An organization called “Unkoch My Campus” has said that it has uncovered ties between the Koch family and 28 conservative think tanks and political organizations who published extensive material on so-called Critical Race Theory. According to an article in The Nation:
August 13, 2021 Unkoch My Campus reviewed the published materials of 28 conservative think tanks and political organizations with known ties to the Koch network from June 2020 to June 2021 and found that they had collectively published 79 articles, podcasts, reports or videos about Critical Race Theory. These articles came out in a trickle last year, but then suddenly became a flood starting in February 2021, as President Biden took office and the threat to corporate profits became real. An average of five pieces per week dropped from late March to June 30, 2021. The pace of propaganda surged in both late May and late June—coinciding with the surge in action by state politicians. Both the highly influential Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has known ties to the Kochs and a long history of driving conservative state legislation, held webinars devoted to attacking CRT. The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research alone devoted 43 separate articles or videos to the topic.
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For a full report, go here.
Critical Race Theory is defined by a US educational publications as follows:
Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies. The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others. A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.
However, as the Washington Post reported in March, Christopher Rufo, a well-known conservative activist in the US had tweeted that his goal was to use CRT as a catchall concept “to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans. The apparent disinformation effort appears to have wildly succeeded. As NBC News has observed:
Conflicts like this are playing out in cities and towns across the country, amid the rise of at least 165 local and national groups that aim to disrupt lessons on race and gender, according to an NBC News analysis of media reports and organizations’ promotional materials. Reinforced by conservative think tanks, law firms and activist parents, these groups have found allies in families frustrated over Covid-19 restrictions in schools and have weaponized the right’s opposition to critical race theory, turning it into a political rallying point. While the efforts vary, they share strategies of disruption, publicity and mobilization. The groups swarm school board meetings, inundate districts with time-consuming public records requests and file lawsuits and federal complaints alleging discrimination against white students. They have become media darlings in conservative circles and made the debate over critical race theory a national issue.
In June, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported on a likely Republican Party disinformation campaign in the form of a new organization that announced that it had launched with an initial “initial seven-figure national ad campaign of well over $1 million” to combat what it describes as political influence in US schools.
The GIOR has also been reporting on Russian efforts to capitalize on the controversy over CRT.
According to a well-referenced Wikipedia article on the Koch Family:
The Koch family (/koʊk/ KOHK) is an American family engaged in business, best known for their political activities (active role in opposing climate change legislation, donating to libertarian, criminal justice reform, and Republican Party causes) and their control of Koch Industries, the largest privately owned company in the United States (with 2019 revenues of $115 billion). The family business was started by Fred C. Koch, who developed a new cracking method for the refinement of heavy crude oil into gasoline. Fred’s four sons litigated against each other over their interests in the business during the 1980s and 1990s. By 2019, Charles Koch and David Koch, commonly referred to as the Koch brothers, were the only ones of Fred Koch’s four sons still with Koch Industries.Charles and David Koch built a political network of libertarian and conservative donors and the brothers funneled financial revenue into television and multi-media advertising. David Koch died in August 2019.
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