Gov. Chris Sununu told NHJournal that while he is aware of the controversial mandate from Manchester Public Schools regarding ‘white privilege’ training for their staff, he still opposes legislation that would ban such government training.
NHJournal first reported the story of emails from the Manchester school district requiring employees to participate in anti-white “Critical Race Theory” training, including a webinar declaring all white people participants in “white supremacy” and all men and white women “oppressors.” After receiving questions about the mandatory training, the district issued a new email saying the training was optional.
Asked whether the Manchester example made the case for HB 544, a bill that would ban government workers and contractors from espousing “divisive content” on the job, Sununu said no.
“We heard about the issue in Manchester, but we also received assurances was an optional training…employees could enter into if they chose to,” Sununu said. “When it comes to this issue of ‘divisive discussion’ in classrooms and whatnot, I’m very cautious about big government telling people what they can and cannot say.”
Sununu reiterated his previous position that the solution to government training and classroom instruction citizens object to is political power at the local level. “If there are issues regarding what’s being discussed in the classroom, [parents] always have the ability to talk to the teachers and to work with the school board, to work at the local level where you have a very strong voice.”
And he warned against “a system of oversight and monitoring every last word that comes out of an individual’s mouth — not just in the classrooms, but in the workplace. It’s a very slippery slope to start going down.”
Supporters of HB 544 say Sununu’s analysis is off the mark.
“I don’t blame the Governor for being dismissive of HB544 if all he is hearing is false propaganda coming from the left,” said House Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R-Auburn). “Once he reads the bill for himself, he will realize it is essential for protecting our state employees from being forced to pledge fealty to insidious and divisive ideologies seeking to undermine the very fabric of our civilization.”
The debate over Critical Race Theory (CRT) is at the center of this issue. New Hampshire Democrats and liberal members of the media actively defend CRT, which argues that all white people are inherently racist. It’s a commonly-held view on the American Left. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Associate Attorney General, Vanita Gupta, repeated just days ago her belief that every American is racist.
It’s a message the Manchester school training repeats again and again.
As CRT advocate and author Damon Young put it this week, “Whiteness Is A Pandemic.”
After NHJournal asked the question, Peter Biello of the left-leaning media outlet NHPR took to Twitter to claim NHJournal’s description of the Manchester training materials “inflammatory falsehoods.” He did not offer any evidence to support this claim.
Asked whether he had read the training materials or participated in the recorded, online webinar, Biello declined to answer.