This Racial Justice Activist Gets Right to the Heart of the Critical Race Theory Mania

“We want to be convinced that it was so long ago. It was last night. It’s today.”

An even mix of proponents and opponents to teaching Critical Race Theory are in attendance as the Placentia Yorba Linda School Board discusses a proposed resolution to ban it from being taught in schools. Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/Getty

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From a Tennessee school board banning Maus to a proposed Florida law that would prohibit teachers from making students “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin,” the moral panic over critical race theory shows no sign of abating.

It can feel hard to understand what the hell is going on. But for activist and author Kimberly Latrice Jones, it’s not all that complicated. She cut through the bullshit when she appeared on The Breakfast Club podcast on Monday, offering what she thinks is the real reason why the anti-CRT craze has taken hold: White parents want to avoid having difficult conversations with their children about race.

“The truth is, Ruby Bridges, who integrated school, is only in her sixties,” Jones, who co-authored the 2019 book I’m Not Dying With You Tonight, said. “So what it is is that you don’t want your kids, your grandkids, to know that you spit at her. You don’t want your grandkids to know that you witnessed lynching. You don’t want your grandkids to know that some of those family heirlooms that’s in the will are things from atrocities that happened to Black people.”

“We want to be convinced that it was so long ago,” she concluded. “It was last night. It’s today.”

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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