Both of Minnesota’s U.S. senators voted against an amendment this week that would prohibit federal funds from being used to promote critical race theory in public schools.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas introduced the prohibition as an amendment to Senate Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.
“Our future depends on raising a generation of kids who love America and love each other as fellow citizens, no matter their race,” Cotton said in a statement.
“But critical race theory teaches that our country is irredeemably racist, that ‘equality’ is a sham, and that true justice requires treating everyone differently — based on the color of their skin. Our tax dollars should never support indoctrinating the youngest Americans with such poison.”
The amendment passed in the middle of the night Wednesday in a vote of 50-49, with one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, supporting the proposal.
Both Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith voted against the amendment.
Among other examples, Cotton pointed out that at least 30 school districts across 15 states are now teaching a book called “Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness,” which depicts “whiteness” as the devil.
He also noted that Head Start, which administers pre-K programs with federal funds, has hosted “anti-racist webinars” because no child is “too young to talk about race.”
“Sadly, today some want to replace our founding principles with an un-American ideology called critical race theory,” Cotton said on the Senate floor. “They want to teach our children that America is not a good nation but a racist nation. Those teachings are wrong and our tax dollars should not support them. My amendment will ensure that federal funds aren’t used to indoctrinate kids as young as pre-K to hate America.”
BREAKING: The Senate has voted 50-49 to pass @SenTomCotton's amendment to prohibit federal funds from being used to promote critical race theory in K-12 schools.
The fight against CRT has gone national—and Sen. Cotton is leading the way.pic.twitter.com/6MpA8hDhpb
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) August 11, 2021
Cotton is one of his party’s leading voices in the fight against CRT, which intensified over the summer as parents across the country took their concerns to local school boards.
Republicans argue that CRT-inspired concepts teach children to hate America and demonize white people, whereas Democrats believe CRT is a 40-year-old legal theory that has had no influence on public K-12 education.