A GOP lawmaker in Alabama just botched the definition of Critical Race Theory (CRT) while trying to defend his rationale for banning the academic course of study in schools across the state.
Of course it's largely a non-issue since no primary, middle or high school has ever had CRT as part of their curriculum. CRT is studied as an elective course at a graduate school level, most often in law schools or advanced studies of sociology.
Despite its total absence from school curricula, the Alabama GOP isn't the first to take aim at Critical Race Theory.
The Washington Post defines CRT as:
"Critical race theory is an academic framework centered on the idea that racism is systemic, and not just demonstrated by individual people with prejudices."
"The theory holds that racial inequality is woven into legal systems and negatively affects people of color in their schools, doctors' offices, the criminal justice system and countless other parts of life."
In fact, Alabama is one of nine states whose GOP lawmakers are attempting to ban the study or use of CRT in schools. Those states join another five who have already banned Critical Race Theory.
To understand why Republicans in Alabama want to ban something their schools have never taught or used, a columnist with Alabama Media Group asked GOP State Representative Chris Pringle for his reasoning.
His answer was, to say the least, puzzling.
When explaining the proposed ban bill, Pringle aimed to simplify its terms.
"All it says is you can't teach critical race theory in K-12 or higher education in the state of Alabama."
When the columnist, Kyle Whitmore asked a followed up, Pringle delivered a bizarre, homespun definition of Critical Race Theory.
"[It] teaches that certain children are inherently bad people because of the color of their skin, period."
So Pringle apparently believes Critical Race Theory means the exact opposite of what it actually means.
Later, when Whitmore pressed him for sources, Pringle fired off some loose descriptions of "reeducation programs" for people that didn't subscribe to Critical Race Theory.
Whitmore pressed again. Pringle struggled to answer.
"Yeah, uh, well—I can assure you—I'll have to read a lot more."
Blowback from the details of Whitmore's interview with Pringle was all over Twitter.
Considering Critical Race Theory is something Alabama schools have never taught, it's no wonder the Republicans fighting to ban it have no idea what it is.