Larry Elder, the conservative radio host turned leading GOP candidate in the California gubernatorial recall race, said Wednesday that he would consider backing legislation prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.
An African-American, Elder suggested to Fox News that the increasingly racialized curricula might warrant state intervention and potentially a law banning such concepts.
“My preference is for local school boards to decide what the curriculum is, but I think this is so bad and so insulting that I would look into some legislation like that,” the Republican frontrunner said.
Elder said that school choice could ameliorate the problem by giving parents and their children the freedom to escape a politicized curriculum and enroll in an alternative institution.
Parents need “an option where they can send their kids to a school that teaches this kind of nonsense and give them an option to put their kid in another school that doesn’t teach that. That’s my preference,” he affirmed.
Aside from the free market solution of school choice, however, Elder told Fox News he believes the critical race theory framework is fundamentally flawed, as it “teaches little white boys and girls that they are oppressors and little black boys and girls that they are eternal victims.”
“I submit to you that systemic racism is not the problem and critical race theory and reparations are not the answer,” he added.
In recent months, the GOP has debated whether Republican governors and state lawmakers have the authority to ban critical race theory in public schools. While governors such as Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’s Greg Abbot seized the opportunity to sign legislation or executive orders forbidding it, other Republican figures have said they want to defer power to local school boards to make substantive decisions on curricula.
While Elder has emerged as the GOP favorite to oust Newsom in the upcoming recall election, recent polling indicates that about 53 percent of voters would select “no” on the ballot to keep Newsom in office, while 42.7 percent would vote to remove him. If a majority of voters select “yes,” Newsom will be unseated and whichever candidate earns a plurality of the vote on the ballot’s second question will be his replacement.
Since Elder has gained steam, Newsom’s team has ramped up campaign efforts, encouraging Democratic constituents to rally around the incumbent and discouraging competitors within the party from challenging him.