Trump rails against the 'liberal indoctrination of America's youth' in latest culture war salvo
Posted September 17, 2020 4:05 p.m. EDT
CNN — President Donald Trump railed against what he described as "the liberal indoctrination of America's youth" during a Constitution Day speech on Thursday, marking his latest attempt to inflame the culture wars raging in America ahead of the election.
In a speech rife with race-baiting and dog whistles, the President decried "left-wing mobs" and claimed their tactics were comparable to anti-American propaganda used by foreign adversaries.
"We must clear away the web of twisted lies in our schools and classrooms and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country. We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world," Trump said at the White House Conference on American History at the National Archives Museum.
He also claimed that the left is "attempting to destroy" Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision for every child to not be judged by their skin color but by the content of their character.
Trump's remarks reinforced themes his campaign and his base have rallied behind in the months ahead of the 2020 election.
Amid waves of demonstrations protesting police brutality and racism against Black Americans this year, the campaign labeled protesters as thugs and categorized attempts to reconsider established narratives about the history of racism and slavery in the United States as unpatriotic perversions of American history.
During his speech, Trump directly blamed the school curriculum for the violence that has resulted from some of the protests, saying that "the left-wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools."
The President also called The New York Times' 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning project aimed at teaching American students about slavery, "toxic propaganda."
Earlier this month, Trump said the US Department of Education would investigate whether California schools are using The New York Times' 1619 Project in public school curriculum.
In an apparent countering of the project's narrative, Trump announced that he would be establishing a "national commission to promote patriotic education" called the 1776 Commission.
In his speech, the President also railed against racial sensitivity trainings and claimed that college students are "inundated" with teachings related to critical race theory. The Trump administration recently banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to "White privilege" and "critical race theory."
The voices advising Trump, specifically top members of his administration and his Cabinet, are exceedingly White. And comments among top officials and the President himself have been frequently criticized for being racially insensitive and tone deaf.
Most recently, Attorney General William Barr compared coronavirus lockdown orders to being almost as terrible as slavery.