civil rights movement
Conservative hysteria over critical race theory—an advanced academic framework examining existing racial inequalities through the lens of past racial systems in the United States—has materialized as a major Republican talking point ahead of the 2022 midterms.
Conservative elected officials and media personalities have falsely presented the theory as a socialist doctrine commonly taught in secondary schools, erroneously claiming it teaches white children to be ashamed of themselves and to think of themselves as oppressors.
Questions regarding critical race theory have arisen most recently in the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. There, Republican Senators like Ted Cruz of Texas and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee hammered Jackson over books on race that are a part of the curriculum of Georgetown Day School, for which Jackson serves on the board of trustees.
And now, amid a crowded Republican primary, far-right Ohio U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel is decrying critical race theory in a new ad on the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge.
In a new ad, Josh Mandel walks across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to denounce CRT, and uses MLK Jr. imagery. Then, as usual, his answer to everything is that he served in the Marine Corps - he can’t be a racist since he served with Marines who were black. pic.twitter.com/Ppj3f8yPw4
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) April 5, 2022
In 1965, Black civil rights activists approached the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama with the mission of marching from Selma to the Alabama Capitol building in an effort to secure voting rights for Black Americans. They were met with vicious brutality from armed police, who gassed them and beat them with night sticks in an event that would become known as Bloody Sunday. Later that month, after widespread national coverage of the brutality, the activists returned and successfully marched to the Capitol.
The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2013.
Now, Mandel is using the landmark to decry the accurate teaching surrounding systems that led the activists to march in the first place, saying:
"Martin Luther King marched right here so skin color wouldn't matter. I didn't do two tours in Anbar Province, fighting alongside Marines of every color to come home and be called a racist. There's nothing racist about stopping critical race theory and loving America."
Mandel made sure to include pictures of him alongside Black fellow Marines and to emphasize at the end of the ad that he's "Pro-God, Pro-Gun, Pro-Trump."
But social media users don't seem to be pro-Mandel, especially in light of his new ad.
Don't let him get in. Also, SHAMEFUL! https://t.co/nGniiSJpzJ
— Simone Marie (@SimoneMarie23) April 5, 2022
So he plans to block CRT in law scools? That's where it's taught.@JoshMandelOhio https://t.co/Ry42jRXdrd
— Kathy Jones-Hospod (@JonesHospodTX) April 5, 2022
You soiled that bridge with your footsteps you worthless little Nazi @JoshMandelOhio https://t.co/oY4snw01gT
— Jared Contraguerro 🇺🇦 #BLACKLIVESMATTER (@SteelJacket729) April 5, 2022
His campaign slogan should be "Send in the Clown," instead of "Send in the Marine." https://t.co/m17Bhp8mrt
— davidrlurie (@davidrlurie) April 5, 2022
Cannot have clueless people in such high positions in DC. Need senators who are not oblivious to the irony. https://t.co/nM4PzV3fFh
— Fi Urtgo (@furtogo) April 5, 2022
Use MLK and the "I have a black friend" in campaign commercial is disgusting. https://t.co/0pim0jWltX
— Cling 2 Reality (@Cling2Reality) April 5, 2022
And they rejected Mandel's assertion that he's not a racist.
If he is pro Trump he can’t be pro God. And yes this Marine is a racist. https://t.co/mafWNXCq7s
— Bill Holman (@ChickJagade) April 5, 2022
He's using ALL racial imagery, historical racial monuments, and denouncing LEARNING about racists.
HE'S RACIST. https://t.co/PjLFimkRY9
— Beto-crat Christin Resist n 🇺🇦 (@Christin210) April 5, 2022
I hope voters are not hoodwinked by Mandel and this ad. There are racists and white supremacists in the Marines and other branches of the military. We need a law prohibiting those in the military and law enforcement from affiliating with racist and terror groups. 🇺🇸☮️ https://t.co/JDD0Q1eImt
— Elaine Thompson (@EThompsonWV) April 5, 2022
The Ohio primaries will be held May 3rd. Trump has yet to make an endorsement, according to Ballotpedia.