MSNBC Claims Anti-CRT Laws Promote ‘Lost Cause’ Narrative

This Monday MTP Daily Garrett Haake, guest host, launched a string of personal attacks and strawman attacks on Texas’s anti Critical Race Theory law. They attempted, together with Prof. Keith Mayes to portray conservatives as being clinging on to the Lost Cause narrative.

Haake led off the segment by declaring: “This country is in the midst of what is arguably the most important debate about school curricula in decades. The debate over how race is taught in American classrooms. The fight’s raging in school boards and in state legislatures across the country as more and more states take steps to restrict how the history of racism and slavery is taught in classrooms.”

He falsely added: “In many cases just whitewashing some of the most painful parts of American history right out.” But in an attempt to prove otherwise, he claimed: “Just last week teachers in a Texas school district were directed to provide differing perspectives on topics like slavery or the Holocaust in their curriculum.”

Texas does not require “differing viewpoints” regarding the Holocaust just because a school district has misread Texas’ law. 

After previewing an upcoming MSNBC documentary on race and the legacy of the Civil War, Haake welcomed Mayes to talk about how the war impacted race relations. According to Mayes, “A lot of folks in the South, you know, saw it as a lost cause or they saw it as the War of Northern Aggression. These kinds of interpretations mean that there are folks who are still wedded to various narratives that shape their reality in many ways, and still does.” 

Anyone who has taken five minutes to actually read the law can tell that the idea that Texas’s new education regulations promote the idea that the wrong side won was deliberate misinformation. Haake was not stopped from agreeing enthusiastically.

I mean, when you look at things like the Texas law here which shows how far people are willing to go to preserve that narrative, what, what’s your takeaway from lawmakers trying to encode this kind of thing into legislatures across the country? Is it just driven from a place of fear? And I guess to me the question is, fear of what?” 

Mayes said that the reason was fear of progress. Fear of racial progression. Fear of a certain type of demographic change. Haake intervened before Mayes was finished to ask, “But what is that?” Fear that your African-American neighbor is going to be as well off as you? It can be embarrassing.

Mayes, of course, agreed, “It is embarrassing” and went on to accuse “the conservative right” of politicizing history. 

It would be embarrassing if was true, but it wasn’t. It was true, however, that while media continued to engage in bad-faith attacks against conservatives, it covered up the Loudoun County rape story.

CarShield sponsored this segment.

This transcript is for the show on October 18, 2018.

MSNBC

MTP Daily

1.54 pm ET

GARRETT HAAKE: This country is in the midst of what is arguably the most important debate about school curricula in decades. The debate over how race is taught in American classrooms. The fight’s raging in school boards and in state legislatures across the country as more and more states take steps to restrict how the history of racism and slavery is taught in classrooms. In many cases just whitewashing some of the most painful parts of American history right out. Just last week teachers in a Texas school district were directed to provide differing perspectives on topics like slavery or the Holocaust in their curriculum. The new documentary explains. Civil War, premiering this Sunday on MSNBC, we’re taking a deep dive into how we teach perhaps the most divisive chapter in American history. The film explores how geography, race, and tradition shape the historic narratives we tell and the ones don’t tell about the Civil War and how that impacts race in America today. Here’s a preview. 

DAVID BLIGHT: We’ve never really had a racial reckoning. The problem started, first, immediately after the war. If you want North and South to get together and get along again, you don’t talk about causes and consequences. You talk about the mutual valor on that battlefield. 

HAAKE: I’m joined now by Keith Mayes, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Minnesota. And professor, I want your reaction to that clip there from Dr. Blight, talking about how in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War the narrative changed of what we we’re going to talk about and how that affects the way we talk about that period in history today. 

KEITH MAYES: Thanks for having me on, Garrett. I think that part of the problem that we have in schools and in politics is that we can’t seem to grasp why it is important for us to tell the history as it occurred, that people have to understand that the Civil War was a major watershed moment in American history. And yes, it represented the moment and the era of black emancipation and black freedom. But it also meant the South lost something. It lost something. It lost its way of living. It lost its economy. It lost its social structure in many ways and I think that it’s hard for people who live in that kind of culture to reconcile what happened. Hence that’s why you have various names to the event. A lot of folks in the South, you know, saw it as a lost cause or they saw it as the War of Northern Aggression. These kinds of interpretations mean that there are folks who are still wedded to various narratives that shape their reality in many ways, and still does. 

HAAKE: I mean, when you look at things like the Texas law here which shows how far people are willing to go to preserve that narrative, what, what’s your takeaway from lawmakers trying to encode this kind of thing into legislatures across the country? Is it just driven from a place of fear? And I guess to me the question is, fear of what? 

MAYES: Fears of Progress Fear of racial progression. Fear of a kind of demographic change…

HAAKE Fear that your African-American neighbor is going to be as well off as you? It can be embarrassing. 

MAYES: This is shameful. But it’s a fear that the way in which we imagine the racial state means that the level of equality as it, as it first represents this demographic shift in the country is something that lawmakers have to pay attention to, have to deal with. But I think this, we can’t forget, Garrett, this is also about politics. So the rewriting of Southern history was a Civil Rights Era phenomenon. The rewriting of that Southern history that’s occurring today is also part and parcel of the moment that we live in now, with the rise of the conservative right. So, I think that history and politics have always been married in that way. And these are not well-meaning politicians who have decided that they want to pass these laws. This is about the current state of our political environment right now. And it has less to do with what actually happened in history, Garrett. 

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