Christopher Rufo has been working to expose critical race theory indoctrination in American institutions and government agencies for at least a year. With whistleblower documents, and from speaking to sources who have undergone substantial amounts of antiracism training, Rufo has shown that the education in systemic racism and white oppression is rampant in corporate America and in our public sector as well.
MSNBC's Joy Reid has taken the opposite view. For her, antiracism training is just another essential tool that needs be used to wipe out systemic racism and unconscious bias. Reid has blasted Rufo many times on her show for his opposition to critical race theory. Rufo has had enough, and he's now challenged Reid to a debate.
Joy Reid "has denounced me by name multiple times on her show. But she doesn't have the courage to invite me on as a guest. She knows I will crush her critical race theory apologetics any day of the week," Rufo wrote.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making June 19 a day to remember and reflect on the "original sin" and "moral stain" of slavery on our nation. Reid took the opportunity to slam Rufo, his work, and the work of those who see fully that antiracism is merely racism with a new word.
"There is this obsession right now with taking everything that talks about race... and labelling it critical race theory," she said, speaking to author Annette Gordon-Reed about a new book on Juneteenth.
She brought up Rufo, saying "This is a guy named Christopher Rufo, who is at a conservative think tank [the Manhattan Institute], and he said 'the goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think 'critical race theory... We have decodified the term and will recodify it it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.'"
Rufo was slammed this week by Reid's NBC colleagues, who claim that parents who are opposed to critical race theory are basically just pawns played by conservatives and their monied interests. Brandy Zadrozny went so far as to say parents shouldn't use freedom of information law requests to get information that school boards won't deliver about what kids are learning in schools, and how much is being spent on critical race theorist consultants.
Reid's guest joined her in playing down the theory's impact, saying "it's a distraction. No one is teaching critical race theory K-12."
"Just to be clear," Reid said, "it is a law school—What is critical race theory?"
"Critical race theory talks about the influence of race in American laws, even things that don't have to do specifically with the, they're not talking about race, very often they have a racial component to that," Gordon-Reed said.
"And it permeates law, and that's what people are thinking about," Gordon-Reed said, bringing up scholars Derek Bell and Kimberly Crenshaw. "This is not K-12 material, but they're saying that any time you talk about race is you're talking critical race theory. Critical race theorists talk about race but not everyone who talks about race are a critical race theorists."
However, the push from the left to say that critical race theory isn't being taught is disingenuous. While the tenets of critical race theory are not being taught in K-12, the fundamentals of critical race theory—namely the idea that all events both current and historical must first be looked at through the lens of race and racism—are being embedded into every discipline from math, to art, to science, to history.