Beto O’Rourke, a Texas governor candidate, was the first Democratic Party leader to expressly oppose critical race theory (CRT), in schools. O’Rourke addressed a Texas crowd in Victoria on Friday. He was asked about the appropriateness of critical race theory being taught in grade school classrooms. O’Rourke initially avoided the topic, telling a crowd member the concepts of critical race theory are not being taught at schools currently.
“And I believe you and I are likely on the same page. We don’t think CRT is being taught in our schools at the moment. O’Rourke stated that CRT is a course taught in law schools.
A member of the audience immediately asked O’Rourke if he supported CRT in schools. O’Rourke replied, “No, no, I don’t believe [CRT] should ever be taught in our schools.”
For the past few years, CRT has been a major issue for Democrats. Moderate legislators at the middle of the political spectrum tried to distance themselves from CRT, which focuses only on the impact of power structures and institutions on racial minority groups, but not condemning it.
Progressive and left-leaning Democrats have either doubled down or rejected CRT as a positive addition to student education.
According to data from the Manhattan Institute, CRT was an issue that lost elections with all but the most extreme left-leaning voters.
The report stated that an overwhelming majority of voters, regardless of political affiliation, oppose certain Critical Race Theory-inspired teaching methods. These include separating children according to race into ‘privileged,’ and ‘oppressed. However, there are wide partisan differences over whether students should learn that the U.S. has a racist history or if the curriculum should be more focused on race and gender.
The report stated that “Public opinion on cultural-war topics tends to split Democratic coalition while uniting Republicans, which suggests that culture-war matters are a risk that Democrats must manage while offering an opportunity for Republicans.”
Virginia Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe for governor was defeated by Republican Glenn Youngkin. He dismissed CRT in the lead-up to 2021 as a “right-wing conspiracy theory”.
McAuliffe was asked by a woman: “I was just curious – with all the Republicans talking about Critical Race Theory, and they’re making such a huge deal about it. And it’s all the conversation with Virginia’s news. What will you say to all those people who are educating themselves about this?
McAuliffe stated, “That’s another right-wing conspiracy.” Donald Trump and Glenn Youngkin have completely made this up. They are who they say they are. It’s a conspiracy theory.
O’Rourke spoke Saturday at SXSW (South by Southwest), a music festival in Austin, Texas.
O’Rourke will be facing Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott as he bids for the governorship. He referred to Abbott as a “thug” in his SXSW discussion.
O’Rourke claimed that Abbott was a “thug”, and an “authoritarian” on Saturday.