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Ex-N.Y. Lt. Gov. McCaughey: Critical race theory in schools will help GOP retake suburbs

"This is a huge opportunity in solidly blue states — Connecticut, New York, New Jersey — to take back the suburbs," Betsy McCaughey said.

Updated: June 23, 2021 - 10:40pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Parents "lie awake at night if they think their own children are being turned against them, turned against their way of life and everything they've accomplished, former N.Y. Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey said Wednesday regarding critical race theory being taught in schools.

She said that parents speaking to their school boards have to face the school board members "who are, by the way, mostly former union members, right, teachers union members — they show such disdain," McCaughey told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "They are absolutely Nazi-like in limiting each speaker to one minute, but they never engage with the speakers. They never answer any of the objections or questions. They just simply tolerate — with an expression on their faces of total disdain — tolerate these parents and taxpayers, who are coming forth to object to what's happening in the schools."

In the Virginia counties of Fairfax and Loudoun, parents have criticized their school boards for teaching critical race theory to their children. A TikTok video of Kory Yeshua and his daughter Royalty recently went viral as he denounced critical race theory, following his young daughter seeing a video on Jim Crow segregation.

"And in my view, we've complained enough, it is time to take over those elections," McCaughey said. "And people who have never dreamed of running for office need to say, 'Okay, this I can do. This involves just my neighborhood. I'm going to go talk to my neighbors, and I'm going to take this school board back.'"

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) told the John Solomon Reports podcast earlier this month that in her "district, in Saratoga County, which is a more suburban county in my district, at the local school board level, conservatives and Republicans swept the local school board elections, and they ran on opposition to critical race theory."

McCaughey said she was watching "another town school board meeting the other night, and I saw this superintendent say, 'We're not teaching Critical Race Theory.' And I thought, 'What does he think, these parents up at the microphone are lying? They're making it up? They have so little to do on a weeknight when they get home from work and have dinner, that they're going to go to the town hall and lie about what's happening at school?' I don't think so."

In addition to Florida, which banned critical race theory in its public schools earlier this month, McCaughey said that other states are also banning critical race theory in public schools or using similar language. "Sometimes they say barring teachers from identifying students in the classroom as oppressors and victims," she said. "How's that for a little common sense?

"But in the end, it's going to depend on the school boards, because it's the parents and the local officials who know what's happening. You can't really police this. What are you going to do, send the state police in to arrest a teacher? No. So it's got to be at the local level.

"This is a huge opportunity in solidly blue states — Connecticut, New York, New Jersey — to take back the suburbs. Because running on low taxes, fiscal responsibility, I haven't met anybody who lies awake at night worrying about the deficit. I don't think people lie awake at night worried about that. But they do lie awake at night if they think their own children are being turned against them, turned against their way of life and everything they've accomplished. It is very personal.

"Parents who have looked into their child's backpack and seen material that calls white children 'oppressors' and black children 'victims,' that portrays not just the worst moments of American history, like the enslavement of African Americans, but all of American history as just one long story of oppression and injustice. And lessons that divide us on the basis of our skin color, rather than our ideas or our talents."