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Wealth & Poverty Review CRT: America’s Cultural Revolution

Originally published at The American Thinker

Nowhere is the abuse of power in directing government manpower and spending more blatant than in the Biden administration’s promotion of Critical Race Theory (CRT) training throughout all federal government agencies. The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Education (DoE) — two agencies that have the most people under their administration and instruction — have incorporated this divisive Marxist ideology-based indoctrination in the training curricula for their staff members, and to all the enlisted in the case of the military. Given that warfighting capability can be critical to a nation’s survival, and that the youth of today represent the nation’s future citizens and leaders, these decisions are not without serious repercussions.            

The job of teachers and schools is straightforward: It’s to train students to achieve competence in the basic subjects of reading, writing, verbal, math, science, history, and geography.  Yet according to the latest Nation’s Report Card, only 23% of 12th-grade public school students in America reach basic proficiency. So with our nation’s public school system failing in its primary mission there is no justification for diverting resources and manpower away from essential education curricula and teaching to a controversial program like CRT.

Many parents across the country passionately shared this position just months ago when the school year was coming to a close.  In May and June, various videos produced by parents meeting and confronting school administrators and school boards demanding that CRT indoctrination programs be dropped went viral, being streamed cross country throughout social media.  Yet the two national teachers’ unions, the NEA and AFT, whose influence reaches all 50 states, remain committed to supporting their members teaching CRT.  As the academic year 2021-2022 gets underway, parents should be aware that the DOE is continuing its state grant programs that provide support for CRT. And while 21 states have introduced bills that would control teaching critical race theory or keep a tab on how teachers can discuss racism and sexism, only six states have passed legislation or had governors deliver executive orders banning explicit CRT curriculum from public schools. 

With regard to problems in the military that have resulted from CRT training, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee recently disclosed that since he launched a whistleblower tip line in May, hundreds of enlisted soldiers from all branches of the military have reported problems. Numerous sailors say that the Navy brass seems to be prioritizing diversity over combat training.  94% of those interviewed reported that the Navy now has a crisis of leadership.  The recurring complaint about CRT training pushed on them is that it sets military members against one another and denigrates patriotism, which has prompted a number of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and guardsmen to resign.

In summary, CRT training brings division to the classroom and to military ranks. And in the case of the military, CRT appears to violate the 1976 Supreme Court decision recognizing that a civilian-controlled military requires it to be neutral and apolitical. 

When things make no sense, one simply has to dig deeper to find out what’s going on.

First, it’s essential to understand that the CRT training agenda has all the trappings of a “false flag” operation being run by an enemy. That is, it preys both on peoples’ ignorance and their desire to do well, virtue signal, and stand with justice, while the real agenda is hidden and can be best understood by seeing the program’s effects.  According to program feedback, CRT promotes far more racial division than racial sensitivity.  Further, much CRT curricula distort America’s history and its progress by the inclusion of incorrect narratives surrounding the 17th-century introduction of slavery, while omitting the accomplishments of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement of the 20th century. 

There is no denying that CRT’s ideology is rooted in Marxism and uses race as a means of evoking moral, social, and political division, while also stoking reverse racism by impugning whites as racial supremacists. As for its history component and vision for America, CRT maintains that America is an irredeemably and systemically racist nation, with an illegitimate government based on a constitution written by white founders and ratified by six slaveholding states, which made up nearly half of the original 13 states. 

What is most astonishing about the CRT project is that it shows how gullible and out of touch so many liberal elite administrators and officers are and how disrespectful they are toward the vast majority of people they oversee and serve. The debacle in Afghanistan reflects the utter failure of the armed services leadership in their main mission to manage military power to protect both strategic national interests and the welfare and American servicemen and women. The fact is that race relations among the enlisted are often exemplary, with blacks having a fast-track for promotion based on merit and blacks being overrepresented relative to their numbers as a percentage of the civilian population. It’s hard to believe that the Pentagon brass doesn’t know the state of affairs among the troops they oversee.  A majority of military enlistees who go through boot camp, combat and teamwork mission training, and live and sleep in barracks or in tight quarters on ships almost all say that their experience makes the military one of the least racist institutions in America. 

