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Mel Olson: Fuss Over Teaching Racism Coming from Folks Who Don’t Pay Attention to Real Schoolwork

How do you know when something is hogwash? When Mel Olson says it is.

SDPB talks to teachers and parents about the fake fuss fomented by fascists over teaching kids about racism in American history. Longtime teacher and legislator Mel Olson the “critical race theory” complainers aren’t paying attention to what our schools really do:

“’Well, we know it’s not an issue now, but gosh, it might be and it could be’ — and that’s ridiculous,” says Olson. “Parents who are concerned about what their kids are learning are good parents. They should be involved in the school. But instead of just blindly throwing darts at a dart board, they should actually visit a classroom. They should actually go to the schoolboard. They should actually look at the standards. They should actually look at their kid’s textbook and see what’s in there” [Joshua Haiar, “Educators Respond to Noem’s Crusade Against Critical Race Theory,” SDPB, 2021.06.24].

If Republicans really want to spend the next Legislative Session and the election year debating “critical race theory” and public education, we should send Mel Olson to debate them.


  1. Chris S. 2021-06-25 07:20

    The thing is, Republicans don’t want to play a high-minded game of Come, Let Us Reason Together. They want to throw a hissy fit about a made-up issue and pass a bunch of awful laws to reinforce white privilege and one-party rule. If you think you’re going to have a debate with them, you’ve already lost.

  2. Donald Pay 2021-06-25 09:25

    It’s a money game. Ginning up new causes for the perpetually scared and constantly outraged folks to open their wallets is a strategy that has worked for the con men on the right. They will ride this horse until the money starts drying up. Unfortunately, the dumber than average politicians don’t understand. They think this is a real issue.

  3. Vi Kingman 2021-06-25 09:44

    You nailed it Donald.
    Where is this being taught? Can Noem and the Republicans give an example?

  4. Donald Pay 2021-06-25 11:55

    I get a lot of emails from right wing foundations early on in this effort, and they continue. I could see this coming a couple months before the politicians got on the bandwagon. The begging emails started even before FOX’s hyperbolic racist in chief, Tucker Carlson, picked it up on his nightly exploration of white supremacy. You can count on Tucker sputter out even more outlandish racism in his clearly fake hysterical shtick, his face scrunched up like a reluctant father changing a dirty diaper. He’s such a putz, but he knows how to stir the heartstrings of the white right.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-06-25 15:17

    Come on everyone, the village of conservatives just knows they have to create a good scare. Their base, the trumpies only function on high energy. They have to have targets, easy ones, transgenders, and righteous ones, voting, and after a year of BLM victories they have to let people of color know their place with CRT canceling. What is CRT, they don’t care, just don’t teach any of it. You must realize the Qs have a limited sense of self worth and facts are fungible, so there you go.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-25 17:44

    Well…All the Governor knows about classroom instruction is what she endured in high school. After all, she peaked in high school.

  7. tara volesky 2021-06-26 12:04

    Quote Kristi Noem…”Radical Liberals Want Your Kids To Hate America”. She is saying the Left is raising tens of millions of dollars to run against her. Governor Noem, please name the teachers in SD that are teaching students to hate America. This is another one of her get rich schemes using her title and taxpayers dollars for national attention. Our 4 children had the opportunity to have Mel Olson for a teacher. He was an exceptional teacher and would destroy the Governor in a civics debate. She does not represent SD, only her out of state corporate interests. Just follow the money.

  8. Porter Lansing 2021-06-26 12:27

    tara knows

  9. Nick Nemec 2021-06-26 15:41

    I have yet to see or hear anyone explain what exactly “critical race theory” is and why it is bad.

  10. cibvet 2021-06-26 17:04

    Nick Nemec– CRT is wordplay by Frank Luntz, to hypnotize conservatives around something that doesn’t exist. Every couple of months he gives them new words to effectively control their masses. ( like the Jack in the box toy) Wind them up till their wallet pops, then wing them up again.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-06-26 19:04

    From Raw Story…..

    The Iowa legislature has just passed a new law on teaching about racism in the Iowa schools. It is long, vague, and contradictory. It is a confusing, poorly drafted piece of legislation. It is clear, though, that it drastically restricts speech on the part of students and teachers. It is now law, but unlikely to have much legal impact as it is almost certainly unconstitutional and does not include tough enforcement measures.

    Yet it still matters. We are losing many of our best college graduates to places like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Texas. Our civic leaders try to win new businesses in the state yet employers are unlikely to invest in a state that looks like Mississippi, only with cold weather.

    Reading this new law felt like skimming the Terms of Service on a commercial website, or carefully reading the warranty on a new toaster oven. It left me wondering how such a mess received the support of GOP leaders.

    Excellent description of iowa….Mississippi with colder weather.

  12. Porter Lansing 2021-06-26 21:42

    Is Critical Race Theory an invention by liberals to explain why Blacks haven’t made greater advances in USA despite 50 years of affirmative action?

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