Christopher Rufo, Eddie Glaude Battle over Critical Race Theory
SCARBOROUGH: "What’s the name of that book, just for the record? What’s the name of that book?"
RUFO: "Sure, the book is called 'Not My Idea.' It’s being taught in hundreds of schools in Illinois and Chicago. It’s actually the subject of a federal lawsuit by a teacher named Stacy Deemar, who protested this and was forced to teach it. And these are the kind of things — you can retreat to the defensible territory of saying it’s just looking at the history of racism and society, but when you actually look at the specifics, they are telling kids that they are fundamentally racist because of the color of their skin. They’re telling people that they should feel shame, guilt and anguish because of their inborn characteristics and traits. These are the kinds of lessons that I’ve uncovered in dozens of schools. It’s now being endorsed by the NEA in 14,000 public school districts across the country. And you can’t retreat because parents know what they're seeing every day, parents know what they're seeing when children come home with workbooks like 'Not My Idea,' and they’re right and they’re rightly and very strongly pushing back."
SCARBOROUGH: "Okay. So, Eddie, let me tell you, this is interesting and it’s something that people won’t say when they’re on the television set, they won’t say at polite dinner parties. I’m not sure why they whisper it or text it or e-mail it to me, but liberal members of the mainstream media, Democrats that are huge contributors to the Democratic Party and even people that work for Democrats, I’ve heard over the past three or four years, 'I’ve got to get my kid out of this private school. They’re teaching my 7-year-old boy that because he’s white he’s, you know, a racist, he’s part of the problem, et cetera, et cetera.' I don’t know if you’ve heard the same thing. I’ve heard the same thing. And, again, it’s anecdotal, but it sure does seem to match with more and more stories that are going out there. How do we sort through all of this and make sure that we don’t throw out teaching about slavery and teaching about racism over the past 400 years, that we don’t throw that out with a war against critical race theory and its extremes?"
GLAUDE JR.: "Right. We’re going to make mistakes. There are going to be extremes, there are going to be moments of overreach, I grant that. But part of what we have to do in this moment, Joe, and we've talked about this, is to confront the ugliness of who we are. And part of what I hear in these sorts of arguments is this sense in which that confrontation must be won where we’re comfortable, where we feel good about who we are after we confront it. So in some ways — I’m scooting up in my chair, Joe, because I’m getting upset. Because we’re seeing right now, in real time, a reassertion of the lie. The very thing that keeps us from becoming a different America because we don’t want to accept who we are, what we’ve done."
SCARBOROUGH: "Wait, wait, wait. But reassertion, though, of what lie? I — I can believe in two Americas. I can believe that 1776 and 1619 can be merged together, that you can believe two things at once. I could disagree with critical race theory, but still believe what you and I have talked about, that we have a long way to go to being a just country the way that the Founding Documents said we were going to be. Do I have to choose one or the other?"
GLAUDE JR.: "No, no, no, no. Part of what I’m thinking is that once you concede the initial claim that America in some ways comes into being in light of this extraordinarily painful reality, the contradiction that is at the heart of our beginnings, once you concede that, the way in which you begin to think about American exceptionalism shifts, right? Because it’s not this idea that we are wholly innocent, that we are absolved of our sins, that recognizing who we are somehow condemns us to hell as it were, that we are being bludgeoned by our sins and made to feel guilty. That’s not what we’re saying at all. But we're saying that you have to confront it in order to release us into a different future. I want to say this really quickly. This sort of argument is happening right now, and I want us to link it to January 6th. I want us to link it to the attack on voting rights. This is, in effect, in my view, Joe, an attempt to arrest substantive change in the country, and we give these folk the credit that they’re making the arguments in good faith, and I don’t think they are. And I’ll say it to Christopher right to his face. I don’t think this is a good faith argument, period."