Rep. Chip Roy recently introduced a bill to withhold federal funds from any schools that teach critical race theory.
The Texas Republican lawmaker joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to talk about the bill, how critical race theory is affecting what children learn in schools, what parents can do to make sure their kids aren’t being taught critical race theory, the illegal immigration crisis at the border, and more.
“What now the American people are seeing is they’ve had the veil lifted on our corrupt public education system,” said Roy, whose bill would apply to both elementary and secondary schools as well as higher education.
“They’re now actually starting to see the garbage that’s being taught and shoved down the throat of our children,” he said. “And part of that garbage has been critical race theory and all of the various tentacles that critical race theory creates, in which we are teaching our children to believe that America is evil, to be ashamed of ‘their whiteness,’ and how they can undo their whiteness. There are so many stories if you go look.”
We also cover these stories:
- Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is speaking out about newly unearthed emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. Both BuzzFeed and The Washington Post obtained emails via a Freedom of Information Act request.
- The Republican National Committee is putting pressure on the Commission on Presidential Debates to ensure that presidential debates are nonpartisan.
- Rashad Turner, the founder of the Black Lives Matter chapter in St. Paul, Minnesota, leaves the organization over policy disagreements.
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Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on The Daily Signal by Congressman Chip Roy of Texas. Congressman Roy, it’s great to have you with us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
Rep. Chip Roy: Well, it was great to join The Daily Signal, particularly from Texas, makes it all the better.
Del Guidice: It makes it so much better. It’s great to be in your state. So, you have a bill to defund schools [that] teach critical race theory. Can you tell us about your bill?
Roy: Yeah. Look, what America is having their eyes opened to, and I think that’s one upside, if there is an upside to what we’ve experienced over the last year with the COVID shutdowns—and there aren’t that many upsides, right?—it was, I think, a terrible undermining of small businesses and our kids being in schools with masks or not being in school.
But what now the American people are seeing is they’ve had the veil lifted on our corrupt public education system. They’re now actually starting to see the garbage that’s being taught and shoved down the throat of our children.
Part of that garbage has been critical race theory and all of the various tentacles that critical race theory creates, in which we are teaching our children to believe that America is evil, to be ashamed of “their whiteness,” and how they can undo their whiteness.
There are so many stories, if you go look. And people ignore [this]. They say, “Oh, this isn’t real.” No, it’s real. Go look at the curriculum, go look at what’s being taught.
And this stuff is, frankly, being purposefully put into the minds of our kids rather than teaching our kids that America is great. Rather than teaching our kids about what we can achieve and moving forward, they want to break down our country.
So I don’t believe that any federal dollar should go to any school, K through graduate school, that teaches any of this. And so we’ve introduced legislation, the Combating Racist Teaching Act, HR 3163, to do just that, to remove all federal dollars from any school that teaches any of that stuff.
Del Guidice: Can you talk a little about how—you mentioned this briefly in your opening remarks—but how critical race theory is affecting what children learn in schools? Can you talk a little bit more about what these kids are hearing in their classroom from their teachers?
Roy: Yeah. So, this goes all the way from the issues with training teachers to teach this, and then this stuff gets implemented.
It’s not like they roll out the CRT manual. It’s not like they just go, “Oh, here, we’re teaching critical race theory today.” What they do is … they train teachers and each one of these little things in nuggets gets buried throughout the curriculum.
So when you’re teaching history, when you’re teaching different events, and then you just start dropping this stuff in there about teaching children how to deal with their whiteness. Or they read books, actual books that are titled “How to Manage Your Whiteness and Talk About How America Is Evil.”
And it’s all under a Marxist theory and trying to move our children to the belief that our country isn’t great and that we’re evil and that we’re evil because of systemic racism.
They use that, they use what we naturally as human beings, as Americans, as Christians, as believers, whatever that we believe, “Hey, the wrong of slavery, the wrong of Jim Crow policies in the South that we want to fix, move forward, make sure that all Americans are treated equally,” they use that to then infiltrate, essentially, the education system to promote Marxist theories and undermine our country. And it’s purposeful.
Del Guidice: What can parents do to make sure their kids aren’t being taught critical race theory? Are there any things you’d like to mention about what parents, how they can be involved in this as they’re finding out about what their kids are learning in school?
Roy: Well, they need to step on the gas to boot out, kick out all of the school board members who have allowed this nonsense to proliferate. They need to pull their kids out of the schools that allow it to occur. Homeschool, choose to avail themselves of local private schools, but hold their schools accountable.
