she said.
Critics have also pointed to the fact Youngkin’s down-ballot candidates are themselves groundbreaking individuals of color:
Lt. Gov-elect Winsome Sears, a former state lawmaker and Marine veteran from Norfolk, is the first Black woman elected to statewide office, while Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares, a sitting GOP delegate from Virginia Beach, will be the Commonwealth’s first Cuban-American to serve as chief law enforcement officer.
Host Martha MacCallum noted that Fox News voter analysis showed Youngkin received 46% of the female vote in the Old Dominion, while McAuliffe received 53%.