One day before the first celebration of Juneteenth as a nationally recognized federal holiday, former President Donald Trump tore into President Joe Biden for embracing “critical race theory”—a loosely defined academic framework that’s become the newest front in the culture wars—and went as far as to claim teaching the theory verges on “psychological abuse.”
“Students are being subjected to a new curriculum designed to brainwash them,” Trump claimed in an op-ed published on RealClearPolitics’ website, calling critical race theory “twisted” and “completely antithetical to everything that normal Americans of any color would wish to teach their children.”
In reality, few American classrooms teach “critical race theory” as it was originally conceived, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans, including Trump, from using it as a catchall phrase to describe any attempt to teach students about systemic racism.
Trump argued the “left’s vile new theory” teaches students that “judging people by the color of their skin is actually a good idea” and that the U.S. is “systemically evil,” instead of “helping young people discover that America is the greatest, most tolerant, and most generous nation in history.”
Biden “endorsed” critical race theory and imposed it on American students when the Education Department in April moved to prioritize offering federal grants to history departments that teach curriculums that “reflect the diversity” of all students and used the controversial New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project as an example, Trump said.
Trump proposed a “ban on taxpayer dollars going to any school district or workplace that teaches critical race theory,” and more transparency for parents to see what children are being taught in school.