The right-wing's obsession with Critical Race Theory reached a new low this week when a Tennessee chapter of far-right activist group Moms For Liberty claimed teaching children about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. causes "emotional trauma" in kids.
As uncovered by journalist Judd Legum, the group went so far as to file a formal complaint with the Tennessee Department of Education, asking it to ban content pertaining to King's March on Washington, claiming the subject matter violates the state's ban on teaching Critical Race Theory in schools.
Critical Race Theory is a post-graduate-level academic discipline first developed in 1989 which examines how racism functions in government and public administration. It has little to do with Martin Luther King Jr. or Ruby Bridges, and is not taught in elementary schools.
The right-wing, however, has redefined CRT as simply a synonym for talking about racism or anything that might make White people uncomfortable at all and has used this propaganda to drive more conservative voters to the polls in recent elections for both candidates and legislation who are against their erroneous definition of CRT, including in Tennessee.
Moms for Liberty also demanded Frances Ruffin's book Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington be banned, along with Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story by Ruby Bridges, one of the first Black children to attend a previously segregated public school in 1960.
The group claims Bridges' book's photographs of "White firemen blasting Black children to the point of 'bruising their bodies and ripping off their clothes'" and showing segregated drinking fountains traumatizes children.
Without providing any evidence, the group went on to claim Bridges' book was driving some children into therapy.
"Some children are seeing counselors to overcome the emotional trauma inflicted upon them by what they learned in Tennessee public education."
"Targeting elementary age children with daily lessons on fighting past injustices as if they were occurring in present day violates Tennessee law and will sow the seeds of racial strife."
Such histrionic claims, submitted without evidence, is par for the course for the Williamson County chapter of Moms for Liberty.
Earlier this year, the group had a meltdown over a "sexy" children's science book that discussed how sea horses mate, doxxed two teenage girls for sharing a peck on a Homecoming float and claimed teaching about racism causes obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The group's New Hampshire chapter also placed a "bounty" on teachers who teach about racism.
You know, because liberty.
On Twitter people found the very idea of a group called "Moms for Liberty" banning the teaching of basic historical facts patently absurd—not to mention disturbing.
The Tennessee Department of Education tossed out Moms for Liberty's complaint, but only on a technicality based on the fact none of the books it mentions have been taught in the current school year.
The group will be free to lodge a similar complaint should the books be taught in the future.