Alabama Rep: 'Critical Race Theory' A Durr A Durr A Durr!
An Alabama reporter gave the nation a master class in how to report on bills banning "critical race theory" in schools: Ask the legislator filing the bill what they think critical race theory is, and then follow up. A LOT.
AL.com political columnist Kyle Whitmire professed to be terribly confused about the term, so he says he did what came naturally:
I did what middle-aged white men are prone to do — I asked another middle-aged white man. But not just any. I called an Alabama lawmaker, state Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, who wants to make it illegal to teach critical race theory in Alabama.
Pringle has prefiled a bill for the next session of the Alabama lege — in eight months! — that would outlaw this critical race theory stuff, whatever it should turn out to be. But hey, what the heck does Pringle think needs banning with his bill?
"It's pretty simple," Pringle said. "All it says is you can't teach critical race theory in K-12 or higher education in the state of Alabama.
That is a short bill, if not a simple one. But it didn't answer my question: What is this critical race theory educators would be forbidden to teach? Pringle has seen enough legislation to understand the law requires specificity. Many bills begin by laying out their legal definitions. How would his bill define critical race theory?
"It basically teaches that certain children are inherently bad people because of the color of their skin, period," Pringle said.
Oh, well gosh, we definitely shouldn't have that in our schools! But, Whitmire, always being a nosy journalist, had to go and wonder whether anyone in any Alabama school is actually teaching that? Examples, please!
So he asked Pringle to name some of these terrible critical race theorists who are "spreading such toxic garbage." Dear Wonkers, we hope you are not easily jostled, because Pringle explained that he knew exactly who they were, but he'd have to check his notes, maybe: "Yeah, uh, well — I can assure you — I'll have to read a lot more."
Now, to do our due diligence, we went looking for the text of this very important bill that will surely be an important Fox News fixation when the Alabama lege reconvenes in eight months.
The bill doesn't seem to be on the legislature's list of prefiled bills yet, but from phrases cited in this Alabama Daily News piece, it sure sounds like yet another boilerplate bill banning "divisive concepts" that aren't really being taught in schools anyway, like the notion that "this state or the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist," or that "an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously." Golly, that almost sounds like Pringle pre-filed a bill he just copied and pasted, without actually having any clue at all what's actually being taught in Alabama schools, or anywhere else!
Whitmire notes that he suspected that "Pringle didn't know as much about critical race theory as I had hoped," so he asked the legislator for an example of how the theory is being used in the real world. Spoiler warning: This is our favorite part of the piece!
"These people, when they were doing the training programs — and the government — if you didn't buy into what they taught you a hundred percent, they sent you away to a reeducation camp," Pringle said.
Dang! Re-education camps! Maybe America is turning into North Korea after all! Whitmire, perhaps smelling a scoop if he could get access to one of these camps, pressed Pringle for more, on who "these people" were, and how these camps work. Pringle couldn't find those details in his pickup truck, but he sure did try:
"Here's an — it doesn't say who it was, it just says a government that held these — these training sessions …" [...]
"The white male executives are sent to a three-day re-education camp, where they were told that their white male culture wasn't their —" he trailed off again.
Also too, Whitmire notes that during their phone interview, Pringle "[bragged] to me how he had BS-ed his way through his college political science classes by parroting the liberal bilge his professors wanted to hear," so you can certainly see why he doesn't want any other Alabama student to face such totalitarian Marxist oppression.
Also, we should note that Pringle's worries about white men being sent off to reeducation camps don't merely sound like something from the Gateway Pundit. It was also the thesis of an ad from Pringle's unsuccessful 2020 campaign for Congress (after losing in the R primary, he was at least able to file and get reelected to the state House).
In that ad, Pringle pushed the very same White Grievance politics that's the real essence of these dumb bills to ban CRT:
I'm Chris Pringle. These days, if you look like me and believe like me, every wrong in society is your fault. If you're straight, Southern, conservative and, heaven forbid, Christian, they call you a racist, and blame you for everyone else's problem. Maybe I'm not supposed to say that, but someone has to.
I'm Chris Pringle, and I approve this message because saving this country means keeping the radical Left from killing it.
Oh, wow, maybe HE's the one who was sent to the reeducation camp, and forgot why all that copy-pasted garbage in his own bill sounded so good to him. Poor man done got his brain erased.
[AL.com / Alabama Daily News / Yellowhammer]
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