Prager University: "Anti-racist" rhetoric is "fighting America itself"

Originally published at: Prager University: "Anti-racist" rhetoric is "fighting American itself" | Boing Boing


By design of the right-wing activist who plucked the obscure term to manufacture the moral panic around it and weaponize it against any education about systemic racism, as he himself admits.

“We have successfully frozen their brand — ‘critical race theory’ — into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions,” wrote Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. “We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category. The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’”


“The TRUTH is they are fighting America itself and the very values the country was founded on.”

I can live with that.

Old values aren’t necessarily good values, and it’s not like the Founding Fathers were all in agreement about the kind of country they were making.


they think they are fighting racist systems in America. The TRUTH is they are fighting America itself and the very values the country was founded on

i’m not sure i see the difference. i’m gonna keep fighting.


Blindness to one’s own nature combined with ignorance of the environment around one plus unwarranted self-confidence leads to own-goals. It’s no wonder that American conservatives do this a lot.


It is a bit like the Wizard of Oz’ reaction to Critical Curtain Theory.
Wizard Of Oz GIF


It’s easy to dunk on this poorly worded tweet, but clearly their message is some combination of “cancel culture is authoritarian”, “judge history by its own standards”, “the ends justify the means”, etc.

Sometimes it can be trickier than you think to truly pinpoint the hypocrisy on display. I think in this case it’s the contradiction between

  • “you can’t judge historical people and times using modern standards”


  • “the same values those historical times honored and used to establish governments are totally appropriate for modern times and shouldn’t be challenged”

… Especially considering even though those same people recognized that values changed, wrote about it extensively, and created systems in the government to allow for that change…

Strongly implying that one of the values this country was founded on was not worrying so much about the values this country was founded on.

Like, dude, we fought an entire civil war over a disagreement on American values, that ship has already sailed.


What is PragerU’s Twitter icon? Is that one of those things to measure servings of dry spaghetti?


I think it’s supposed to be a stylised “P”. That’s what happens when you give responsibility for branding and corporate identity to your nephew (“Dennis, his 3rd grade teacher said he was a natural artist!”), paying him with “exposure”.


Well… they’re not wrong…


Well, if it was one of those spaghetti measuring thingies that would be perfect. In my experience they are always inaccurate.


To me it reads more like an admission that the country was founded on racist principals, now begging reform.


That’s been a general conservative strategy for years. Create a term or adopt an existing term, then make it toxic. Complete the process by lumping together a number of disparate ideas under that term to make them toxic as well to the conservative mind. Other terms would be “socialist” and “unamerican”. Saves the work of actually having to present the pros and cons of each idea grouped under that term.

I’ve read articles recently that say that progressives need to “unpack” those ideas from under those toxic headers, as many of those ideas have widespread public support when discussed individually.


Young people are enamored with “anti-racist” rhetoric because they think they are fighting racist systems in America. The TRUTH is they are fighting America itself and the very values the country was founded on.

They are so dumb that they don’t realize they are speaking the truth. They don’t believe there is still systemic racism, or that racism was part of America’s founding. Their view is, “Sure, there was a little slavery, but we ended that and America isn’t defined by that.”

Honestly, I get that view. it is a hard pill to swallow if you spent your whole life waving the flag, and then as you learn history you realize, eh, things were not as rosy and clear cut as you once believed. Both in America and abroad. Or maybe I am just projecting.

I think it derives partly from black and white thinking. When in reality there is a lot of grey out there. Their patriotic (more like nationalist) world view hinges on a perfect nation.


Is this a good long-term strategy? Has it ever worked out? Did they manage to get people to stop believing in Darwinism or Gay Marriage or anything else that they have organized these panics against?


Aren’t “stick with the tried and true values” and “replace old, obsolete values with modern, relevant values” core beliefs of Conservatism and Progressivism, respectively? Prager is attempting to demonize progressives by calling them progressives, which really isn’t going to have any impact on them (as we’ve seen in the comments here).

So he’s just trying to rile up the base, which is another conservative strategy these days.


This isn’t the self-own to them and their proponents that it is to us. The reason they put anti-racist in quotes is because they don’t believe the rhetoric they are referring to is actually anti-racist. They think it’s actually divisive and racist, because they are of the opinion that racism is a thing of the past and if everyone would just stop talking about it, everyone would see it no longer impacts the lives of racial minorities. And I think it’s important we recognize what that tweet means to them, because it isn’t the self admission of systemic racism, and us laughing at it isn’t going to make the third of the country that agrees with them see this tweet the same way we do.


I mean once you’ve openly accepted white supremacy and naked ethno-fascism, as most US “conservatives” have, then there isn’t really a need to pretend anymore.

I don’t think this is a self-own. I think they are candidly saying that racism, and by extension slavery and genocide, was what this country was founded on and what it should return to because that is openly what they believe and what they hope to accomplish.