White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Thursday press briefing that it is “responsible” to teach children about systemic racism.
A reporter asked Psaki about a recent proposal from Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, called the “Ivory Tower Tax Act of 2021,” that would tax wealthy schools’ endowments at a rate of 1% and use the funds to support training for working-class jobs, the New York Post reported. The reporter mentioned Cotton’s opposition to critical race theory and the 1619 project.
Critical race theory seeks to teach children to view every interaction through the lens of race and teaches that racial injustice impacts every part of society. The 1619 project, which has been criticized by experts for repeated historical inaccuracies, teaches that America’s “true founding” was when the first slaves were brought over and centers all of American history around slavery. (RELATED: ‘I Plan To Ignore It’: Tennessee Teachers Criticize Critical Race Theory Ban At Public Schools, Say It Will Harm Students)
“Without much detail of where he thinks our youth are being indoctrinated – it sounds very mysterious and dangerous – although I don’t think we would think that we believe that the youth and the future leaders of the country about systemic racism is indoctrination,” Psaki said. “That’s actually responsible.”
The press secretary said that Cotton could find funding for his worker training through other means, like taxing the wealthy and corporations. She added that the administration was open to a conversation about training for working-class jobs.
“But, I would say if he’s trying to raise money for something, then our view is there’s lots of ways to do that,” she continued. “We know that a number of corporations hugely benefited financially during the pandemic. They could pay more taxes. We think the highest 1% of Americans can pay more taxes, and if he wants to have a conversation about worker training, we’d love to have him over and have that conversation.”
Cotton fired back at Psaki on Twitter, calling critical race theory “toxic.”
Psaki is wrong.
Pushing toxic critical race theory on kids is indoctrination.
And the Biden administration is doing it from the White House. https://t.co/QtdL757EK4
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 13, 2021
“Psaki is wrong,” Cotton said. “Pushing toxic critical race theory on kids is indoctrination. And the Biden administration is doing it from the White House.”