On Thursday (Sept 17), Trump announced that he would be creating a commission to promote “patriotic education” and adding that a grant program was developed to introduce a “pro-American curriculum.” The move is largely political — and a reaction to a growing push by some academics for schools to teach an American history that better acknowledges slavery and systemic racism.
In the speech, Trump denounced racial equality education, labeling it as a “twisted web of lies” being taught in U.S. classrooms about systemic racism in America, before calling it “a form of child abuse,” reprising the themes from a speech he gave at Mount Rushmore in July.
“Teaching this horrible doctrine to our children is a form of child abuse, the truest sense,” Trump said. “For many years now, the radicals have mistaken Americans’ silence for weakness. They’re wrong. There is no more powerful force than a parent’s love for their children. And patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country.”
In remarks delivered at the National Archives, which houses the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, Trump rallied against people who have taken to the streets around the country this year to protest racial injustice.
“American parents are not going to accept indoctrination in our schools, cancel culture at work or the repression of traditional faith, culture, and values in the public square,” Trump said.
Most Republicans, in particular, have taken offense to The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project,” which detailed the country’s history from when the first enslaved Africans were brought to America’s shores.
“Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together. It will destroy our country,” the president said Thursday.
Since the outcry for justice in the numerous slayings of African Americans at the hands of police, Trump has sought to portray himself as a “law and order” candidate in the Nov. 3 election against Democratic rival Joe Biden and his announcement on Thursday to use an executive order to establish the commission could also be a move to appeal to his base.
Following his remarks, the phrases “Trump Youth” and “Hitler Youth” trended on Twitter, with some likening the president’s new education project to the indoctrination of young people during the Nazi regime.