Critical Race Theory (CRT) examines how racism remains embedded in societal structures, but the very idea that racism still exists sends some conservatives into orbit. Critical Race Theory has become convenient shorthand for conservatives too lazy to engage with the theory itself. Instead, the theory has become the umbrella term for everything wrong with America’s direction. Predictably, that includes trans rights.
According to research by Media Matters, right-wing pundits on Fox have been indiscriminately lumping trans issues into Critical Race Theory as part of an overall attempt to fuel viewer grievances.
“The network’s hosts and guests have often simultaneously brought up the topic alongside mentions and discussions of trans people, using both topics to portray the left as extreme,” Media Matters, a media watchdog for right-wing sites, notes. “Fox News figures regularly compared the two topics to each other, claiming that they are both ‘designed to divide’ people, that transgender rights silence women while discussions about race silence white people, and that teaching about race or gender identity will lead to ‘dumber’ kids and a weaker military.”
The right has moved the description of Critical Race Theory from an academic concept to an assault on grammar and high school students. The fact that the theory isn’t actually being taught in schools doesn’t matter. And since trans students have already been a target for the right wing, why not lump them into Critical Race Theory?
That’s exactly what Fox News talking heads have been doing.