If you can’t afford it, I understand it. It’s a struggle. And if you’ve got a two-income family, it’s hard, then, to hold your schools accountable. But whatever it is, don’t let them get away with it.
Know what’s in the curriculum, know what they’re being taught, and make sure that they’re being taught the things they need to know to go forward and thrive as a human being on this earth—reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history, the things that you need to know—but aren’t being taught and fed this stuff that is negative and breaks down our communities and breaks down trust and divvies us up by race.
To use the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, “It’s a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.” And that’s what this is. It’s purposeful to divide us rather than bring us together as Americans.
We can all acknowledge things that were wrong in our past. You can look and see that our Founders were flawed men, some of them owned slaves, and recognize the greatness of our founding carrying forward the eradication of slavery within 80 years of the founding of our country, a great moment in the history of the world.
And then carry forward and realize what we then were able eradicate, to blow out the Jim Crow South, and to where we are today, and know that there’s far more to do, but that we shouldn’t be filling our kids with this garbage that undermines our country and undermines their well-being.
Del Guidice: Well, big picture, Congressman Roy, when we’re looking at critical race theory, what’s the danger if this isn’t addressed? What do you see going forward if no one does anything? What is that danger?
Roy: The danger is that we destroy the republic because we’re no longer united under the idea of what it is to be an American. And people say, “Oh, you guys are overstating.” No. We are great because we’re united around these ideas.
We’re great because we have values that bring us together. The people that have come to our country, … immigrants that have made this country great, they come here around that idea. They were proud to come to Ellis Island. They were proud to immigrate to America. Why? To embrace what makes us great.
Yeah, we have differences. But at the end of the day, with a belief that you can achieve anything, that this country does stand up for not just liberty, but also for equality and equal justice under law, and that they could have the fruits of their labors.
Why would you not go right now, and I don’t even have to ask you, invest a lot of money in Mexico? Because the rule of law isn’t enforced. The rule of law is what separates us and really highlights what is great about this country. And when you undermine the rule of law and destroy all those things that hold us together, including a belief that we’re united as Americans, then it destroys the fabric of the country.
Del Guidice: We’re here talking in Texas. How do Texans feel about critical race theory? What are they telling you?
Roy: I can tell you, in May we had some elections in local county school board elections, and we had some serious victories in Alamo Heights in San Antonio, in Hays County—the county I live in—in Boerne and Kendall County. There was a little bit of some efforts in Austin, and I think a couple of those fell short, but now they’re energized for the next elections. And people are fired up about it.
People recognize why this is a problem. They’re concerned about it. And like I said, the veil has been lifted.
A lot of parents, frankly, had just kind of allowed the system to continue to educate their children. They thought, “Well, I’m sending them there. They’re learning stuff. It’s fine. I don’t always agree with it, but OK.”
Now they’re trying to look at it and go, “Wait a minute. You’re doing what? They’re teaching you what?” And then they think, “Well, this isn’t good for my children.” Amen. Now let’s do something about it. And you’re starting to see people wake up to it.
Del Guidice: As we’re talking about critical race theory, race relations right now in the country are pretty tense. Is there a way that you think schools should address topics of race?
Roy: … The people that I know of all races and backgrounds—white, black, Hispanic—when we unite, as I was saying earlier, unite around the ideas that bring us together, that’s how you bring people forward. You root out discrimination wherever it exists, you combat it wherever it exists, but you don’t dwell on it.
If you turn on the news right now and you go listen to a speech by [President] Joe Biden, or [Vice President] Kamala Harris, or [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, or [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer, or any of the Democrats, what day can you remember where race wasn’t a central theme to what they’re talking about?
So let me ask you a question: Over the last year, last 14 months, since the tragic events surrounding [George] Floyd, this intense focus on race, has that been good or bad for the livelihoods, the well-being, the progress of communities within black communities in America?
And I would argue, if you looked at the burning in our streets, if you looked at what’s happened in terms of families, in terms of violence, in terms of what’s been happening over the last year, this intense focus on race has not been good, as opposed to an intense focus on policies, making good choices on policies.
In Austin right now, we just launched the Save Austin Now petition to get 50,000 signatures to stand behind our police, not to defund police, but to actually have more resources for police, to increase community policing, to have more cops on the streets building relationships with people in the streets, and to make sure that they’re having in communities people that actually know the people in those communities.
Maybe a black cop in a black community, that can be helpful. But at the end of the day, make sure that you’ve got people there that know the people on the streets.
