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September 17, 2020; Southern Poverty Law Center

Even as Trump declares his opposition to schools and government agencies teaching about the racial history of this country, the Southern Poverty Law Center released the findings of a poll that showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans support teaching anti-racism in schools.

When asked specifically about whether they supported “anti-racist education” as a policy to reduce and prevent hate and extremism, the poll conducted by Tulchin Research shows that seven in 10 adults nationally (70 percent) say they support such a program, compared to only one in six (18 percent) who oppose it.

Even more interesting is the relative closeness of levels of support between Democrats and Republican respondents, extending even to Trump supporters:

To provide some key data points of this broad support, here are support levels for “anti-racist education” among key demographic groups:

  • Large majorities of Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (69 percent) and independents (65 percent) support it;
  • Similarly, liberals (84 percent) support it as do conservatives (64 percent) and moderates (69 percent);
  • Americans of all ethnicities support it including whites (71 percent), Blacks (65 percent), Latinos (69 percent) and Asians (73 percent);
  • Americans in every region of the country support “anti-racist education” including the South (68 percent) as well as the Northeast (68 percent), the Midwest (69 percent) with the highest level of support in the West (74 percent);
  • Perhaps most surprisingly is that a solid majority of Americans with favorable opinions of President Donald Trump support “anti-racist education” (64 percent support among those with a favorable opinion of Trump).

I guess we’ll see how those Trump supporters resolve their feelings after a speech at the National Archives where he blamed “left-wing indoctrination” for protests decrying police violence against Black people.

“Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that if not removed will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together,” he says. “It will destroy our country. That is why I recently banned trainings in this prejudiced ideology from the federal government and banned it in the strongest manner possible.”

“Patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country,” Trump said.

Having already threatened California’s schools with cuts to funding if it used the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 curriculum developed by the New York Times, the president criticized it as “toxic propaganda,” equating racial education with “child abuse.”

That was followed up by his promise to convene a “1776 Commission” to “promote patriotic education”—because, apparently, anti-racist education is not, in his view, patriotic.—Ruth McCambridge