A Republican-endorsed video that Democratic House leadership successfully prevented from being played during a hearing on Capitol Hill disproportionately features Black parents at school board meetings pushing anti-critical race theory (CRT) propaganda.
The partisan clash took place on Thursday as Attorney General Merrick Garland testified before the House Judiciary Committee about everything from Donald Trump’s flunkie Steve Bannon’s criminal contempt resolution for not complying with the Jan. 6 Commission’s subpoena to the Department of Justice’s allegations that it treated school board parents like “domestic terrorists.”
When Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan requested for the video in question to be played at the hearing, he was promptly shot down in no uncertain terms by Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York. The video contains footage from some of the contentious school board meetings that have been taking place across the country in recent months as conservatives ramp up the rhetoric against things like mandates as well as the controversial academic movement that teaches how racism is sewn into the divisive fabric of the United States.
Nadler was insistent that the video not be played, but not because of its contents. Instead, he hit Jordan — the former college wrestling coach accused of ignoring sexual abuse within the program — with a House committee policy that forbids any video from being played on the floor without providing 48 hours’ notice. Nadler hardly let Jordan get a word in edgewise because the last-minute request to play the video was “out of order, this is not debatable.”
When Jordan accused Nadler of lying about the rule, the democrat didn’t budge from his position.
“It’s a video about parents at school board meetings,” Jordan said in his trademark growl. “Moms and dads speaking at school board meetings. And you guys aren’t going to let us play it?”
Jordan was shut down as Nadler calmly moved on after reading the video precedent that he said was established by Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican who previously held Nadler’s position of chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Watch the video of Jordan grasping for straws as Nadler effectively tells him to talk to the hand.
Later Thursday afternoon, the House Judiciary GOP tweeted the video that Nadler refused to let Jordan play. It was a montage of parents at school board meetings pushing familiar talking points about critical race theory. After starting off by showing several white parents spouting uninformed stances and resenting that they have benefitted from racism, the nearly four-minute video turns its attention to an outsized number of Black parents making the same case.
One of Republicans’ favorite tactics is to use Black people as props in disingenuous efforts to convince people they do not favor and thrive from white supremacist ideals like opposing critical race theory. That is seemingly exactly what the producers behind the video Jordan tried to play during the House Judiciary Committee hearing wanted to accomplish.
For the record, polling has shown that most parents want their children to learn about systemic racism, but only half support critical race theory. Those numbers skew along racial lines.
“School board meetings have also served as a platform for Black parents and students to testify on their lived experiences with racism in schools—a stark contrast to the common core of swirling narratives by CRT critics now drowning them out,” Newsweek reported in August.
And a report from last month detailed how Black students are firmly in favor of critical race theory being taught in their schools.
“I don’t understand why we wouldn’t allow our students to learn about their identities, because for so long in the K-12 education system, students have been taught history from a white narrative,” Ekene Okolo, a 17-year-old senior at Westview High School in San Diego, told NBC News. “The banning of CRT makes it seem like POC (people of color) identities aren’t worthy enough of being shared or talked about. It keeps the white narrative at the forefront of our education system.”
This is America.