City-Journal: The White Backlash That Wasn’t

 

Over the past year, the left-leaning media has peddled the narrative that an emotional constellation of “white resentment,” “white fragility,” “white rage,” and “white fear” drives opposition to critical race theory in America’s public schools. Now NBC News claims it can prove it.

In a long story featuring analysis of demographic data, NBC News reporter Tyler Kingkade and data editor Nigel Chiwaya claim that the parent uprisings against critical race theory, which have occurred in more than 200 school districts across the country, are a “backlash” against “rapid demographic change” and “the exposure of white students to students of color.” Or, to put it bluntly, it’s the ugly reaction of white racism in the face of rapidly integrating schools. As left-leaning Slate concluded, NBC’s reporting proves that fear of “white replacement” and the desire to “protect whiteness” motivate the anti-critical race theory movement.

There is only one problem: NBC’s analysis is nonsense. The report, like the left-wing narrative about critical race theory more generally, fails both statistically and imaginatively. NBC News builds its narrative on the claim that “many of the school districts facing backlash over equity initiatives are diversifying faster than the national average.” The report provides data for 33 school districts, which undermine its argument in two ways: first, one-third of these districts have diversified slower, rather than faster, than the national average; and second, according to NBC News’ own reporting, there have been anti-critical race theory protests in at least 220 school districts nationwide, which means that NBC failed even to analyze 85 percent of the evidence.

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