Your Updated Guide to Scary Repugnican Bedtime-for-Democracy Stories

In 2020-21, the smarter Repugnicans looked at the BLM protests and were scared half out of their Klan robes. (I know, in the age of the Trump Limbo Party, smart Republicans, like Congressional ethics, is a bit of an oxymoron, but there are many with a sort of low cunning, and there are still a few relatively innocuous Eisenhower-era types around.) The protests were almost entirely peaceful. They were nationwide. They were almost universally supported by young people. They attracted many millions of folks from every station, race, age, religion, ethnicity, social class, occupation, etc, including suburban white Moms in yellow T-shirts. Millions of people called for change, real change, for a freaking change.

And the Repugnicans predictably felt that they had to do something to start turning back the clock to a “whiter is righter” time. What’s a ruling class white supremacist to do when people start becoming educated? Well, he or she starts trying to control their education.

To that end, someone in the ranks of professional Karens and Chads–the ones who do Repugnican PR–hit upon elevating CRT, this extremely obscure academic theoretical framework promulgated by a few scholars most folks had never heard of, into some kind of omnipresent menace. This was purest fabrication of the “Jews are poisoning the wells” variety, but such propaganda has always worked with a certain element of the population–the uneducated rabble of the kind that made up Hitler’s brownshirts and that makes up much of Trump’s ignorant, extraordinarily base base.

But let’s be clear about this. A CRT curriculum in U.S. K-12 schools is as imaginary as are the Jewish space lasers warned about by one-person carnival sideshow Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Entirely fabricated.

CRT is a fabricated moral panic. It is the self-parodying right’s latest Emmanuel Goldstein. The right-wingers of the Trump Limbo Party (how low, how low, how low can we go) are always in need of a new subject for their two minutes hates. If you don’t get this allusion, go read Orwell’s 1984. I mean it. Go read 1984. Now.

For examples of those two minutes hates, btw, see any outtake from a speech by Vlad’s Agent Orange, Donnie Dumbo; any bloviation on the House floor by Flor-uh-duh Man par excellence, playboy-heartthrob-in-his-own-mind, and-Animal-House-frat-boy-playuh-with-a-Visa-card Matt Gaetz; or any televised segment of puffer fish imitation by Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity.

It’s another example of the same phenomenon that occurred a few years back when red state Repugnicans started passing ludicrous legislation against teaching Sharia Law in K-12 pubic schools, even though no U.S. K-12 Public School ever did this, not one. NOT. A. SINGLE. ONE.. The whole business reminds me of when a Flor-uh-duh Mayor issued a proclamation banning the nonexistent medieval bad boy Satan from her town. (Yes, this actually happened.) However, the latest wave of legislation is much, much worse than was that nonsense, for it attempts to ban any and all informed teaching about the history of race in America. It is Thought Control legislation that attempts to dish up for kids a mythologized history that serves the ends of white supremacists, and CRT in K-12 public schools is just the fabricated excuse for this.

BTW, if you are a Repugnican all worked up about CRT, consider this:

Why this particular obsession with what is obviously a phantasm?

Why does CRT in K-12, of all things, which doesn’t even exist, get your panties in a wad, but not, say, the facts that if you are black in America you will pay more for the same house, get paid less for the same job, get a stiffer sentence for the same crime, and on and on and on and on? These are examples of SYSTEMS in America that are racist, of Systemic Racism. And we won’t fix these and other similar problems until we face, squarely, our execrable history and the execrable current state of affairs. You might also want to ask yourself, Karen or Chad or whoever you are, why you are all worked up about the same stuff that works up overt, declared White Supremacists and Nazis. You are concerned about the same stuff that matters to ACTUAL NAZIS. Think about that. Think. Think for a freaking change.

Some Repugnicans aren’t, of course, ACTUALLY concerned with CRT in public schools, though they gleefully disseminate the disinformation. These are the more intelligent and arguably more loathsome and dangerous ones. Make up a bogeyman to frighten the rubes. This is the lesson that Goebbels and Hitler taught and acted upon. It’s one that Trump, so lacking in ability in almost every other area, has mastered, And it’s what the Repugnican Party, remade in the image of Glorious Leader Who Shines More Orange than Does the Sun, has been doing recently on several fronts, using several bogeymen–Soros-funded caravans, the supposedly “fake news”media, Antifa, Jewish space lasers, dead voters, supposedly fake mail-in ballots delivered by the truckload, bamboo ballots from China, Biden the Socialist (How wacko is that?! Biden, the Banker’s Friend in Washington since 1973, for crying out loud!), K-12 CRT, surveillance drones that only appear to be birds. What’s next, monsters under the bed?

