CNN Decries Anti-CRT ‘Misinformation,’ Warns of GOP Not Teaching Slavery

News & Politics

CNN Newsroom host Erica Hill welcomed comedian and documentarian W. Kamanu Bell onto the Thursday program to discuss the latest season of the network’s United Shades of America. During their conversation, both would lament all the alleged “misinformation” surrounding Critical Race Theory and claim it is all just a way to avoid teaching accurate American history.

Hill introduced a preview clip of the series, “Oh, you know the buzzwords, woke culture, Critical Race Theory. They have been frequent targets of the Republican Party and in the all new season of CNN’s United Shades of America, W. Kamau Bell isn’t shying away from the controversial issues.”

Immediately, it was clear that CNN was the dishonest one as he conversed with three women, “Right now there’s arguments about should we teach kids a more accurate history of America?”

Unfortunately, all three declared that teachers should not inject their opinions into lessons, even on slavery and Nazis. Additionally, a second segment showed a fourth woman recoiling at Bell’s suggestion that history lessons on “Slavery, genocide of Native Americans” should be included.

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It is worth noting that these women are just ordinary people. They are not experts; they are not legislators. It is also unknown how many people Bell interviewed, because it is possible he just cherry picked the worst answers so he could confirm his narrative.

Still, back in studio, Hill was happy to see her beliefs supposedly confirmed, “Very clear there. We should teach more about American history, but not the stuff that makes us look bad, not the stealing the lands, the genocide, the slavery.”

Hill then lamented all the supposed misinformation surrounding a problem that supposedly doesn’t actually exist, “And they really, one of the things that shocked me and yet didn’t at the same time is that a number of the people that you spoke with, you know, their—their– basis for their, quote, unquote, facts for Critical Race Theory being pushed in their schools which we know isn’t happening was what they find online and it’s the amount of misinformation fueling all of this that people see as fact.”

These four women notwithstanding, CRT critics are not opposed to teaching slavery. Bell was in Arizona and there is nothing in that state’s anti-CRT law that suggests teaching that slavery was wrong and the Nazis were evil is now prohibited.

Hill then wondered if Bell sees anyone “pushing back,” to which Bell replied, “we talked to young people from the schools in Arizona a lot of them LGBTQ and they know they are being played a distraction happening, so they are fighting back against it, but we can’t just sit back and go ‘young people are the future’ because there’s young people in other parts of this country that are learning quite differently.

Despite repeatedly butchering many facts during this segment, Hill wrapped up by declaring “Yeah, they are which is why it’s important to stick to the facts, as we like to say the facts first.”

More like facts second, narrative first.

This segment was sponsored by SoFi.

Here is a transcript for the July 7 show:

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto

7/7/2022

10:52 AM ET

ERICA HILL: Oh, you know the buzzwords, woke culture, Critical Race Theory. They have been frequent targets of the Republican Party and in the all new season of CNN’s United Shades of America, W. Kamau Bell isn’t shying away from the controversial issues. Here’s a preview. 

W. KAMAU BELL: Right now there’s arguments about should we teach kids a more accurate history of America? 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Race theory? 

BELL: What’d you say? Here you go.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: Race theory?

BELL: Race theory.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: Is it the race?

BELL: Critical Race Theory. What are your thoughts on that?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 3: You can teach it without having an opinion. 

BELL: But is it okay if a teacher says “I think slavery was bad?” Is that okay?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No. 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 3: No.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 2: No—I–.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 3: No. No, if–

BELL: What if they go, Nazi is not good?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Nothing is bad. 

BELL: Nothing’s bad? 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No. 

BELL: And if the latter is how you heard about it first then I’m not surprised you’re confused which is why I grind my teeth when I sleep.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 4: It’s totally manipulation and manufacturing a crisis.

BELL: Who’s manufacturing it? 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 4: The Democrats. There is always a race card, I get so sick of it. We need to teach children to compete when Chinese probably know more about American history than we do. 

BELL: So, we should teach better American history here. 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 4: Well, yeah.

BELL: Like, the history of America.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 4: The history of America.

BELL: Slavery, genocide of Native Americans. 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 4: No, well, no. 

BELL: Not that stuff? 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 4: Well, not the whole thing. 

HILL: W. Kamau Bell joins me now. Very clear there. We should teach more about American history, but not the stuff that makes us look bad, not the stealing the lands, the genocide—

BELL: No, no, no.

HILL: — the slavery. This is such a great episode.

BELL: Thank you.

HILL: One of many to come. 

BELL: Thank you.

HILL: What’s your biggest take away from it? Because your conversations in this, and all of them, are remarkable. 

BELL: I mean, I think a lot of times we sit online and see people say things like that, you go, well that’s not a real person, that’s a bot, nobody really thinks that way. Well, I went to Arizona or, as I call it, Desert Florida, and people actually think that way. 

HILL: And they really, one of the things that shocked me and yet didn’t at the same time is that a number of the people that you spoke with, you know, their—their– basis for their, quote, unquote, facts for Critical Race Theory being pushed in their schools which we know isn’t happening—

BELL: No.

HILL: — was what they find online. 

BELL: Yeah.

HILL: And it’s the amount of misinformation fueling all of this that people see as fact. 

BELL: Yeah, I mean, the GOP in this country has done a great job of confusing what’s important in this country and I think a lot of the leadership of that party has begun out of its way to conflate, to use buzz words, and scary things like woke and CRT when really what they don’t want to do as that woman said is teach an accurate rendition of history to our kids. 

HILL: And that’s it’s–it is a distraction—

BELL: It’s a distraction.

HILL: — frankly. It distracts from other, more important issues.

BELL: Yeah, I don’t know if you know we got a lot going on in this country right now.

HILL: You know, one or two things that may need attention.

BELL: Yeah, so maybe we should just teach kids history and all of the rest of the things. 

HILL: Do—do—you sense a change anywhere that’s brewing? Pushing back?

BELL: In this episode, we talked to young people from the schools in Arizona a lot of them LGBTQ and they know they are being played a distraction happening, so they are fighting back against it, but we can’t just sit back and go “young people are the future” because there’s young people in other parts of this country that are learning quite differently.

HILL: Yeah, they are which is why it’s important to stick to the facts, as we like to say the facts first—

BELL: Yes.

HILL: — keep reading, and it’s also really important to watch your show.

BELL: Thank you.

HILL: Because it’s fantastic, so I’m excited for the new season.

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