‘More Than A Dog Whistle — That’s A Dog Megaphone’: Civil Rights Leader Condemns McAuliffe’s Statements

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A civil rights leader ripped into Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Monday, telling Fox News that McAuliffe’s statements regarding the percentage of teachers in Virginia who are white reflect “explicitly and implicitly a racist approach to education.”

Bob Woodson, the president of The Woodson Center who served in the U.S. Air Force before becoming the director of the National Urban League, responded to McAuliffe’s comments at a campaign event Sunday in which he stated:

We got to work hard to diversify our teacher base. Fifty percent of our students are students of color; 80% of the teachers are white, so what I’m going to do for you — we’ll be the first state in America. If you go teach in Virginia for five years in a high-demand area — that could be geographic, it could be course work — we will pay room, board, tuition, any college, any university or any HBCU [historically Black colleges and universities] here in Virginia.

Woodson snapped, “The assumption is that in order to recruit more black teachers that you’ve got to subsidize candidates in order for them to teach, they’re not offering this to white candidates. … It’s really insulting, too. Why is he talking about providing special assistance to teachers, candidates, and then talking about HBCUs? That’s more than a [racist] dog whistle — that’s a dog megaphone.”

“Everything he says echoes critical race theory,” he continued. “It automatically operates on the assumption that the most important aspect of our lives is race.” He added that a good education program “has nothing to do with the color of the teacher or the color of the student. It has to do with the presence of excellence,” Fox News reported.

The Daily Wire reported on Sunday:

Multiple documents on the Virginia Department of Education website reference Critical Race Theory (CRT) despite former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s repeated claims that CRT is not taught in Virginia’s public schools.

McAuliffe repeated his claim about CRT in an appearance on MSNBC on Sunday, telling network host Chuck Todd that Glenn Youngkin, McAuliffe’s GOP opponent to become the next governor of Virginia, is lying about CRT-influenced curriculum in schools. Documents linked on the Virginia Department of Education’s website reveal CRT’s influence on school curriculum and processes, however. …

The Manhattan Institute’s Chris Rufo highlighted several documents — one dating back to when McAuliffe ran the state from 2014 to 2018 — on the Virginia Department of Education’s website featuring CRT. In 2015, the state Department of Education pushed a slideshow promoting CRT in response to racial disparities in public school discipline.

“African American students suspended [more] than double their % age in student population,” says the slideshow, prepared by University of South Florida professor Brenda Townsend Walker. To cut down on black student suspensions, Walker encourages school administrators to incorporate a “Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens” into their disciplinary process. She also encourages teachers to “[e]mbrace Critical Race Theory” and “[e]ngage in race-conscious teaching and learning.”

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