Build Back Racism

In June, I wrote that Republicans need to embrace the culture war and loudly oppose critical race theory. I said we need to “lean” into the subject and show the organic movement of parents who are concerned about their kids’ education that “we have your back.” I said Republicans need to make clear that America should be a colorblind society where individuals are judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.

Glenn Youngkin clearly heeded that advice. And it’s part of what earned him a historic victory in Virginia three weeks ago and why he’s governor-elect.

Democrats wholly embraced critical race theory. Youngkin’s opponent, Terry McAuliffe, campaigned with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, who penned a threatening op-ed for CNN warning parents that “you can’t stop” teachers from using concepts borrowed from critical race theory.

It’s vital to ask why they did that. Why would Democrats embrace such a divisive ideology that instructs its adherents to judge individuals based on the color of their skin? 

The answer is simple: Democrats cynically believe they can create a coalition of minority voters by telling them they’re victims and “oppressed.” First, they tell minorities that America is a racist and evil country, and that in the current system, minorities are destined to be losers. Second, Democrats lure minorities to vote for their party with the promise they’ll invert the pyramid and make them winners.

That strategy isn’t panning out because racial essentialism is unpopular. No one wants his fortunes tied to the color of his skin. In fact, we had this debate last century. For decades it appeared Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ideal of a post-racial nation, unified by an American identity, had decisively won. Now, Democrats and critical race theorists are attempting to throw away the MLK consensus. 

So, Democrats face a choice. Will they continue to promote this backward, poisonous theory? Or will they fold to democratic pressure? 

House Democrats answered that question on Friday when they passed Biden’s spending plan. The Build Back Better Act’s 2,500 pages of text are laced with critical race theory. It’s so pervasive, really, that we can say that the Build Back Better Plan is really just a plan to implement critical race theory in our federal government.

Here’s an example of what I mean: Page 718 of the bill text includes $25 million for funding CRT training in medicine and nursing schools for the purpose of promoting “health equity.” Do we really want critical race theory in our hospitals? What should the color of an individual’s skin matter when we’re providing healthcare to people? Remember, “equity” in this context means equality of outcomes. Will this mean that some patients could be turned away from care because that month’s healthcare metrics are too favorable toward one race?

Why isn’t anyone asking these questions? There are line items like this sprinkled throughout the Build Back Better plan in areas like Medicaid, business grants, public schooling, and infrastructure development.

Senate Democrats should have to answer for the bills’ critical race provisions before they vote on the bill. 


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About Jim Banks

Congressman Jim Banks represents Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District and is the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

Photo: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi cheers with House Democrats after the passage of the Build Back Better Act on November 19, 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images