MSNBC Gets Upset At Being Told To Actually Read Anti-CRT Law

News & Politics

MTP Daily host Chuck Todd and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton continued MSNBC’s obsession with Texas’ anti-Critical Race Theory law on Thursday and did not appreciate it when author of the law, State Sen. Bryan Hughes, told them to focus on the text of the bill, not how it is portrayed.

Todd began by decrying “full-on culture war over a simple question of how we teach the history of race in America” where states like Texas are trying to “whitewash some of America’s most important and most painful parts of its history” by “banning something that has not been happening.” He then introduced a video of Hylton “investigating the ramifications felt in one Texas district.”

For the first part of the video, Hylton pestered Hughes with questions like “When you look at what’s happening around the state right now, you don’t think this has gone off the rails?”

Hughes replied by urging people to just read the bill for themselves, “I think people need to focus on what’s in the bill and not what’s in other states or what they’ve heard and things like that and if we were to tell little white children that they’re inherently oppressors, that’s not good. If we tell little children of color that they are inherently victims, neither one of those is good.”

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Hylton wasn’t convinced, “What about the teachers who say they are closing their classroom libraries or Dr. Whitfield, the principal here who is about to lose his job?”

James Whitfield is a black principal accused of teaching CRT, something he has denied. However, since Hylton never provided any specifics into what Whitfield actually said or taught that ignited this controversy, Hughes could only reiterate, “I’ll just ask folks to look at the words of the bill. The words of the bill matter, not the Facebook memes.” 

After Hylton’s video, Todd took a commercial and upon returning welcomed her to discuss the preceding segment. Clearly not buying Hughes’ simple explanation, he asked:

He keeps saying what’s in the bill, and he keeps saying we’re going to prevent kids from feeling like they’re oppressed or, or, or they’re oppressors. Where was this happening? Like, this has been sort of – where I keep it, was, did somebody actually teach this anywhere in school? Because I haven’t found any evidence of it and you’ve been working at this a long time. Have you? 

Hylton declared Hughes didn’t have an answer for that “And I have not been able to find one verifiable piece of evidence that Critical Race Theory made its way into Texas schools or other schools throughout the United States for that matter. It’s a graduate level concept, really a law school course. It’s not taught in K-12.”

Todd and Hylton clearly are not looking hard enough, because it is all over the country as proponents of CRT feely admit. 

This segment was sponsored by Humana.

Here is a transcript of the October 21 show:

MSNBC

MTP Daily

1:51 PM ET

CHUCK TODD: Welcome back. Across the country, some school boards and state legislatures have descended into full-on culture war over a simple question of how we teach the history of race in America. For some parents, teachers, and lawmakers, the answer is to whitewash some of America’s most important and most painful parts of its history. Texas has taken some of the most stringent steps to control how schools teach race, a very top-down approach, already passing two laws aimed at curbing the teaching of so-called Critical Race Theory which contends that historical patterns of racism are ingrained in U.S. Institutions. Mind you, they’re banning something that has not been happening, just don’t forget. My colleague Antonia Hylton has been following these education wars as they evolve. First in her podcast ”Southlake” and now with the latest episode of “Meet the Press Reports,” investigating the ramifications felt in one Texas district. Here’s a sneak preview. 

ANTONIA HYLTON [VOICEOVER]: State Senator Bryan Hughes is the author of Senate Bill 3, the second and most stringent of the anti-CRT laws passed in Texas.

HYLTON: When you look at what’s happening around the state right now, you don’t think this has gone off the rails? 

BRYAN HUGHES: I think people need to focus on what’s in the bill and not what’s in other states or what they’ve heard and things like that and if we were to tell little white children that they’re inherently oppressors, that’s not good. If we tell little children of color that they are inherently victims, neither one of those is good.

HYLTON: Was that the motive behind these laws…

HUGHES: Yes

HYLTON: To make sure white kids don’t feel guilty? 

HUGHES: So, the bill is pretty clear. It will be wrong to tell white kids or children of color that they are limited based on the color of their skin. Whether they are guilty of, because of people of their race did in the past.

HYLTON: What about the teachers who say they are closing their classroom libraries or Dr. Whitfield, the principal here who is about to lose his job? 

HUGHES: I’ll just ask folks to look at the words of the bill. The words of the bill matter, not the Facebook memes. 

HYLTON: But do you have a message to them? I mean is there something you can clarify at a statewide level? 

HUGHES: So, what we’ve said, I want to make sure this clear, so what we do not teach in Texas Public Schools is that one race is inherently superior or inferior. 

HYLTON: I understand that, but I want to know what you think of the current lives people are living as a result of this entire movement. 

HUGHES: Well, I can’t speak to the national movement about CRT or what other states are doing. All I can tell you is what’s in Senate Bill 3. 

1:58 PM ET

TODD: Welcome back. As we showed you before the break, our new episode of “Meet the Press Reports” is taking a deep dive into this escalating education war in this country and the intense fight about how we teach race. NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton has been covering the impact on school districts in Texas. She joins me now and Antonia, I can’t thank you enough for your reporting for this episode, for everything on here and I was able to just speak earlier on a podcast with the principal that you highlight here. So let’s start with that back and forth you had with that lawmaker, ‘cause he keeps saying what’s in the bill, and he keeps saying we’re going to prevent kids from feeling like they’re oppressed or, or, or they’re oppressors. Where was this happening? Like, this has been sort of – where I keep it, was, did somebody actually teach this anywhere in school? Because I haven’t found any evidence of it and you’ve been working at this a long time. Have you? 

HYLTON: Well, I asked him that question, actually, directly, Chuck. And what he told me was we were hearing reports, we got phone calls from parents. But I have spent the entirety of this year in Texas, going back and forth in the North Texas area, reporting on what we’re seeing happen in that community and other communities nearby. And I have not been able to find one verifiable piece of evidence that Critical Race Theory made its way into Texas schools or other schools throughout the United States for that matter. It’s a graduate level concept, really a law school course. It’s not taught in K-12. And so, what I think is so important in that conversation with Senator Hughes there is that, you know, I’m asking him to grapple with, right, the tangible impacts that a law that he’s just authored that has been passed is now having on people’s lives. And he’s repeating language in the bill and repeating beliefs about what he thinks is happening in the classroom and I’m trying to contrast that, right with, here’s what’s actually happening, here is what teachers are saying they’re experiencing, here’s an educator about to lose his job, and it’s not clear that what you’re describing ever happened, in Colleyville, the community at hand, or any other part of Texas, Chuck.   

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