As New Hampshire Democrats continue to deny that Critical Race Theory curriculum has made its way into Granite State classrooms, Republicans are targeting Sen. Maggie Hassan’s vote against banning funding of the radical, race-based content in classrooms.
“Critical Race Theory, and its destructive elements seeping into our public education system, has become a hot issue in school boards and statewide races across the country,” the National Republican Senatorial Committee said in a press release Thursday.
“In August of 2021, Democrats had the chance to join Republicans and vote for an amendment that would ‘prevent federal funds from being used to promote Critical Race Theory in prekindergarten, elementary, and secondary schools, and they all voted against it.”
The vote occurred during the so-called “vote-a-rama” as part of the budget reconciliation process allowing Democrats to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 spending plan without any negotiations across the aisle or any votes from the GOP.
New Hampshire Sens. Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined their fellow Democrats in voting down the CRT ban.
“Liberals have tried their best to say the controversy is fake, made up, a conspiracy theory, contrary to reality,” the NRSC said.
That’s certainly been the case in New Hampshire, where progressive state Rep. David Meuse (D-Portsmouth) attacked NHJournal for a news report on CRT-based content in classrooms from Manchester to Laconia to Litchfield.
“The partisan hackery of @NewHampJournal needs to be called out,” Meuse tweeted. “It’s a GOP propaganda machine—not a legitimate news source. What should be called out is veiled racism of those who think teaching kids about racism has no place in NH schools.”
New Hampshire Democratic Party chairman Ray Buckley retweeted the attack.
(The news article in question, which includes links to CRT-based classroom materials and actual images of handouts for elementary school students, can be found here.)
The use of CRT-based content is not in dispute among serious education scholars or mainstream media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post.
On Thursday, the Times’ Ross Douthat called out Democrats’ hollow claim that Critical Race Theory as an academic premise isn’t being taught in k-12 schools. “Yes, fourth graders in the Commonwealth of Virginia are presumably not being assigned the academic works of Derrick Bell,” he conceded.
But he argues this is no defense of the race-based, anti-White propaganda from CRT proponents like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi that has become common in classrooms.
For example, “the racial-equity reading list sent around in 2019 by one state educational superintendent which recommended both DiAngelo’s ‘White Fragility’ and an academic treatise titled ‘Foundations of Critical Race Theory in Education.’
‘That superintendent was responsible for Virginia’s public schools,” Douthat noted.
A national Rasmussen survey of 1,000 American adults found 57 percent said parents should be concerned about Critical Race Theory in classrooms, and 76 percent said they’re concerned that public schools may be promoting controversial beliefs and attitudes.
Just 27 percent called these concerns “phony” issues.
Hassan’s vote against a ban on funding CRT will almost certainly be used by her GOP opponent in 2022. If that opponent is Gov. Chris Sununu, he’ll be able to point to the anti-CRT language in the state budget.
Based on the reaction of Democrats and their allies in the media, it appears they’re afraid it will work.