Jan 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Youngkin defends critical race theory ban

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Sunday doubled down on his rhetoric against critical race theory in an interview with "Fox News Sunday," saying he wants to "increase transparency" on what's being taught in schools.

Driving the news: Youngkin signed an executive order Saturday that banned the teaching of critical race theory in Virginia, a major focus of his 2021 campaign. But it's likely to face legal challenges and pushback from state lawmakers, Axios' Erin Doherty writes.

Be smart: Critical race theory is an academic framework created by legal scholars in the 1970s that focuses on systemic racism, especially in the U.S. legal system.

  • Despite not being taught in most K-12 schools in the United States, CRT has become a major talking point for Republicans, who have used the term broadly to describe discussion and training about diversity and equity or antiracism.
  • Asked if the framework is taught in the state, Youngkin said the "fundamental building blocks of actually accusing one group of being oppressors and another oppressed ... does exist in Virginia schools."

Between the lines:

"We are not going to teach the children to view everything through a lens of race. Yes, we will teach all history, the good and the bad. Because we can't know where we're going unless we know where we have come from. 
"But to actually teach our children that one group is advantaged and the other disadvantaged because of the color of skin, cuts everything we know to be true."
— Glenn Youngkin on "Fox News Sunday"

What they're saying: "We are in fact going to increase transparency so that parents can actually see what's being taught in schools," Youngkin said.

  • "I have instructed our secretary of education, our state superintendent of public schools to review the curriculum and get racially divisive and other divisive concepts out of the school system," he added.
Go deeper