Home > Essays > Who’s Behind the Flood of Anti-CRT Legislation? ALEC. Is Anyone Reading This Surprised?

Who’s Behind the Flood of Anti-CRT Legislation? ALEC. Is Anyone Reading This Surprised?

July 29, 2021

I’ve written a couple of op ed pieces and several posts on CRT and in reading about the various bills introduced in State legislatures noted that they all had remarkably similar language and suspected that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was involved in this given their participation in the drafting of anti-government bills. Common Dreams investigative reporters Don Wiener and Alex Kotch confirmed those suspicions in a post that appeared in yesterday’s newsletter:

Right-wing politicians have misconstrued the term’s meaning and convinced many of their constituents that teaching an honest history of racism in America is akin to telling white students to hate themselves and their country.

Republican efforts to ban the teaching of the history of racism in public schools picked up steam when the corporate “bill mill” the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hosted a workshop on December 3, 2020 called “Against Critical Theory’s Onslaught.”

The virtual workshop, part of ALEC’s annual States and Nation Policy Summit, included state legislators, corporate lobbyists, and staff from right-wing policy organizations and private foundations, according to an attendance list obtained and published by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD).

Described by Wiener and Kotch as “a pay-to-play operation where legislators and corporate lobbyists meet behind closed doors to adopt model legislation that weakens environmental protections, advances anti-union measures, reduces funding for health care, promotes private prisons, and weakens state regulation of corporations“, ALEC had recently backed off of social issues because the corporate donors who were interested most in the deregulation elements of ALEC’s agenda found themselves having to defend some of ALEC’s inherently racist “model legislation” like Stand Your Ground bills.

The article does an excellent job of describing how ALEC wrongly defined CRT, used that false definition to generate animus among the racist legislators who attended their event, and seeded discontent by getting editorials published and– in all probability— provided templates for position papers and op ed articles as well as the bills themselves.

Teachers unions, school board associations, PTAs across the country should The authors should seek the names of any corporate sponsors who attended the workshop on developing anti-CRT legislation and send it to the AFT, NEA, NSBA, and AASA along with a copy of this article highlighting the section that described how corporate sponsors stopped funding ALEC when pressure was applied. I expect each organization might alert their respective constituents of the corporations who attended the event and, in the case of the NEA and AFT, might divest from them. At the same time, a list of ALL corporate sponsors and the addresses of the HQ might be useful as well. When corporations are faced with the reality that they effectively sponsored a KKK rally they might think twice about donating in the future.

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