MSNBC’s Joy Reid & Virginia Dem Lie About Youngkin’s Education Reforms

News & Politics

On MSNBC’s The ReidOut, host Joy Reid spent the last segment of her Thursday night show throwing a tantrum and lying about proposed changes to Virginia’s educational standards that have been proposed by the state’s Department of Education. Reid and her guest state Senator L Louise Lucas who serves as the President Pro Tempore of the Virginia State Senate falsely claimed that Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin is trying to “whitewash” history by erasing Martin Luther King Jr. Day and other important aspects of American history.   

“Virginia governor and probable presidential candidate Glenn Youngkin has made it his mission to claw back four years of progress made under his predecessor, Ralph Northam,” Reid said at the top of the segment, adding: “Youngkin’s political appointees to the Virginia Department of Education have released new standards of learning.”

Reid doubled down on her outright lies and smears:   

How bad can Youngkin’s plan be? Well, it suggests not teaching students about reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks until they’re in sixth grade. Oh, and you know Juneteenth and Cesar Chavez? Yeah, well if your kids go to school in Virginia they may never hear about them at all. Because Youngkin’s board doesn’t recommend teaching your kids about them. You may also never hear about racism because they never mention that either. As for Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ, the women’s rights movement, and Americans with disabilities? Well, you don’t exist because your contributions aren’t the mentioning either.

This is of course a lie, as is most of what is uttered on Joy Reid’s show. According to documents obtained by NewsBusters, Martin Luther King Jr., and other civil rights leaders are in fact included in Virginia’s Department of Education draft. 

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These educational standards haven’t been changed to remove any civil rights figures or other important members from that era.  

Once Reid was done bloviating, she brought on Lucas and allowed her to lie and smear Youngkin and the Board of Education. 

“They want to identify the slave trade as a profitable business in America and identify kinship family ties and common values that helped the slave people cope with the conditions of slavery,” Lucas falsely claimed. 

“I just think it’s unconscionable that this Board of Education would think that that was all right to whitewash that history. We’re just not gonna sit by and let it happen,” Lucas huffed. 

Not only is Lucas wrong that the new proposed standards are a “whitewash” of history, but the complete opposite is true. The standards are expanding to include lessons on civil rights figures that haven’t been previously taught. 

According to documents provided to NewsBusters, there have been numerous Virginia Civil Rights figures added to the educational curriculum which include: Maggie L. Walker, Oliver W. Hill, Sr., Irene Morgan, Arthur R. Ashe, Barbara Johns, A. Linwood Holton, Jr., and L. Douglas Wilder.

Reid jumped in to cry that “It feels like the goal here is to indoctrinate Virginia children to believe that there are no flaws in American history, that indigenous people either didn’t exist or agreed to hand over their land and that slavery was okay.” 

In response, Lucas doubled down on her claims that the Virginia Department of Education and Governor Youngkin are whitewashing history: “I think it’s an attempt to whitewash history. Because they only want to teach the parts of history that makes them feel comfortable. They don’t want to teach about the parts that make them uncomfortable.” 

Governor Youngkin’s spokeswoman Macaulay Porter in a statement provided to NewsBusters set the record straight (click “expand” to read): 

The August 2022 draft policies developed under the previous Administration had significant errors in their standards, including omitting key historical references to hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, and Sen. Hiram Revels of Mississippi, the first African American to serve in Congress, and more, which have now been incorporated into the new draft. Despite various claims to the contrary, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is included in the revised standards and, in fact, they have expanded the depth of content required on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through public comment, review, and input from Virginians, state and national historians, and various community organizations since January 2021, the draft standards are being molded to ensure our students learn all our history – the good and the bad. The draft history standards are in the initial stages of the State Board of Education’s review process and will continue to undergo revisions informed by public engagement sessions and Board hearings. This process is focused on ensuring Virginia has the best history standards and curriculum for our students.

In an attempt to insult Youngkin which in reality is a compliment to the Virginia governor, Reid ended by complaining that Youngkin is “an idealogue, basically, he’s turning Virginia into Florida. Because he’s basically Ron DeSantis a little further north.” 

These smears on MSNBC were made possible thanks to the endorsement of Liberty Mutual. Their information is linked. 

The transcript is below. Click expand to read: 

MSNBC’s The ReidOut
11/17/2022
7:53:41 p.m. Eastern

JOY REID: Virginia governor and probable presidential candidate Glenn Youngkin has made it his mission to claw back four years of progress made under his predecessor, Ralph Northam. And now Youngkin’s political appointees to the Virginia Department of Education have released new standards of learning. In their first major move, the board rejected a draft version created under Northam in consultation with museums, historians, professors, political scientists, economists, geographers, teachers, parents, and students, that would shape what kids are taught in school. How bad can Youngkin’s plan be? Well, it suggests not teaching students about reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks until they’re in sixth grade. 

