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HARTFORD, Conn. — The right’s crusade against the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in public schools may not be in vain — at least, not if voters in Connecticut have anything to say about it.
Republican candidates — many of whom are parents, grandparents, and political newcomers compelled to run for office by passionate opposition to CRT’s presence in public school curricula — have enjoyed sweeping victories in school board elections in a host of Connecticut suburbs, the Hartford Courant reports.
The municipalities voting to advance anti-CRT candidates include Glastonbury, a suburb of Hartford, and New Canaan, one of many oceanfront jewels adorning the Nutmeg State’s Gold Coast.
The most surprising victory, however, was seen in Guilford, a coastal town whose residents voted for Joe Biden by a 2-to-1 margin.
The Courant states of Guilford:
On July 22, five Republican activists secured spots on the November ballot after sweeping the party’s nominating caucus. They pushed out three establishment Republicans, two of whom have served on the board since 2013.
The newly nominated candidates are part of Truth in Education, a local organization opposed to “critical race theory indoctrination” in Guilford schools.
The candidates are also affiliated with No Left Turn, a conservative organization operating at the national level whose aim is to combat the teaching of leftist ideology in public schools writ large.
Among these candidates is Nick Cusano, a father of two teenage sons who was influenced in part to run for a seat on the Guilford Board of Education after finding out that his older son was being taught about World War II through a lens not of American might or virtue, but of intersectionality:
“I said ‘oh so you learned about D-Day, and you learned about the atomic bomb’ and he [said] ‘we didn’t talk about any of that,’ ” Cusano said. Instead, his son told him, the lesson focused on the Tuskegee Airmen, Black aviators who fought during the war; the Code Talkers, Navajo men who developed an unbreakable code; and the role of women, whose work in the defense industry was crucial to the Allies’ victory.
As important as some of these historical concepts may indeed be, the way they are being presented to students with the intent to frame America as a historical haven of bigotry constantly seeking to sweep the achievements of ethnic minorities under the rug is not only problematic, but morally reprehensible.
The key takeaway from this is simple: calling for reform is one thing, but enacting it is another.
Activism, presence on digital platforms, and conservative media outlets may be able to provide the right with a sense of representation, refine our political philosophies, and amplify conservative rallying cries. However, direct, meaningful initiative — namely, running for public office and engaging with the institutions whose integrity we wish to restore — is ultimately the only means by which the right can attempt to sway the institutional pendulum.
And, as we’ve just seen in Connecticut, that may not be a particularly far-off prospect.
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