Pat Robertson is 91 years of age and something of a massive media figure due to his long career as a televangelist, but he clearly doesn’t know a thing about critical race theory (CRT). In a recent viral video clip, Robertson warns that the teaching of CRT will make “people of color” rise up against their oppressors and grab the “whip handle” in his words.
The publication Right Wing Watch posted a story featuring a video of Robertson from the set of The 700 Club in an episode that aired this past Thursday where the famed televangelist framed critical race theory as incorrectly as we’ve seen in recent weeks, adding to a streak of white folks who are almost purposefully missing the point of CRT.
From Right Wing Watch‘s story depicting what Robertson had to say about critical race theory:
“What is it?” Robertson said. “That the people of color have been oppressed by the white people, and that white people begin to be racist by the time they’re 2 or 3 months old, and that therefore the people of color have to rise up and overtake their oppressors. And then, having gotten the whip handle—if I can use the term—then to instruct their white neighbors how to behave. Now, that’s critical race theory.”
“This is the way the communists take over; they try to destroy the children,” he added. “It is a monstrous evil. And you hear, ‘Oh, critical race theory, that’s OK.’ No, it’s not. [You don’t] want to have your children in the third grade indoctrinated into a hate group so that he’ll wind up hating people or hating himself. And so the white people are supposed to feel guilty, and they’re supposed to have white guilt, and the people of color are supposed to cleanse them of that guilt by taking over. It is a monstrous evil.”
The response from conservative pundits and the media towards CRT has been something of a trainwreck to witness as the stark misunderstanding of the theory lends itself to turning CRT into a catch-all term for liberals hating and demonizing all white people. Of course, CRT is far more elaborate than that simple assessment and the study of systemic racism isn’t a call to arms from the left to rise up against anyone.
In fact, CRT as an academic field of study could prove useful for both sides to come to an understanding but if conservative talking heads and right-wing activists continue to stoke the fears of the unwitting while creating thin strawman arguments, then this current trend of painting the theory as evil might only escalate further.
We’ve grabbed some reactions from Twitter regarding Pat Robertson’s odd breakdown of critical race theory, which can be viewed below.