“CRT” Roundup! Plus, Edsall, Lukianoff, Chavous…

I’ve known Kevin Chavous since he was on city council in DC, so since before there were podcasts. So it was nice to sit down with him for his podcast.


The results in the mayoral primary so far are evidence of the continuing power of Black voters to act as a moderating force in a Democratic Party that has seen growing numbers of white voters shift decisively to the left.

Seems like the education world, more specifically its elite precincts, might want to engage with that?

Greg Lukianoff has a list of considerations about the “CRT” debate, which as he notes, correctly in my view, is not really a CRT debate. Worth reading as it parses some of the higher ed – K12 differences that tend to get obscured here.

A few things are true at once here.

First, yes legislatures have the authority to do some of this at the K-12 level, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. And everyone seems to have forgotten the basic goose – gander thing. This won’t go the way you think/hope it will in a lot of places. There are also free speech concerns with the broader of these proposed laws and enforceability problems with the vague ones.

Second, a lot of the examples that get tossed around are not about CRT, history, or any of that, it’s sloppy pedagogy schools shouldn’t be doing. Doing a better job teaching history is not synonymous with viewpoint coercion, age inappropriate stuff, or really reductionist history. Training and support is key here.

Finally, legislating isn’t pretty and lists don’t really work. If you read this Texas bill, for instance I suspect you’ll find things you agree and disagree with it. I’m against these bans on a few levels, practical and philosophical. But if you think every one of these bills is just a Chris Rufo special, you’re missing what’s happening here.

A few past posts on the issues around this. Too often these debates flatten out the rich diversity of Black thought. The “CRT” debate is in no small part a curriculum debate – and we’re bad at those. Ed reform seems awfully elite. There are a lot of reasons to be skeptical of CRT bans. You could sort of see this coming last fall. And a lot of what is animating social media is poorly done DEI “trainings” not CRT, and that’s a scale problem.