Stay United

by Daniel W. McGraw

We have made great strides in Virginia and across the nation. Even globally, we are seeing cultural shifts from isolationism to globalism. Race relations, health care, the environment, and livable wages are at the forefront of many conversations. Even the idea of “automatic basic income” is starting to be part of significant governmental conversations. Americans across the country are evaluating previous laws and amending them to provide as much equity as possible.

Unfortunately, digital media platforms allow for small snippets of information or taint several gains. Let me give an example: I watched a TikTok video that lasted for about 40 seconds. In it, a person claimed to not have cared about race, sexuality, gender identity and disabilities until too many people were making them into a “big deal.”

In other words, someone who had never experienced or noticed prejudice is now appalled that lawmakers, educators, and news reporters are encouraging these topics to be part of the mainstream media. 

Social issues cannot be whittled down to a 40-second clip. But, that is exactly what happens often when people are unaware of the full context. They build up straw men and then tear them down because any conversation of significance can take place. With every passing day, I see more Americans receiving a true education of our past, present and potential future. Democrats are increasingly finding themselves on the right side of history. Now is not the time to slow down. We need to recharge our efforts.

In the news and on social media, we see many conspiracy theorists blaming election outcomes on fraud, media bias and Critical Race Theory. Many localities have wasted money disproving the conspiracy of election fraud, only to learn that the accusers are unwilling to examine or accept the evidence. Media bias is not the same as “fake news.”  We are not reading the Onion or Mad Magazine and quoting from imaginary sources. But, what has started to give me concern is the growing resentment towards Critical Race Theory.

Until this year, I had never heard of Critical Race Theory. When I attempted to research it myself, I did not find anything that was controversial or extraordinary. The basic premises of CRT acknowledge that White Supremacy was a real movement and that it, along with certain legal actions, worked to suppress minority worldviews. It is a theory of inquiry, not a law.  This theory has been around since the 1970s. It is not a Marxist or Communist or Socialist or racist theory of argument. It is not taught in public schools as a construct of education. However, I fear that some propagandistic media outlets are building a straw man out of the idea of CRT.

Much like the TikTok video, many people are expressing their argument against humanity, by creating a misrepresentation of CRT as well as against other movements like BLM, UBI, and regulations that protect individual rights. We must not fall prey to these tactics. When people call out something that they believe to be negative or controversial ask them for the sources of their information. Do not allow their spread of false information to go “unchecked.” Most of all, do not allow them to create confusion among our Democratic institutions. Our diversity gives us strength, and together we are stronger today than we have ever been in the past. There is no “purity” test for being a Democrat. We should be proud that we stand for human rights and social dignity. Let’s stay united.