“The overwhelming majority of Americans, and pollsters have found this pretty clearly, think this is insane,” Mr Carlson said about critical race theory on 6 July. “It is BS, in fact it’s more than that, it’s civilization-ending poison.”
Critical race theory (CRT) is a school of thought that began in the 1970s. It argues race is a social construct, and that racism is not maintained by individual acts of bigotry but rather baked into the core of political and legal institutions, such as the police.
Last year’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations included calls for the US to reckon with racist elements of its past, including the slave trade and the Civil War.
Mr Carlson argued that the cameras were necessary to prevent any teaching that could be considered part of CRT. Some conservatives have made such broad arguments against the teaching of America’s racial history that such core events such as the civil rights movement would be difficult to include in curriculum.
“We can’t really be sure until we finally get cameras in the classroom, as we put them on the chests of police officers, until we finally get a civilian review board in every town in America to oversee the people teaching your children, forming their minds.”
He continued, “And let’s hope we get both of those very soon. But until we do, we can’t know exactly how widespread this is.”
People were quick to point out how outrageous they found this suggestion by the Fox News host.
“Tucker Carlson wants cameras in every classroom to make sure teachers aren't teaching whatever it is he’s defining as ‘critical race theory,’” wrote Andrew Lawerence from Media Matters For America.
In reply, a teacher said that she loved “knowing I’m one of those teacher(s) Tucker Carlson fears”.
Another teacher said they would support it on certain conditions.
“As a teacher, I was thinking I’d be happy to have cameras in my classroom on the sole condition that they take cameras out of Tucker’s studio,” they wrote.
Other teachers said they found Carlson’s suggestion “creepy” and would not be comfortable with it.
“As a teacher it is creepy. Children are already exploited. There would be no way I would allow Tucker Carlson to watch video and audio of me and my students,” said a teacher.
Other people pointed out how authoritarian they found the suggestion.
David Itzkoff said, “I hate authoritarianism so much that I’ll put mandatory surveillance in schools and inform on teachers to make sure they’re not teaching authoritarianism.”
“At this point saying this is Orwellian is like saying water is wet,” said Brian Karam.
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