Critical race theory is having a negative effect on society, a majority of Republicans said in a new poll.
The Politico/Morning Consult poll published Wednesday found that 55% of respondents who were or leaned Republican said critical race theory had a negative impact on society. Only 13% of Democrats agreed with that notion.
When asked if they had "seen, read or heard" of critical race theory, half of Democrat respondents answered "not much" or "nothing at all."
A total of 54% of Republicans said they had read/heard "some" or "a lot" about the approach, the poll results showed.
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.
When asked if they supported critical race theory being taught in K-12 schools, only 13% of Republicans showed some level of support — 64% said they opposed it.
Respondents who said they were aware of critical race theory then were asked to describe the theory in their own words. Only 5% of Republicans offered a positive response, 10% were neutral, and 78% were negative.
Among Democrats who wrote responses, 29% were positive, 47% neutral and 7% negative.
Independents' written responses were divided up as 16% positive, 31% neutral, and 46% negative.
Critical race theory has become a national issue following the death of George Floyd last year.
Republicans in states around the country have begun efforts to prevent schools from teaching critical race theory.
Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Mike Braun, R-Ind., recently introduced a resolution condemning critical race theory as a "prejudicial ideological tool, rather than an educational tool."
"[W]e can't stand by and allow 'woke' liberals to divide our nation," Scott said in a statement. "Students in Florida and every state across this nation deserve better and I'm proud to lead my colleagues today in a resolution to stand up against this dangerous policy."
Other GOP lawmakers have also condemned critical race theory being taught in schools.
"The advocates of critical theory tell us we have to dismantle our culture, our history, our families, our Jewish and Christian heritage and beliefs because they're all oppressive," Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., this week, The Hill reported.
"They say the future of this nation will be defined by racial division and racial strife. Mr. President, I reject that prophecy of our future and I take my stand on the goodness of the American people and the God who guides us."
In Virginia's Loudoun County, two people were arrested during a school board meeting after a public debate on the issue became unruly, according to The Hill.
"Critical race theory is not an academic curriculum. It is a political agenda to divide people and actually put people into different buckets and then pit them against one another," Glenn Youngkin, the GOP nominee for governor in Virginia said recently, The Hill reported.
"Critical race theory will not be in Virginia's schools when I serve Virginians as the next governor."
The Politico/Morning Consult poll was conducted June 18-20 among 2,041 registered voters. It has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.
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