- Some ex-Trump officials are playing key roles in stirring hostility to critical race theory (CRT).
- “I look at this and say, ‘Hey, this is how we are going to win,'” Steve Bannon told Politico.
- CRT seeks to understand and combat systemic racism, but conservatives say it’s divisive.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Former officials and aides to President Donald Trump, including Steve Bannon, are playing a key role in instigating a campaign against critical race theory, Politico reported.
They are said to believe that hyping the issue could propel Republicans back into power.
Bannon, Trump’s former campaign chief and advisor, is playing a key role in supporting activists and seeking to stoke a so-called culture war around critical race theory.
He sees potential in elevating, for instance, local-level disputes between school boards and parents over whether the subject should be taught.
“This is the Tea Party to the 10th power,” Bannon told Politico.
“This isn’t Q, this is mainstream suburban moms – and a lot of these people aren’t Trump voters,” he said, referring dismissively to the QAnon conspiracy theory embraced by some hardline Trump supporters.
“I look at this and say, ‘Hey, this is how we are going to win.’ I see 50 [House Republican] seats in 2022. Keep this up,” Bannon told the publication.
“I think you’re going to see a lot more emphasis from Trump on it and [Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis and others. People who are serious in 2024 and beyond are going to focus on it.”
Two former Trump administration budget officials now work at conservative activist groups playing key roles in spearheading the campaign, according to the outlet.
One, Jessica Anderson, now heads the conservative advocacy group Heritage Action, which is seeking to foster support among GOP lawmakers for anti-critical-race-theory bills proposed by House Reps Reps. Chip Roy and Dan Bishop.
The second is Russ Vought, working via anew campaign group called Citizens for Renewing America.
Critical race is an academic field that seeks to understand systemic racial prejudice and combat it, say its advocates.
Institutions including schools and government departments have begun teaching aspects of critical race theory in a bid to tackle racial prejudice. It has received renewed attention as the US attempts to confront racism in the wake of George Floyd’s murder last year.
It has becoming a lightning-rod issue for some conservatives, who claim that it is divisive and presents a distorted picture of American history.
In recent months lawmakers in Idaho and Tennessee have outlawed the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
In a heated exchange during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley was asked about the theory, and defended the military’s desire to better understand racism in the US.