Comedian and podcast host Bill Maher has fallen out with actor Bryan Cranston over the controversial topic of critical race theory after the ‘Breaking Bad’ star said the waking up theme should be taught in schools.
The two discussed whether CRT should be taught in schools on Maher’s Club Random podcast.
The topic came up after the couple discussed slavery, in which Maher expressed his belief that historical figures like former presidents shouldn’t be “cancelled” for owning slaves.
Maher said he didn’t think former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and George Washington should be penalized because it was not uncommon at the time to own slaves, both at home and abroad.
Actor Bryan Cranston, pictured, said he believes critical race theory in schools is essential to understanding systemic racism in the country
But Bill Maher, pictured, argued that CRT is a catch-all term and that teaching children that they are oppressors introduces ideas that are inappropriate for their age
Cranston argued that critical race theory is “essential” in schools because it examines how race, racism and the slave trade have influenced governmental and social activities.
“It’s been 400 friggin’ years since we’ve dealt with this and our country still hasn’t taken any responsibility or accountability,” Cranston said.
‘For what?’ asked Mahr.
“For the history of systemic racism in this country.”
‘What else should we do?’ Maher asked.
“Well, I mean, for one thing, I think critical race theory is essential to teaching them.”
“That depends on what you mean by that,” Maher said.
CRT teaching in schools has proved controversial, often prompting protests (file)
“I mean, in everything we’ve done in government and in social activities, teach that race trafficking and racism are systemic,” Cranston replied.
“It’s like why the Second Amendment really has to do with the fact that in a country where you had a hostile people in chains, you needed guns to keep that under control. So that has a lot to do with why other countries don’t have a Second Amendment like we do,” Maher said.
Maher said he feels that critical race theory is a “catch-all” and that the notion that America is irredeemable is wrong.
“Critical race theory, I mean, it’s just one of those catch-phrases if you mean we should of course teach honestly about our past, if you mean more what the book of 1619 says, which is that it’s just the essence of America and that we’re irrecoverable are, that’s just wrong.’
‘Yes, I agree,’ Cranston said. “But even teaching our past and being honest and acknowledging who we are as a country and history?”
“Most schools do that,” Maher said.
The 1619 Project aims to reshape American history by placing the aftermath of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the national narrative. The project was developed by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones pictured above
“In Florida and many other states, they want to abolish critical race theory because sometimes it deviates into things that are really not appropriate in schools,” Cranston said.
Maher expressed concern about teaching children that they are oppressors, suggesting that this effectively “introduces ideas about race that are inappropriate for children of that age who cannot understand it.”
Maher noted that “there is a lack of common sense in this country.”
CRITICAL RACE THEORY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
The struggle for critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States in recent years.
The theory has sparked heated debate nationwide following last year’s Black Lives Matter protests across the country and the launch of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, published by The New York Times in 2019 to mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans on American shores, reframes American history by “exploring the aftermath of slavery and the contributions of black Americans to the Center of the USA puts narrative’.
The critical race theory debate concerns concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Opponents of critical race theory have argued that it reduces people to the categories of “privileged” or “oppressed” based on their skin color.
But proponents say the theory is critical to eradicating racism because it examines how race affects American politics, culture and the law.
Despite their disagreements, Cranston and Maher agreed that some “awakened” subjects should not be taught in schools.
Critical race theory is a way of examining how race and racism affect society and how they are interwoven with other forms of oppression, such as class and gender, to perpetuate systems of power and privilege.
It is a framework that emerged in the 1970s as a critique of traditional civil rights approaches that focused on individual discrimination and legal equality. Instead, CRT examines ways in which racism is built into the fabric of society.
The 1619 Project, to which Maher is referring, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times initiative that aims to reshape American history by focusing on the aftermath of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans of the national narrative.
The project was developed by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and published in August 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the British colonies.
The project includes a series of essays, poems, photographs, and a podcast that explore the long shadow of slavery across the United States, including economics, politics, education, and culture.
The project also presents the case that the true founding of America did not take place in 1776 with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but in 1619 when the first enslaved Africans were brought into the colonies.
The 1619 Project will continue to spread in media circles with the debut of a six-part documentary, which will stream on Hulu later this year and will be produced by Oprah Winfrey.
1619 project of the New York Times
In August 2019, The New York Times Magazine published The 1619 Project, a collection of essays, photo essays, short stories, and poetry aimed at reshaping American history based on the impact of slaves brought to the United States .
It was published to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies.
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story expands on The New York Times Magazine’s 2019 publication, which focuses on the country’s history surrounding slavery and includes a Pulitzer commentary for the project’s creator, Nikole Hannah-Jones , led
It is argued that the nation’s birth was not in 1776 with independence from the British Crown, but in August 1619 with the arrival of a cargo ship carrying 20 to 30 enslaved Africans at Point Comfort in the Virginia colony, ushering in the system of slavery.
The project argues that slavery was the origin of the country and out of it grew “almost everything that has made America truly exceptional.”
These include economic power, industry, the electoral system, music, inequalities in public health and education, violence, income inequality, slang and racial hatred.
However, the project is debated among historians for its factual accuracy.
In March 2020, historian Leslie M. Harris, who served as fact-checker for the project, said the authors ignored their corrections but believed the project was necessary to correct prevailing historical narratives.
One aspect that is up for debate is the timing.
Time magazine said the first slaves arrived in a Spanish colony in present-day South Carolina in 1526, 93 years before the Jamestown landings.
Some experts say slaves first arrived at present-day Fort Monroe in Hampton rather than Jamestown.
Others argue that the first Africans in Virginia were indentured since life slavery laws did not appear until the 17th and early 18th centuries, but essentially worked as slaves.