Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

The Daily Show turns the conservative 'culture war' on critical race theory into a Ken Burns–style documentary

The Daily Show gave the Ken Burns treatment to the conservative "culture war" on critical race theory, including a letter from the front lines. "The battle would rage on," the narrator intoned, "claiming the time and attention of thousands of victims, until their televisions told them to be angry about another thing they had never heard of before."

"Critical race theory: It's made conservatives so mad, they've temporarily forgotten about Ilhan Omar," Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. said, in a parody of Unsolved Mysteries. "But watching people get all worked up about an obscure graduate-level theory of the American legal system, one can't help but wonder: Does literally anyone on the right actually know what critical race theory is? ... Has anyone even Wikipedia'd this thing?" Pretty clearly, no.

For example, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argued Tuesday on the House floor and Twitter that Democrats have "simply replaced the racism of the Klan with the racism of critical race theory." McCarthy, The Washington Post notes, "didn't explain how an academic theory is similar to the Ku Klux Klan, which was involved in lynchings and violence against Black Americans."

"If you see an actual definition of critical race theory in the wild, please contact your local Republican," Wood said. "They seem confused."