Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Tuesday in his characteristic folksy style that critical race theory is "dumb as a bag of hair" while commenting on the National Education Association's recent pledge to "fight back" against opponents of teaching the theory in schools.
"Critical race theory is a fairy tale promoted by many — not all, but many of my Democratic colleagues including the Biden White House," Kennedy said. "Critical race theory teaches that America is totally screwed, we need to just tear it down and start over. Critical race theory teaches that the primary reason that America was founded was to maintain white supremacy. Not freedom. Not rule of law. Not equal opportunity. Not personal responsibility. But white supremacy.
"Critical race theory also teaches that non-black Americans are racist, that they don't much like black people whether those non-black Americans realize it or not," he continued. "That's why critical race theory also teaches that white children are born bad. It teaches that black children are born trapped, there's almost no hope for them. It's a very fatalistic point of view.
"In my judgment critical race theory is cynical, ahistorical, sophomoric, insipid, and dumb as a bag of hair," the senator added.
National controversy over critical race theory has erupted in recent years as parents have become aware of what their children are being taught in school and don't like it. Viral videos showing parents getting into heated confrontations with officials at school board meetings have made national headlines and opened a new front in the culture wars.
Critical race theory is a worldview that claims the laws, institutions, and social conventions of American society are historically rooted in the racist oppression of black people and other marginalized groups and cannot be rightly understood apart from their connection to injustice. Failure to recognize how this supposed structural racism continues to disadvantage minority Americans is equated with implicit support for these "racist" systems, and those who do not fight to overturn unjust systems and unjust outcomes are counted as "racists."
To be an "anti-racist," white people must acknowledge their "privilege," the alleged advantages they hold as members of American society based on the color of their skin, and support laws that would treat people unequally to create "equity" by redistributing resources in a manner that is favorable to historically disadvantaged groups.
Proponents of critical race theory, such as the NEA, claim it is an inclusive worldview that will teach children how to identify correct injustices caused by oppression. Critics like Kennedy say it is a racist philosophy that ignores the progress toward equality and justice American society has made since its founding and calls for equity by means of injustice.
"America is not a racist country. We have racists in it, just like everywhere else. But most Americans, black and white, think a whole lot more about character than they do about race, they believe in equality," Kennedy told Fox News.
"Most Americans understand that to a bear, we all taste like chicken."