March 11, 2022


School Choice Isn’t Racist, John Oliver, but Critical Race Theory Is

By: David Collins

Recently, John Oliver bashed people who are against Critical Race Theory (CRT) and pro-school choice on his late-night show, “Last Week Tonight.”

The summary of his CRT argument is as follows: it’s a graduate-level legal theory, it’s pro-America, pro-Constitution, and it’s important in helping us as a country further important conversations about race, racism, and our systemically racist institutions.

His thoughts on school choice were a little more surprising. He links its origins, and similarly, today’s school choice movement, as a response to a “racial panic.” He says, “There is a long history of responding to racial panic with a push for school choice. In fact, the root of the school choice movement traces back to the Brown vs. Board of Education decision…”

Oliver calls CRT a “manufactured panic” that conservatives have conjured up and implied that harmful lessons taught to our children in schools are mere anomalies, and not related to the “real” CRT. 

He views broader conversations about race relations as important, and that “the panic over CRT threatens to shut those conversations down.”

Oliver specifically made a diss at nonprofit organizations like the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks for “pouring money” into the school choice.

Where Oliver misses the ball is that CRT is something, formally or informally, that is infiltrating our schools. This has been evidenced by curricula, teachers who graduate from graduate-level institutions, leftist school boards, and teachers unions. CRT is the conservative’s broad-swooping, defensive attack against the Left’s longstanding and broad-swooping hijacking of the educational system. For Oliver to call out conservatives for an effective, emotional, branding campaign against something so widespread is laughable.

Oliver correctly identifies and defines school/parental choice, but fails to point out that school/parental choice is overwhelmingly popular amongst minorities, and that our current educational system is fundamentally broken. School/Parental choice allows a child not to be confined  to their particular zip code, and for their educational tax dollars to go directly to an institution that is not only successful in outcomes, but also more in line with the parent’s value systems.

Viewing school/parental choice movement as one that runs away from important racial conversations is deliberately misleading, as many parents desire to send their kids to other schools besides their local public school…and it has absolutely nothing to do with race. This is near impossible for ivory tower, progressive, Hollywood elites like Oliver to comprehend, as those who don’t view life through a race-centric lens are happy to have alternatives for their kids, especially minorities.

School/parental choice is about the freedom to choose what’s best for one’s child. 

CRT is about elevating race, victimhood, and white guilt as the systematic basis of American society.

That is why Oliver and his progressive kin are threatened by the school choice movement. They believe the government and the woke educarats know what’s best. They are fundamentally in favor of the fruits of CRT, though they will continually deny its formal existence in K-12 education.

So tell John Oliver: “School choice isn’t racist, but CRT is.”