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Russian TV Claims Americans Want To Move To Russia To Escape US School Curriculum

July 8th, 2021 17:26

US media has pub­lished a report on fur­ther Russ­ian attempts to fur­ther cap­i­tal­ize on the recent grow­ing con­tro­ver­sy in the US over so-called “Crit­i­cal Race The­o­ry.”  Accord­ing to the Dai­ly Beast report:

June 30, 2021 Gal­va­nized by the results of recent Amer­i­can polls and the pop­u­lar­i­ty of Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin with Fox News and its audi­ences, the Krem­lin is pro­ceed­ing with a new charm offen­sive tar­get­ing West­ern con­ser­v­a­tives. Rus­sia can­not offer much in terms of gun rights, free­dom of speech, or stan­dard of living—at least not for those exclud­ed from Putin’s mob-like cir­cle of trust. Rather, the Krem­lin intends to attract West­ern con­verts with anoth­er type of currency—bigotry—turning Rus­sia into the land of ulti­mate polit­i­cal incor­rect­ness, the world’s anti-woke capital.

The report goes on to iden­ti­fy US school cur­ricu­lum as the basis for what the edi­tor of RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today) is claim­ing to be the desire of some US fam­i­lies to relo­cate to Russia:

The top­ic of inap­pro­pri­ate lessons being taught in West­ern schools sur­faced last week on the state TV show The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev. Mar­gari­ta Simonyan, edi­tor-in-chief of state media out­let RT, claimed to be per­son­al­ly help­ing mul­ti­ple for­eign fam­i­lies hop­ing to relo­cate to Rus­sia. The rea­son for their desired move, Simonyan claimed, is what the chil­dren are being taught in school. Remind­ing the audi­ence of Simonyan’s sta­tus as a promi­nent Krem­lin insid­er with direct access to the Russ­ian pres­i­dent, host Vladimir Soloviev imme­di­ate­ly hint­ed that Simonyan ought to speak direct­ly to Putin to expe­dite the process. Back in Jan­u­ary, the spokes­woman for Russia’s Min­istry of For­eign Affairs, Maria Zakharo­va, told Soloviev that she has received a flood of inquiries from Amer­i­can Trump sup­port­ers implor­ing her to pro­vide infor­ma­tion about obtain­ing Russ­ian cit­i­zen­ship. She seemed par­tic­u­lar­ly impressed with com­mu­ni­ca­tions from a cer­tain blog­ger, who immi­grat­ed to the Unit­ed States from the USSR and was now inter­est­ed in going back to Rus­sia, alleged­ly fear­ing “repres­sions.” Zakharo­va didn’t spec­i­fy whether she was talk­ing about the Russ­ian YouTu­ber who post­ed videos at the Capi­tol on Jan. 6 and sub­se­quent­ly went on Russ­ian state TV to blame “antifa” for the vio­lence. The Krem­lin has long been toy­ing with the idea of attract­ing West­ern supporters—and even poten­tial émigrés—to side with Rus­sia, and even move there.

Read the rest here.

The report adds that Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­dists rely heav­i­ly on Fox News, with clips fea­tur­ing Tuck­er Carl­son reg­u­lar­ly appear­ing on Russia’s most pop­u­lar state TV programs.

Since Novem­ber 2020, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) has been doc­u­ment­ing Russ­ian attempts to sow dis­cord in the US over Crit­i­cal Race The­o­ry, 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.

Our report­ing on Russ­ian efforts to pro­mote the right­ing in the US has included:

  • A Novem­ber 2020 report on an RT OpEd claim­ing that Demo­c­ra­t­ic “elites” were “ped­dling equal­ly irra­tional views about cat­a­stroph­ic cli­mate change, crit­i­cal race the­o­ry, and iden­ti­ty politics.”
  • A report in June on how RT was defend­ing  Christo­pher Rufo, iden­ti­fied above, and who RT char­ac­ter­ized as an Amer­i­can con­ser­v­a­tive activist known for his attacks on what RT described as “neo-Marx­ist crit­i­cal race theory.”
  • A report ear­li­er this week that actors linked to Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions are tar­get­ing Amer­i­can far-right audi­ences on alter­na­tive online platforms.

In 2017, the NYT char­ac­ter­ized RT as follows:

Ana­lysts are sharply divid­ed about the influ­ence of RT. Point­ing to its minus­cule rat­ings num­bers, many cau­tion against over­stat­ing its impact. Yet focus­ing on rat­ings may miss the point, says Peter Pomer­ant­sev, who wrote a book three years ago that described Russia’s use of tele­vi­sion for pro­pa­gan­da. “Rat­ings aren’t the main thing for them,” he said. “These are cam­paigns for finan­cial, polit­i­cal and media influ­ence.” RT and Sput­nik pro­pel those cam­paigns by help­ing cre­ate the fod­der for thou­sands of fake news prop­a­ga­tors and pro­vid­ing anoth­er out­let for hacked mate­r­i­al that can serve Russ­ian inter­ests, said Ben Nim­mo, who stud­ies RT for the Atlantic Coun­cil. What­ev­er its impact, RT is unques­tion­ably a case study in the com­plex­i­ty of mod­ern pro­pa­gan­da. It is both a slick mod­ern tele­vi­sion net­work, dressed up with great visu­als and styl­ish pre­sen­ters, and a con­tent farm that helps feed the Euro­pean far right. View­ers find it dif­fi­cult to dis­cern exact­ly what is jour­nal­ism and what is pro­pa­gan­da, what may be “fake news” and what is real but pre­sent­ed with a strong slant.