Comedian Bill Maher defended parents who are against critical race theory and said that the progressive approach denies progress made on racial issues in America.
Maher appeared on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time Wednesday night and immediately was asked about critical race theory.
"It's not a phantom, either. There's something going on in the schools that never went on before," Maher told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "Now I'm not in schools, I have no interaction with children whatsoever, but I do understand this issue because I read accounts from parents, from educators. And this is all over the country."
Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
Maher said he didn't think anyone was against teaching about the country's history of racism but that it's not the "essence of America."
The HBO host especially took issue with involving children in the CRT discussion because they are "probably not old enough or sophisticated enough to understand this very complicated issue with a very complicated history."
"Kids are taught, and sometimes separated into groups, oppressor and oppressed," he said on CNN. "Again, does a kid even know what those words mean? Would they gravitate toward that if you hadn’t told them?"
Maher said a major problem is that liberals are afraid to acknowledge progress on social issues.
"You can acknowledge that we have made great progress on all the social issues and yet there is still more work to be done," Maher told Cuomo. "We’re not saying, 'Mission accomplished.' We're just saying, 'Let's live in the year we're living in. You can't come up with good solutions unless you're realistic about what the problem is."
Maher called himself an "old-school liberal" who strives for a "colorblind society where we don’t see race."
"That’s not wokeism," he told Cuomo. "[With] wokeism, we have to see [race] everywhere, all the time."
Maher said he was among many liberals who "don’t like what’s going on with the left." He added progressives were making the Democratic Party the "party of no common sense."
"When you’re doing something that sounds like a headline in The Onion, that’s when you’ve gone too far," said Maher, referencing the satirical news website. "'Land of Lincoln Cancels Lincoln.' That really happened. They tore down Lincoln. Lincoln isn't good enough for them."
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