Glenn Youngkin’s victory proves White ignorance is a powerful weapon': Is MSNBC right?


Fact Box

  • Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin was elected Virginia's 74th Governor on November 2, 2021, following Democrat Ralph Northam elected in 2017. It is the first time a Republican has won the office since 2009.  
  • MSNBC’s article entitled “Glenn Youngkin’s victory proves White ignorance is a powerful weapon” asserts White voters only voted for Republicans because Youngkin ran against the use of Critical Race Theory in schools, which the article claims is “not taught in Virginia K-12 schools.” While campaigning, Youngkin’s Democrat opponent Terry McAuliffe also denied CRT being taught in schools. 
  • A Fox News voter analysis poll found that 72% viewed CRT as “important” to them when considering who to vote for governor. Of that group, 25% considered it the “single most important factor.” 
  • Diverse picks: Alongside Youngkin, Republican Winsome Sears, an immigrant, Marine veteran, and Republican, became the first Black female to be elected Virginia’s 42nd Lieutenant Governor, and Republican Jason Miyares claimed the spot as Virginia’s first Hispanic Attorney General.

Andrew (Yes)

Glenn Youngkin's obsession with Critical Race theory proves the ignorance of his largely White voter base was indeed a powerful weapon in his election. The fact is, Critical Race Theory is not in Virginia schools' curriculum, though there has been an increased focus on diversity and racial awareness following national trends and interest from a broad spectrum of Americans. Youngkin's success through focusing on this issue is an example of Brandolini's law, which states that 'the effort needed to debunk false information is an order of magnitude higher than is needed to produce it.' Youngkin simply had to use his supporter's interest in keeping this academic theory out of classrooms to get them to believe it is already there. It would take a nearly impossible amount of proof to refute this claim; certainly, few people have time to comb through curriculum guides or speak with a large number of teachers and administrators. Without a real grasp of the facts at hand, Youngkin used his supporters' ignorance to transform a non-issue into a problem that only he could solve.

It has been widely noted that candidate Youngkin successfully courted both fervent supporters of former President Trump and also those who found his antics repugnant. While it's no surprise that candidates have a long history of saying what specific groups want to hear, Youngkin's victory seems to suggest that even when this type of duality is widely reported, his supporters seem only to hear what they want to hear. This ignorance of promises and associations that a candidate makes was a useful tool that allowed Youngkin's election. 

Curtice (No)

It is insulting for MSNBC and other liberal outlets to label Virginia's Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin's thousands of voters 'ignorant' or suggest racist motives to them just because they voted for Republicans. Voters made their voices heard by turning a blue state red, a clear referendum against the high inflation, school shutdowns, supply chain problems, vaccine mandates, and CRT ideology promoted under Democrat leadership nationwide. 

Glenn Youngkin's voters elected the most diverse slate of Republican leadership the state has ever seen, making Winsome Sears the first Black woman to be Lt. Governor and Jason Miyares, a Cuban American, Attorney General. 

MSNBC's argument falls flat when one realizes their denials of CRT being taught in Virginia schools lacks evidence. Virginia's Department of Education currently promotes CRT on its website. A 2015 presentation called for teachers to “embrace” CRT “to re-engineer attitudes and belief systems.” Superintendent memo 050-019 embraces the CRT concept of “white fragility,” and a 2019 superintendent letter to schools endorses the 'Foundations of Critical Race Theory in education.” Perhaps most irrefutable are the 2020 invoices showing Virginia spent upwards of $34,000 on coaching teachers in CRT. It is not ignorance or “white supremacy” that pushes parents to pursue their right to be involved in their child's school and denounce harmful 'racial essentialism' being infused into the curriculum. Terry McAuliffe said otherwise, and it cost him.

Additionally, the well-publicized rape and apparent cover-up by the Loudoun County School Board also helped Youngkin. However, that episode further underscores the progressive disdain for citizens in general and parents in particular. Leftist pundits in the media, such as at MSNBC, lack any level of self-awareness. Tuesday's election results in Virginia and elsewhere around the country were a repudiation of failed left-wing policies.

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