So if CRT training takes time, manpower, and resources away from the main missions of schools and the military, while also demoralizing most of its participants in the process, why is this happening in America at this time?

Xi Van Fleet, a Chinese immigrant mother of a child who went through Loudoun County, Virginia public schools, thinks she knows.  She had a déjà vu with CRT and “wokism” being analogous to what she witnessed in Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China that displaced and caused the death of some 20 million during the 1960s and 1970s. At a raucous public meeting in June 2021with the Loudoun County School Board, Van Fleet spoke up, drawing parallels between what she had witnessed in China and what she sees going down with CRT in the U.S. today. ” The Communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people,” she said. “The only difference is they used class instead of race.”

“Growing up in Mao’s China, all of this seems very familiar,” she said, describing how the Cultural Revolution caused “students and teachers to turn against each other, and school names changed ‘to be politically correct,’ as they were taught to denounce our heritage.” Going further, Van Fleet said, “The Red Guards destroyed anything that is not Communist — statues, books, and anything else.” 

Although her time to speak was cut short by the Loudoun County School Board, Van Fleet was tracked down by a reporter the next day and summed up her feelings: “To me, and to a lot of Chinese, it is heartbreaking that we escaped communism and now we experience communism here.”

The takeaway from so many who have lived through communist revolutions is that it appears that communists are now emboldened to commence the end game against America. They have adopted the terminology of being woke and high-minded sounding programs like Critical Race Theory, but it’s the same old playbook of the four overlapping stages of communist revolution: first, demoralize society; second, bring about societal division and destabilization; third, bring on crisis and collapse; and fourth, bring about a new normalization of the communist fait accompli.

The reach of Chinese communism into the United States is far greater today than Soviet communism ever was, when at its peak there were at most about 150 Soviet agents working mainly in the federal government, with high-profile people like Alger Hiss serving as FDR’s key trusted advisor at Yalta. The chief reason for the blooming of woke culture and CRT acceptance throughout the United States may in part be related to far larger numbers of Chinese agents operating in the U.S.  Analyst Charles High reports that there may be as many as 100,000 Chinese working within U.S. companies, mainly in the technology sector.  Some of those conduct conventional spying to steal U.S. intellectual property and military secrets, while others are sleepers or agents of influence, whose purpose is to protect and promote various narratives in the interest of China.

Additionally, there are direct parallels between what happened in China during the Cultural Revolution and what is happening right now in America.  And this is all the more disturbing with our current president, Joe Biden, who seems to have been more “installed” than elected and now — with declining mental competence — appears controlled by people behind the scenes.  And of course, the real question is who has the most control over Joe Biden. The silence about the implications of Chinese money received through son Hunter’s $1.5 billion Chinese “private equity deal” on father Biden’s presidential administration is troubling and has no good explanation.  

Americans have overcome many daunting challenges throughout their nation’s past, often waking up at the 11th hour before taking action and prevailing.  Protecting our citizens’ freedom and saving America as a beacon of freedom in the world should be our top priority.  That starts with overcoming denial about enemies foreign and domestic. Then we need to deal with these enemies with courage and dispatch, and proceed with correctives using skill and resourcefulness greater than that of the destroyers, but with none of their malice.

Scott S. Powell

Senior Fellow, Center on Wealth and Poverty
Scott Powell has enjoyed a career split between theory and practice with over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and rainmaker in several industries. He joins the Discovery Institute after having been a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution for six years and serving as a managing partner at a consulting firm, RemingtonRand. His research and writing has resulted in over 250 published articles on economics, business and regulation. Scott Powell graduated from the University of Chicago with honors (B.A. and M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in political and economic theory from Boston University in 1987, writing his dissertation on the determinants of entrepreneurial activity and economic growth.