The GOP summer is full of national efforts to rouse their base into hating Black people, Black history, and Black voices from all aspects of education, from grade school to Ivy League schools.
It is hard to trace the exact moment Republicans across the nation collectively decided to gang up and use their thuggish political power to try to shut down critical race theory and replace it with Critical Hate Theory. But if one thinks real hard, one will see that the ignition was lit on or about 1619.
Then fuel was added throughout the 18th century when Critical Hate Theory flames were now an unquenchable inferno with a maw that spanned the original thirteen colonies and extended to the South and west, pushed by the lie that was “Manifest Destiny.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Democrats’ support for critical race theory will be a top issue in 2022 campaigns.
Critical Hate Theory recharged leading into and during the War of Enslavement – you may know that war as the “Civil War” a name which was an early attempt to sanitize government-sponsored chattel slavery and native genocide.
Then the CHT fires of hatred took pause for maybe a nanosecond in a few select cities that actually elected Black people to office in the aftermath of the war. But the CHT ground troops (i.e., the Klan) were sent to destroy the newfound progress and freedom of Black people.
Because this is a tragedy, not a triumph.
Critical Hate Theory swept the land, overwhelming everything in its path: Reconstruction, western expansion, the gold rush and transcontinental railroad, industrialization, Jim Crow, world wars, the Civil Rights Movement and post-Civil Rights Movement. And for those not paying attention, it found renewed energy with the election of Ronald Reagan.
Critical Hate Theory was as entrenched in American society as religion, capitalism, and baseball.
But nothing gave more energy to Critical Hate Theory than the election of President Barack Obama.
A vendor sells a copy of The Times newspaper featuring Barack Obama on the cover outside the US embassy on November 5, 2008 in London. Global news outlets were dominated with news of Barack Obama’s historic victory in the US presidential elections.
It was the election of President Obama that unleashed Critical Race Theory sleeper cells of racists across the political and socio-economical spectrum and political party identification. Then the election of Vice President Kamala Devi Harris took racial animus to levels not seen because if there is anyone more hated than Black men, it’s Black women — Critical Hate Theory’s Public Enemy Number One.
A nation patted itself on the back and told itself: “We did it. We have resolved racism and the nagging question of what to do with black people.” Never mind that most white people did not vote for President Obama but all white people took credit for voting for him both times he won.
The same people who took credit for electing President Obama then joyfully and hatefully elected the worst modern day racist in America.
The racist former guy unleashed a new wave of Critical Hate Theory and it took over white America unlike anything ever seen. The racial damage the former guy wrought is still harming the country’s health, education, and sense of self.
Now with the former guy out of office, his GOP minions are trying to outdo him and each other to curry favor with his rabid, racist, and ill-informed voters.
The GOP Summer of Critical Hate Theory is in full swing as governors, mayors, school districts, and city councils are creating legislation, passing laws, and implementing harsh teaching restrictions that forbid teaching actual history in favor of Critical Hate Theory.
And, of course, Texas is leading the charge.
It is always goddamned Texas.
The same Texas that refused to adhere to the law that freed all enslaved Black people. An act so notorious and evil it is now recognized as Juneteenth, a federal holiday.
The same Texas that for decades glorified the “Remember the Alamo!” defeat but refuses to teach that they were fighting Mexico because they, Texas, refused to free their enslaved people and Mexico kicked Texas’ ass because of it.
The same Texas and Texas governor who believed crackpots and their “Jade Helm” protest against President Obama who they said was about to invade Texas and take their guns and put them all in FEMA camps.
You can’t make this stuff up. And you don’t have to because Critical Hate Theory purveyors will make it up for you.
On Wednesday, Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., called critical race theory “a divisive ideology” that House Republicans were intent on curbing.
The same Texas who just implemented restrictions on teachers teaching about Dr. Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and women’s suffrage, while also restricting teachers from teaching that the Klan was morally wrong.
If there weren’t so many good people in Texas and if they weren’t so gerrymandered, and if John Roberts hadn’t decided to undo civil rights era voting laws… Texas could be a blue, Democratic state.
But as it stands in the real world, instead of being blue, Texas is blood red and its cup of Critical Hate Theory runneth over.
Texas, like America, refuses to look in the mirror and see who and what it is. Refuses to see the blemishes, scars, dripping blood, and obvious signs of sickness.
America is in a self-deluded medical emergency while telling itself it is healthy and thriving. American racism is a virus that has a vaccination but most white Americans refuse to be vaccinated.
America is content to use filters to make itself appear pretty, its eyes big and wide, and its skin flawless as it tells itself and its billions of worldwide followers that it is beautiful, honest, and anti-racist. And it tells its billions of followers that it doesn’t have a racism problem and that it’ll prove it by not talking about it at the local, state, and federal levels.
Critical Hate Theory is dripping from the rabid mouths of elected officials like Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert, while it is leading the cable news channels and cable entertainment channels like Fox News.
But it’s not just leading television. We are seeing uninformed and ill-equipped writers for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and middle-school publications like Politico and Slate offer ignorant articles that show little research and even less understanding of what makes America, America.
They and the GQP are telling white America that ignorance is good, encouraged, and will be rewarded.
Just like the GOP are telling their voters that vaccinations are bad, that police should be brutalized if they try to protect the Capitol, and that American history only matters as long as it is centered on the fairy tales we all grew up learning and excludes Black, Native, Asian, and Latino/a contributions and contributors.
And maybe it is just me, but the silence from so-called higher education and educators is awfully quiet about restrictions on teaching American history.
Where are the statements and denouncement from Ivy League, major conferences, and other colleges and universities as Critical Hate Theory grows?
Where are the First Amendment scholars who should be calling out government censorship?
Where are the historians?
Why is Critical Hate Theory spreading so quickly and with so little opposition from the usual groups who push back against government overreach?
When it comes down to it, the lack of opposition to Critical Hate Theory is due to familiar white comfort and a desire to maintain the lies of comfortability.
Because it is not so much that victors write the history, it is that history is written by those who have the most to gain from lies.
And in this summer of Critical Hate Theory, the big lies, little lies, and all the lies in between are filling up textbooks, law books, and the space between the ears of children all across the land.
America is stuck on stupid because it continues to allow Critical Hate Theory to direct the course for the country and that prevents us from moving forward as a people.
They are the kids of segregationists and those who protested and brought violence to Black kids integrating schools. They’re literally repeating the history they want to deny others an opportunity to learn.
The racists have us re-fighting the same battles our ancestors fought — voting access and voting rights, police brutality, fairness in hiring, affordable health care, access to financial markets, homelessness, LGBTQI rights, ableism, antisemitism, and xenophobia.
We can’t move forward while running on a Critical Hate Theory treadmill.
The Biden-Harris administration and all Americans who consider themselves progressive and “allies” should clearly see what is before them and happening in every state – that the GOP push to define critical race theory is the latest culture war fodder for their base who eagerly await new reasons to hate Black people and thus rally the vote for openly racist officials.
We are witnessing the GOP 2022 and 2024 strategy right now and no amount of pandering to them will work. The DNC and Democratic voters can only win by voting, not talking.
We will either vote them out and with them out, the nation might be able to take a few more steps into a better more inclusive future or, failing that, we will find ourselves mired in ugliness that’s too familiar, in racial disharmony that’s too thorough, and in the usual state of racial stagnation that is, unfortunately, too American.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton. All Rights Reserved.
Myron J. Clifton is slightly older than fifty, lives in Sacramento, California, and is an avid Bay Area sports fan. He likes comic books, telling stories about his late mom to his beloved daughter Leah, and talking to his friends.
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