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Trumped-Up Bogeyman, Brunswick Beacon, March 24, 2022

While Americans unite to support Ukraine against war criminal and Trump pal Vladimir Putin, Trump is still trying to divide us to satisfy his pathetic need for attention. At a March 12 rally, he dusted off a trumped-up bogeyman from his 2020 campaign and asked supporters to “lay down their very lives” to defend America from the imaginary peril of Critical Race Theory. If you never heard of it before 2020, here’s why.

That May, George Floyd, an African-American, was killed by a white police officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes as Floyd cried “I can’t breathe.” A jury convicted the officer of murder.

Americans saw the video and were shocked. But conservative activist Christopher Rufo saw an opportunity to write a new chapter in the politics of racial division.

Rufo took an obscure law school effort to understand how racism in the past led to racial injustice today and deliberately mischaracterized it as a conspiracy to “teach our children to hate America” as Trump told the rally. “We have decodified the term and will recodify it,” Rufo said. “We will eventually turn it toxic. The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think 'critical race theory.’” Rufo bragged, “This entire movement came from nothing.”

On Sept. 2, 2020, Rufo appeared on Fox News and said Trump should ban federal contractors from using CRT. Trump was down by eight points in the polls and seized on Rufo’s bogus bogeyman the way a drowning man claws for air. Trump invited Rufo to the White House and issued the ban within days.

As I write, Ukraine’s President Zelensky is addressing Congress and uniting the world to fight invasion. Trump, who withheld weapons from Zelensky to extort him into smearing Joe Biden, is again using a trumped-up bogeyman and dividing America to fight irrelevance.

Larry Widman



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