A national leader in the fight against Critical Race Theory and the self-declared Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) movement is speaking out on events in the Granite State and giving his support to legislative efforts confronting both issues.
Christopher F. Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has been called “the conservative activist who introduced American parents to critical race theory” (CRT). When the debate over CRT began, Rufo was dismissed as a fearmonger. Progressives denied the ideology — which teaches young children they are born racist and their parents are bigots based solely on their skin color — was being taught in K-12 classrooms.
After a series of high-profile revelations that the doctrine is commonly part of classroom instruction, including in New Hampshire, supporters reversed course and defended CRT curriculum as a necessary part of the education process.
In New Hampshire, CRT-based instruction violates the state’s anti-discrimination law. But other debates continue, including whether K-12 female students should be forced to share bathrooms and locker rooms with male students who claim they “identify” as female.
Earlier this month, Rufo posted a YouTube video about the controversy at Milford High School, where a biological male is using the girl’s bathrooms, creating concerns about the safety of teen girls. Rufo references the testimony of Samia DeMarco, who said girls are being bullied by the male student.
“Her 13-year-old daughter is being constantly exposed to a biological male who has infiltrated the women’s restroom,” Rufo says. “It’s worth noting the sheer irrationality of it all.”
While school officials and parents debate how to accommodate transgender students without forcing girls into uncomfortable, and potentially fraught, circumstances, state Rep. Keith Ammon (R-New Boston) is a co-sponsor of legislation declaring the issue of biological sex is a legitimate one for state involvement.
The legislation is HB396, “An Act relative to state recognition of biological sex.” It explicitly declares “the state’s rational interest in recognizing the male and female sexes.”
“Gender theory radicals are trying to force polite society to deny the objective reality that there are precisely two biological sexes,” Ammon said. “HB396 asserts that it is in the rational interest of the state and its subdivisions to recognize the binary biological sexes of humans. The bill explicitly allows those public entities to differentiate between the male and female sexes in athletic competitions, criminal incarceration, and places of intimate privacy.”
Rufo called the bill “beautiful.”
“It’s a very simple bill, and it’s a very simple concept. It just says men and women are different,” Rufo told NHJournal in a recent podcast interview. “We [the two sexes] have different strengths and weaknesses, we are different in fundamental ways. The government should recognize that. In a way, it’s sad we have to pass legislation to announce that.”
So, what would Rufo do about a situation like Milford High School, where a biological male insisted on being treated as a female, including using girls-only facilities?
“The answer is obviously no. You can’t have biological males in girls’ bathrooms, just like you can’t have biological males in women’s prisons. You have to be able to say, ‘This doesn’t meet the common sense test,'” Rufo said. As for the larger ideological debate pushing the premise that sex differences are cultural norms and not biological facts, Rufo argued the goal is to force people to embrace ideas they don’t actually believe.
“They’re so bought into a kind of unhinged ideology that the only way their idea can even survive is if we suppress all rational thinking. So, they’re asking you to lie. They know if they can get you bought into a lie at such a fundamental level of reality, they can get you to buy into any other lie,” Rufo said.
“At the same time, you do want to be empathetic towards kids who are struggling. If you’re a boy and you think you’re a girl and you’re, you know, 14, 15, 16 years old, you’re, you’re struggling with something, right? This is a big challenge.”
Another challenge Rufo is confronting is the rising DEI movement, which he believes is undermining core American values like merit, opportunity, and individual responsibility. He has crafted model legislation, “Abolish DEI Bureaucracies and Restore Colorblind Equality in Public Universities.”
Now Ammon has introduced it to the New Hampshire House.
The legislation, “Abolish DEI Bureaucracies and Restore Colorblind Equality in Public Universities,” has four key elements:
- Abolish DEI bureaucracies in public universities;
- End mandatory diversity training in higher education;
- Ban the use of diversity statements in university employment processes;
- Ensure that public institutions of higher education do not discriminate based on identity in admissions or employment.
“DEI bureaucracies are bad for universities. They’re bad for free expression, and they’re bad for campus culture,” Rufo said.
“Some universities are forcing students and faculties to sign so-called ‘diversity and inclusion’ statements. They’re really left-wing loyalty oaths. They’re highly ideological, almost politically partisan statements.”
Rufo compared them to the loyalty oaths of the McCarthy era in the 1950s, except he believes the new iteration is worse.
“It’s at least somewhat reasonable to say, ‘If you want to be a public employee, you should not advocate overthrowing the government.’ And that era is viewed as a stain on American history.
“But now we have something 10 times more ideological, 10 times more of a political loyalty oath, and it’s proliferating through nearly every public university in the country,” Rufo said.