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Tragedy unfolded Saturday when 18-year-old suspect Payton Gendron allegedly opened fire on shoppers inside a Buffalo, New York supermarket in a predominantly Black community, killing ten people and injuring three more.
The White supremacist shooter reportedly sought out the predominantly African-American community to act on his ideology. But amid the crisis, critics are making calls for various actions to combat the lack of “anti-racist” education they view as a rampant problem plaguing America while preventing similar violence in the future, including a slew of progressives who equated Republicans with White supremacists and blamed them for allegedly pushing the “Great Replacement Theory” while using Saturday’s tragedy to necessitate teaching critical race theory in American schools.
“Critical race theory literally explains why Great Replacement Theory exists, but now just days after a white supremacist massacre the same people who created an entire book-banning hysteria around CRT are justifying and promoting GRT. Absolutely shameless. Absolutely shameful,” 1619 Project founder and New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote in a Monday tweet.
A plethora of others joined in the rhetoric on Twitter, including author and progressive pastor John Pavlovitz who doubled down on the message by presumably calling out former President Donald Trump without sharing his name.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY CURRICULUM IN K-12 SCHOOLS IS GOING ‘HORRIBLY WRONG,’ TEACHERS SAY
“White dudes going on killing sprees in the name of supremacy, as directly influenced by a former president, his party, their Church, and their state TV – but sure Critical Race Theory is the problem,” he tweeted.
Rantt Media co-founder and president and The Independent columnist Ahmed Baba spoke out on the issue as well, saying “The @GOP bans Critical Race Theory (not taught in K-12) under the guise that it’s “indoctrinating” their kids while their party and media has been pushing Great Replacement Theory – which is literally indoctrinating and radicalizing young terrorists.”
“GRT is the real threat,” he added.
John Fugelsang, a comedian and actor, argued that those claiming the White Replacement Theory is real are “proving Critical Race Theory is real” and Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Charles Booker tied in a similar sentiment by accusing his opponents of “want[ing] people to believe the lie about Critical Race Theory so they could fuel the conspiracy of the Great Replacement Theory.”
The assertion surfaced outside of Twitter as well, including in a USA Today opinion piece, which argued that young Whites are killing “out of hate” because schools refuse to teach about America’s “racist past.”
“Education about this nation’s struggle with racism and oppression has always been weak,” author Eileen Rivers said, adding that “The current fight against the imagined boogeyman of critical race theory threatens to make a flawed system (and uninformed generations) worse.”
WHAT IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY?
A Michael Harriot opinion piece featured in The Guardian called out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for “pushing legislation that makes the American education system less perfect by criminalizing critical race theory” in light of the Buffalo shooting and a Tuesday Los Angeles Times opinion piece echoed the narrative, arguing that conservative officials “tolerate the radical and racist theories within their ranks” while “insist[ing] there is no systemic racism in the U.S. – and want[ing] classrooms to reflect” that “revisionist view.”
A “ReidOut” blog piece from MSNBC tackled the issue as well, saying Saturday’s shooting “underscores” the “importance of antiracism lessons for white children,” and slamming Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s “dim summary” of Ibram X. Kendi’s book called “Antiracist Baby” from the Senate confirmation hearings for Biden-appointed Ketanji Brown Jackson.
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“White children deserve a more promising, less stupid future than the ones conservatives like Cruz are looking to give them,” author Ja’han Jones argued in the piece. “And 10 people killed, allegedly by an 18-year-old white nationalist who believes in the deluded ‘great replacement theory,’ is all the evidence one needs to prove white people shouldn’t spurn methods that might make them more effective parents in a world rife with racism.”
Jones went on to stress the need for congressional hearings on “white parenthood and young white men’s susceptibility to extremist violence” and slammed some parents’ “obsession” with “censoring history about racial inequality.”
Another piece from CNY Central in Syracuse, New York, echoed calls to home in on critical race theory in education, noting expert opinions that say “well-rounded curriculums are going to be critical in combatting the baseless white supremacist ideologies applied in the attack in Buffalo that are readily available online.”