Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., says if culture war issues such as critical race theory and "indoctrination into Marxism" of students are not addressed first, trying to pass an infrastructure bill "won't make a hill of beans."
"We've got to take it seriously for the fact that it is being taught," the freshman senator said Wednesday in an interview on Mobile radio station FM Talk 1065. "I've brought it up that we've got to make sure we're not giving any taxpayer money to anybody in any state, especially our state of Alabama, which I was looking after — no taxpayer money goes to any university, elementary school or K-12 that is going to teach this critical race theory."
Tuberville said he's talked to people in Alabama politics who have told him that critical race theory is not being taught in the state's schools, but he told host Jeff Poor that educators tell him a different story.
"I've talked to teachers. I've talked to principals. I've talked to people all over the state," Tuberville said. "It is not being taught to the level that it is being taught in some of these other states, but it is being taught to our kids in the state of Alabama. I've seen it."
Critical race theory proponents say that systemic racism is embedded in American society and gives white people a greater advantage in society even if they are unaware of it or not attempting to benefit. Critics of the theory see it as is Marxist and part of an attempt to remake the United States.
Tuberville, who previously served as the head football coach at Auburn University, said that one of the reasons he, as a political novice, ran for Senate was that he saw the education system as being in trouble.
"And this is part of it," he said. "We don't need to be duped into the fact that it is not being taught. It might not be the same level, but any part of critical race theory, to divide this country, to divide our kids and our schools, to tell kids you're oppressed, or you're an oppressor, is racism.
"We've got to snuff it out," Tuberville warned. "If we don't, this country is going to be in dire trouble."
Tennessee, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas have banned the teaching of critical race theory in the public schools. Seventeen other states have introduced such bills into their legislatures. Alabama is not among them.
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