When Fran Bailey moved from Brisbane to Melbourne in 1970, one big cultural difference stood out between the two cities. “I was constantly amazed at how often I was asked what school I went to,” says the former Liberal MP and Howard-era minister. “You would be invited to someone’s house for dinner and you would meet people and they would invariably ask.”
Moving away from the debate about what is or isn’t “critical race theory” and instead focusing on what lawmakers are actually trying to do — replace factual information with fake history — helps recenter the debate on what’s really going on. After all, the only reason Republicans and right-wing pundits lie about what is and isn’t in the public school curriculum is because they know they can’t win the debate by being honest. The truth terrifies them, which is why they go to such lengths to conceal it both in public debate and in our public schools.