Fox New's Martha MacCallum admitting the CRT is a misnomer while Virginia governor race is happening. (Image: screencap via Fox News.)

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Admits “Critical Race Theory” Isn’t Taught to Kids. Where’d People Get THAT Idea!?

Yeah, we told y'all that.
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Last night, millions of people took to the polls to vote in local and state elections. Ohio, Georgia, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and others had important races, but as Virginia was electing a governor, it was seen as a referendum on Biden for “purple” areas.

Before looking at the specific angles and policies (or lack thereof), it wasn’t looking so great for Democrats. For decades, Virginia’s governor was the opposite party of the presidency, and with the lasting effects of Trump’s politicization of COVID-19, a lot is at stake. Now, Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin has come out on top.

During the race, Fox News, like many stations, was zeroed in on talking to Virginian voters, and this is where we got this interesting clip of longtime Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum reframing a talking point held by the network for almost a year now. That, of course, is the idea that Critical Race Theory (CRT)—a complex academic framework that looks at all structures in the U.S. as founded in racist ideas—is being taught in kids’ schools.

This myth is so pervasive that many states have banned it (redundant, but okay) from being taught, even if the new laws in question didn’t use the term.

Where did they get that idea from?

Please, please MacCallum, tell me where this misnomer came from?

Who told Virginia voters, and people across the U.S. outside of specific lines of work in academia about the existence of CRT?

How did they think it got into schools? K-12 or even undergrad?

The phrase (incorrectly) entering the lexicon of many Americans might’ve been an OAN or Newsmax achievement. However, it is on Fox News (a network MacCallum has worked at since the early 2000s) that it was likely shared with the most people. The most-watched person on cable, the David Duke of 21st-century entertainment and gateway to “red pill” YouTube (thanks, algorithms!) Tucker Carlson talks about CRT all the time.

MacCallum attacked the former (present, at the time) president of the United Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, on the 1619 Project being used in classrooms. As the former face for teachers, Weingarten has continued to be attacked by Republicans. Even in the Virginia election (where the video was clipped), Youngkin and Senator Tom Cotton claimed that Weingarten and other teachers without children of their own aren’t qualified to teach.

But use that logic regarding writing laws on others’ bodies and all hell breaks loose.

Months later, MacCallum also (through body language and word choice) showed support of banning CRT in schools in her interview with Senator Marco Rubio.

Something she now says was never in schools?

Fact-checking common knowledge

The icing on the cake is the way MacCallum chooses to end the segment. The parent that challenged Fox News said kids are just being taught history and used the example of Christopher Columbus killing Indigenous people. How does MacCallum, a long-time journalist, respond to this basic indisputable fact? She would have to do a “fact check.”

Please. Honestly, that is the most absurd part of this whole video, because it is well known what Columbus did just that. Not only did he write much of it down, but others also wrote of his murder, orders to murder, and bodily mutilations. Even the Spaniards were basically like, “Dude, chill, because if you keep killing and mutilating this ‘free labor,’ then it affects the bottom line.” This is just as silly as saying you’re going to fact check whether Americans committed genocide, enforced slavery, or implemented and supported segregation.

The word choice “fact-check” on Fox News is beyond laughable, not exclusively because they are a conservative news network, but because they frame the narrative leading people to falsehoods.

A lie that galvanized support for Youngkin

Yes, people did vote for Youngkin for his refusal to take public health measures seriously and for their discontent with Biden (which I have, for different reasons), but racism and patriarchy were the biggest swings in this election. That is nothing new. In discussing the 800+ books “under review” by Republicans in Texas, I brought up our own Princess Weekes’ reporting on Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the blanket “CRT” excuse in schools that stirred up suburban parents—”think of the children” and the scary “others” trying to challenge so-called Christian values.

If students are taught the crimes against humanity their ancestors did in their name and for them, which trace up to the present, they will see images of their parents and friends, and teachers. That may be scary, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the truth, which is—I hope it goes without saying—what should be taught.

(via The Daily Beast, image: screencap via Fox News.)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.