I would venture that very, very few (three?) teachers in the United States had ever even heard of Critical Race Theory before all this nonsense started. But now, every freaking Repugnican state is passing Thought Control legislation to stop CRT curricula (actually, to stop any discussion in schools of the sad, sickening history of race in America). And the Pugs are spreading throughout their idiot media stories about the immanent menace of CRT. CRT is turning your kids against America! CRT doesn’t pick up its socks off the floor. CRT hogs the remote. CRT put coin locks on bathroom doors. CRT fills bags of potato chips with almost nothing but air. CRT invented Chippy the paperclip! CRT is dating your daughter! Beware! Beware!

What’s true of CRT in U.S. K-12 schools, that it never existed there, is also true of the “Soros caravans” and Antifa–they are phantasms, invented bogeymen. In the former case, nonexistent. In the latter, almost nonexistent (I joke that Antifa consists of two white boys in Portland who like to dress up like Neo from the Matrix and go to protests and break stuff).

With all this in mind, I offer the following:

Song of the Semi-erect Repugnican Legislator

As I was coming from my lair,
I saw a curriculum that wasn’t there.
It wasn’t there again today.
I wish smart people would go away.
Thought Police we need, I say!

Copyright 2021, Robert D. Shepherd. All rights reserved. This post may be copied and distributed freely as long as it is NOT edited, is distributed in its entirety, and retains this copyright notice.

For those interested in Orwell, here, an essay:

and another:

and here, a piece of flash fiction:


About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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4 Responses to Your Updated Guide to Scary Repugnican Bedtime-for-Democracy Stories

  1. Pingback: Bob Shepherd on the Republican Obsession with Critical Race Theory | Diane Ravitch's blog

  2. Roy Turrentine says:

    As a person who cannot take time to do the research, and who probably could not do it with my experience, I would nonetheless like to raise the question: Where did the beginning of CRT consciousness begin?
    Did the history of the quick rise to public awareness of its academic awareness come from the NYT and the 1619 Hannah-Jones article? Did NYT print the article in response to the George Floyd summer? Was the GOP response to this issue a case of its seizing on the moment of the 1619 project publication? Or were the public relations people already working to create the present arousal of discussion? Several academics have criticized CRT in academic ways that are legitimate. Did these criticisms precede the 1619 article? If they did not, why are they just now raising these issues? After all, many of the points made in the 1619 were made in the writings of Howard Zinn, to whom I was exposed in College forty years ago.

    There are several reasons why this is a legitimate line of questioning. I will focus on one. If the NYT article is the genesis of this matter, how can the left behave where political discourse is concerned without rousing the GOPrabble to indignation? Is it possible to say the truth about anything without being attacked out of proportion to what is said? I suspect this last question is a sorrowful “no.” Government by division works this way. Make your opponent speak truth, then attack the truth to make it seem falsehood in the eyes or your supporters. It will make your opponents upset so you can then attack their response. It’s a win win for your propaganda ministry. No matter what you do, you get to appear to be the victim of the bad boys (you, of course, are the bad boys and you know it).

    There is, therefore, no reason to quit talking, for the GOP strategists want to produce the serene silence of the last 40 years of Reagan-rule. That way they can continue to raid the public coffers and promulgate economic imbalance that will continue this cycle of money movement to the top. But how do opponents counter the strategic gambit that seeks to demonize even the most innocuous of their opponents? Consider the case of Al Gore, who even poked fun at himself for his stolid demeanor. You could not sound more academic than Gore and get elected. Name recognition got him elected in Tennessee until demographic change and Reagan-era politics made the state move far to the right. Yet who is more demonized that Al Gore? AOC is their modern hate-throb, but Gore still can be found as a reference in jokes twenty years after he got a majority of the votes in a presidential election and sort of went away. So you may as well kick up a fuss. The right is going to portray you as demonic one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

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