Former President Donald Trump recently called for his supporters to “lay down their very lives” to defend the country against critical race theory. Trump delivered the call to arms at his “Save America” rally last Saturday in South Carolina, adding his belief that “getting critical race theory out of our schools is not just a matter of values, it’s also a matter of national survival.”
CRT is not taught in grade schools. It is, of course, a college-level interdisciplinary means to examine social and institutional race issues. But Donald Trump and his followers do not understand this basic truth.
Trump continued, laying the groundwork for his followers to violently fight against CRT:
“The fate of any nation depends upon the willingness of its citizens to lay down – and they must do this – lay down their very lives to defend their country. If we allow the Marxists and communists and socialists to teach our children to hate America there will be no one left to defend our flag or to protect our great country or its freedom.”
There was much backlash from people who actually understand what CRT is, such as Indivisibles’ Sarah Dohl, who said “calling for political violence to stop the teaching of accurate history in our schools is what fascism looks like,” and Luke Zaleski of Conde Nast Legal Affairs, who noted “Trump doesn’t want a political party. He wants an army. He’s a TV terrorist yes. But he’s also a real fascist. Attacking the Capitol, waiting, calling it off, then telling them he loved them after they terrorized the country and got his message across was a kind of a hint, folks.”
Zaleski bluntly concluded that “Trump is a traitor and political mob boss.”
Civil-rights lawyer Subodh Chandra noted that Trump’s remarks were basically a “call to a violent race war. Over nothing but the teaching of our actual history. (CRT is not taught in public schools.)”
Noting the horribly negative affect it could have on educators, Georgetown’s Don Moynihan asked ”What does this mean?,” and answered his own question with “If you are a teacher in a state you probably feel less and less safe by the extremist nature of this rhetoric.”