If GOP Cared About Kids, it Would Protect them From White Nationalist Recruitment OnlineRoundup
tags: Republican Party, far right, racism, White Nationalism, Internet Culture
Ibram X. Kendi is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He is the author of several books, including the National Book Award–winning Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and How to Be an Antiracist.
The day after Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governor’s race last November, a Wall Street Journal headline declared: “Youngkin Makes the GOP the Parents’ Party.” Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio exulted in this new party line on Twitter: “The Republican Party is the party of parents.”
Polling data showed this new branding to be as misleading as the GOP’s framing of critical race theory. In a September Fox News poll, white respondents opposed the teaching of critical race theory by 24 percentage points, while respondents of color were more than twice as likely to favor CRT than oppose it. William Saletan at Slate concluded, “When Republicans talk about a parental backlash against CRT, they’re not talking about all parents. They’re talking about white parents.” Michelle Ruiz summed up in Vogue what has since emerged as the near consensus: “The GOP doesn’t want to be the party of parents; it wants to cement itself as the party of white parents.”
The Republican Party is clearly not the party of parents. The Republican Party is certainly not the party of parents of color. But is the Republican Party even the party of white parents?
This new branding is a myth, a great myth. It is as fictitious and dangerous as the great lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.
But this great myth is not as rudimentary as the great lie. It represents a Trump Tower of GOP propaganda, built over the past year on four hugely false conceptual building blocks:
- Republican politicians care about white children.
- Anti-racist education is harmful to white children.
- Republican politicians are protecting white children by banning anti-racist education.
- The Republican Party is the party of white parents because it is protecting white children.
Every great myth is built on a foundational assumption, a fallacy widely assumed to be true. The foundational assumption of this great myth is that Republican politicians care about white children. But if they did, then they would not be ignoring or downplaying or defending or bolstering the principal racial threat facing white youth today. And I am not talking about critical race theory, which Republican propagandists have quite intentionally redefined, as one admitted, remaking it into a threat, and obscuring the real threat.
What are white children being indoctrinated with? What is making them uncomfortable? What is causing them to hate? White-supremacist ideology: the toxic blend of racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic ideas that is harmful to all minds, especially the naive and defenseless minds of youth. Which group is the prime target of white supremacists? White youth.