Poll: Americans know little about maligned 'CRT'

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on July 15, 2021 - Duration: 02:03s

Poll: Americans know little about maligned 'CRT'

A Reuters poll found that even among Americans who said they were informed about 'critical race theory,' few could correctly answer true or false questions about it.

This report produced by Zachary Goelman.

Poll: Americans know little about maligned 'CRT'

A recent school board meeting in a wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C., erupted into pandemonium.

[SPEAKER]: "You're teaching children to hate others because of their skin color!" At meetings and protests across the country, conservative activists are accusing schools of teaching critical race theory, a once-obscure academic concept that has sparked demonstrations and classroom bans in some states.

But a Reuters/Ipsos poll out Thursday found that very few Americans know what CRT is.

And many who claim to be familiar with it in fact embrace a variety of misconceptions and falsehoods circulating among conservative media.

[CRT OPPONENT]: "When I heard that teachers and students were having critical race theory shoved down their throats and young white kids were being told that there was something wrong with them because of the color of their skin, I became very concerned." For example: the Reuters poll found that 22 percent of those who said they were familiar with critical race theory said they thought CRT is taught in most high schools.

It's not.

It's mostly a subject for scholars.

Thirty-three percent of respondents said they believe CRT “says that white people are inherently bad or evil” or that “discriminating against white people is the only way to achieve equality.” It does not.

Critical race theory asserts that racism is woven into the U.S. legal system and ingrained in its primary institutions creating an uneven playing field for non-white Americans.

[CRT SUPPORTER]: "We need critical race theory, because we need real history." Among respondents who said they were familiar with CRT, only 5% correctly answered all seven true-false questions that the poll asked about the history and teachings of critical race theory.

Only 32% correctly answered more than four of the seven questions.

Despite the misconceptions and misinformation about CRT, a majority of Americans want slavery and its legacy taught in high school.

Seventy-three percent of American adults say they support teaching students learning about racism and its impact on the country.

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