Oh, and you know Juneteenth and Cesar Chavez? Yeah, well if your kids go to school in Virginia they may never hear about them at all. Because Youngkin’s board doesn’t recommend teaching your kids about them. You may also never hear about racism because they never mention that either. As for Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders, LGBTQ, the women’s rights movement, and Americans with disabilities? 

Well, you don’t exist because your contributions aren’t the mentioning either. What do they think is important for your kids to learn? Free market economies being essential to democracy, smaller government is good, patriotic songs about America, and the entrepreneurial characteristics of people like Christopher Columbus, which I suspect Native Americans might disagree with. 

Joining me now is Senator L Louise Lucas, President Pro Tempore of the Virginia State Senate. Senator Lucas, Leader Lucas, thank you so much for being here. This is stunning. I am reading through my list that my producers made of the things people can’t learn, including in kindergarten, taking away the lines that say indigenous people were the first inhabitants of the land we now call Virginia in the United States. They don’t mention indigenous people at all. What in the world is going on in Virginia? 

STATE SENATOR L. LOUISE LUCAS: Well, I can tell you it has been nothing but insanity ever since this governor hit Richmond. Joy, I want to preface my remarks by saying that I’m only two years younger than Emmett Till, and I grew up during massive resistance. So education is something that has always been near and dear to my heart. And to think that this governor is so dumb or at least members of his Board of Education are that they think that we will not fight them on issues like this, I mean, to take the kind of things that I lived through in Virginia and just whitewash them?

Let me just tell you something, we are gonna push back on this with every ounce of energy that we have. In addition to the things that you said that they’re gonna take out of history, how about they want to identify the slave trade as a profitable business in America and identify kinship family ties and common values that helped the slave people cope with the conditions of slavery? It is critical that we teach the truth, that we teach the full history of our nation. 

And look at all the people who were the leaders who helped develop and build this country, I just think it’s unconscionable that this Board of Education would think that that was all right to whitewash that history. We’re just not gonna sit by and let it happen. I’m gonna fight with every ounce of energy that I have to try to make sure that, one, that it doesn’t happen, and two, well, you know that it haven’t been confirmed yet so maybe to hold their confirmation might be one of the things that we can do.  

REID: Let me just, for those who think that we’re exaggerating here, third-grade, the old guidelines say students should learn about the ancient societies of China and Mali as well as those of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The new guidelines don’t mention China and Mali at all. The old guidelines say students should learn about the geography of all seven continents while the new guidelines, this is for third grade, only say that students should become familiar with the countries of Europe. 

Only able to identify Europe’s countries, especially Greece and Italy. They’re literally saying it’s not necessary to learn about any other part of the world except Europe. They could not be more clear. 

LUCAS: Joy, look all of this stuff that they have agreed to and these standards are racist, historically and factory incorrect, they are not age-appropriate, and they reflect explicit political bias. And I’m telling you, the black caucus, we are just so upset about what’s going on in the state Board of Education that we have come together & we’re gonna fight back with everything we have to try to make sure that we get rid of some of those people. Five people on the board, first of all, don’t even have a public school background. 

They have private school background. They know nothing about public education. Don’t care about black and brown children, and obviously, this governor doesn’t either. But he always finds an opportunity to get up with black people and take pictures with them after he’s done something stupid like what this board of education is doing right now. 

REID: It feels like the goal here is to indoctrinate Virginia children to believe that there are no flaws in American history, that indigenous people either didn’t exist or agreed to hand over their land and that slavery was okay. I just wonder, I can’t imagine, I just don’t understand it but that seems like what they’re doing. Do you think this is just about indoctrination? 

LUCAS: You know what, again, I think it’s an attempt to whitewash history. Because they only want to teach the parts of history that makes them feel comfortable. They don’t want to teach about the parts that make them uncomfortable. And that’s what this is all about. Unless we can take the good, the bad, the ugly, and teach all of the full history, I think we do all the citizens in this commonwealth, and especially our students, a disservice. We need to teach the full history, just as it happened. I lived through a lot of it. I didn’t have to read it in the book. I knew exactly where I was the day that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. That needs to be taught. 

REID: Absolutely, let me read another one. Tenth grade, the old guidelines call on teachers to dissect, compare, and contrast, the concepts of colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, and racism. The new guidelines don’t mention them at all. Essentially these will be under-educated children who couldn’t pass an international standards test. This would break Virginia education.

LUCAS: Exactly. And I tell you, we reject all of that. And I’m telling you, this Board of Education needs to get an idea of how egregious this is and come to the understanding. It’s hard for me to believe that this governor is that stupid and he’s got this board giving him some badass information. Someone needs to get it right.

REID: He’s an idealogue, basically, he’s turning Virginia into Florida. Because he’s basically Ron DeSantis a little further north. Senator L Louise Lucas 

LUCAS: Maybe that’s why he is a zero on his rating for President. 

REID: Senator L. Louise Lucas, It’s been such a treat having you on. President Pro Tempore of the Virginia State Senate.

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