‘Racist’ shouted at GOP congressman while he pressed education secretary on critical race theory – Asia Despatch

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Rep. Bob Good, a Virginia Republican, repeatedly pressed Cardona over the teaching of critical race theory and the 1619 Project. At one point, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Donald Norcross’ screen popped up and someone shouted “racist” during Cardona and Good’s exchange, but the Republican did not acknowledge that it happened. Good later told Asia Despatch’s Manu Raju he wasn’t aware of it at the time but heard about it afterward.
Good was relaying the Loudoun County board of education meeting that devolved earlier this week as the board walked out in the face of parents flooding the meeting to debate the teaching of critical race theory when the virtual House hearing switched to a screen that said “Don Norcross” and “Racist!” was shouted. The hearing then reverted to Good’s face as he continued to speak. Norcross serves on the panel.

Norcross’ office did not immediately respond to a Asia Despatch request for comment.

Asked after the hearing what he thought about being called a racist, Good told Asia Despatch, “Well, I think it’s telling that for some people when you are criticizing racist … something racist, like critical racist theory, then you are called a racist.”

Asked if he regretted his exchange with Cardona, Good said, “No.”

Cardona repeatedly said it is up to states and school districts to decide on their own curriculum but that “the culturally relevant pedagogy is critically important for students to feel engaged, and part of a school community. And I have confidence in our educators across the country to get it right.”

Later Thursday, Republicans on the Education and Labor Committee sent a letter to Chairman Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat, requesting an apology.

“Evidence strongly suggests that Rep. Donald Norcross was the Member who slandered Rep. Good, and we expect that Rep. Norcross will abide by the rules of the Committee and House of Representatives, along with his good conscience, and apologize to Rep. Good publicly,” the letter said. “It is our hope that you will work with him to ensure that occurs and that we can move forward with our work in a bipartisan and professional manner.”

The 1619 Project is a Pulitzer Prize-winning project aimed at teaching American students about slavery and critical race theory recognizes that systemic racism is part of American society and challenges the beliefs that allow it to flourish.

This story has been updated with further developments Thursday.

Asia Despatch’s Kristin Wilson contributed to this report.

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