A recent Kansas City Star opinion piece sharply criticized Kansas Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General, Derek Schmidt, for signing the “1776 Pledge.” But when Schmidt tried to explain that he signed it because he opposes critical race theory indoctrination in schools, the Star would not publish an opposition to critical race theory.
The KC Star column said, (Thomas) “Jefferson, ‘died a monument to a giant chasm between his words and deeds on the question of race and liberty,’ historian Paul Finkelman wrote — not last week, or last year, in the middle of some critical race theory fever, but nearly three decades ago.”
“How should teachers and parents approach this contradiction, and others like it? If you’re Jeff Colyer or Derek Schmidt or anyone else in the 1776 crowd, you stick your fingers in your ears and hope it goes away.”
Neither Schmidt nor Colyer has suggested anything of the sort. In fact, Schmidt specifically refuted the allegation in the response he submitted.
“Kansans are proud of our heritage – it’s quite literally impossible to teach Kansas history without highlighting the abolitionist movement that put our roots in the ground. The battles for freedom were fought on Bleeding Kansas’ front lines.
“As I noted with my signature of the 1776 Action pledge, “[w]e can teach our children the whole truth about American history, good and bad, without resorting to controversial and divisive political theories that leave kids believing they are inherently oppressors or victims or that discount the fundamental goodness of American freedoms and values.”
KC Star refuses criticism of critical race theory
In a series of emails obtained by the Sentinel, however, the Star told Schmidt spokesman CJ Grover that “we need to work on the content of this a bit. The column…was about the 1776 Project, not critical race theory. The 1776 Project explicitly doesn’t mention critical race theory, so make the column about AG Schmidt’s full-throated support for it. That’s exactly what he should be laying out clearly: that he thinks its goals are 100% laudable.”
While the 1776 project does not use the phrase Critical Race Theory, but some of its text references aspects of CRT, like these:
- Our young people should be taught to view one another not according to race or gender, but as individuals made in the image of God.
- Teaching children to hate their country and each other is immoral and deeply harmful to our society and must be stopped
Further, the Start did, reference CRT in their column as noted above. The Star also criticized Schmidt for opposing critical race theory in a May 24 editorial.
Grover responded saying he’d happily insert a sentence or two noting that Schmidt agrees whole-heartedly with the 1776 project, but also said, “the entire point of 1776 Action, and the 1776 Commission that preceded it, was to combat the growing rise of politically and racially charged academic theories and concepts like CRT and antiracism being implemented in school curriculum across the country. The response can’t exist in a meaningful way without delving into that. It’s why he signed the pledge.”
The Star responded: “Sorry, CJ – this is a straw-man argument against something Dave [Helling] never wrote. If you want to submit something that isn’t about this description of critical race theory, but is instead about the 1776 Project, I’m happy to publish it. I’m not running this.”
Sadly, this is just an example of how mainstream media decides what they want people to think.