Why are we going the other way? Oh, let’s reimagine police by getting rid of them. What do you have? You have a doubling of murder in Austin, Texas.
It’s insane. That’s not good. That’s not good for anybody, but it’s not good for the communities that are alleged to be being helped.
And that’s one final point on what I would say about Democrats. They talk a big game about how they’re compassionate for people, and they particularly like to play up race and color and ethnicity, but are Democratic policies good for migrants? The migrants getting abused in Mexico on the journey from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras? The people that are then under the thumb of the cartels being put into human trafficking, sex trafficking, is that good for migrants?
Democrats pat themselves on the back for saying, “Look at me, aren’t I compassionate? Yay me for my open borders policies.” Meanwhile, a little girl’s getting raped on the journey. And they just go, “Oh, well, I guess that’s just a product of my political well-being.”
But we’re seeing the same thing with defunding police, reimagining police. This is absolute nonsense. The American people see it and they understand it.
Del Guidice: Congressman, you’ve already brought up the border situation, and I wanted to ask you about that. What is your perspective on what’s happening right now since the inauguration in January? What have you seen happen and how it’s gone down from the Trump administration to January when President Biden was inaugurated, until now where we’re at?
Roy: Well, it’s hard to pick an issue that you can focus on that summarizes better the rote incompetence and failure of the administration better than the border. I guess the president has allegedly put the vice president, Vice President Kamala Harris, in charge of the border. I guess now she’s in charge of HR 1 and moving election integrity reform. I can only hope she’s effective at that as she has been effective at securing the border, allegedly.
But what’s happening is we joke about it, but it’s a tragedy. I talk to ranchers every day that have their property being destroyed, fences being destroyed. We see photographs on ranches where a little girl had her hands bound behind her back. [Rep.] Kat Cammack, my colleague, was just talking about conversations she had with a young lady who had been gang-raped on the border.
I talked to a 7-year-old girl who was on the journey alone by herself, had no family, had no friends. We talk about 600,000 apprehensions through May of this year, we’re probably pushing 700,000 soon; 300,000 got-aways and releases. We have more fentanyl that came through in the first four months of this year than all of 2020 combined.
It’s just absurd what we’re doing and we’re seeing this unfold and destroy communities.
As my colleague, Kat, was talking about the amount of fentanyl, and we’ve got this fentanyl-heroin cocktail, and what’s happening to our children in schools, the amount of opioids flowing into our country. Why? Because we have open borders.
By the way, we could secure our border in about a week. Seriously, if you just had the willpower to do it, you could roughly secure it in about a week. Certainly within a year, we could have it pretty much fully secure.
And you just change the policies, the asylum policies, the “catch and release” policies, knock the knees out from under the cartels, make sure that we fix [the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act], use “Return to Mexico,” Title 42 for the COVID and communicable diseases. We could limit flow, and then we could get busy building walls, roads, infrastructure, Border Patrol, and we could have a secure border. We can do it immediately, we just choose not to.
Del Guidice: I wanted to ask you, too, you mentioned the vice president, how she’s been put in charge. And I believe recently she said this week, or this past week, that she’s dismayed by the rhetoric surrounding her role in this situation. But I’ve already been twice at the border this year. She’s vice president, she hasn’t chosen to go. So I guess, what would your message to her and other leaders be right now?
Roy: My message would be, if you look up a map of the United States and you just go over to the middle of the country and go down, there’s a state, and it’s called Texas. And then there’s this river along Texas called the Rio Grande, and it borders Mexico. There’s a problem down here and you’re allegedly in charge of it.
They have planes. I think you actually have a plane that you can use. Pretty sure taxpayers pay for it. You can fly on an Air Force base in Washington, D.C., right outside D.C. You can get on that plane, taxpayer-funded. You can fly directly to the border.
I don’t get to do that. I get on Southwest Airlines. I got to wait for a single direct flight, fly to Austin. Then I got to drive five hours down to McAllen, and I do it all the time because I live in Texas and I drive down to the border.
You can fly directly into McAllen. It’ll take you about three and a half hours. You can go down and you can see with your own eyes what’s actually happening down at the Rio Grande. Yet you refuse to do that.
And for about two weeks now, I’ve been throwing out there I’m happy to debate you anywhere, anytime. I will show up anywhere the vice president says, and I will go there and I will debate her on the border. She won’t do that because she knows their policies are an abject failure.
They are endangering Americans, endangering migrants, weakening our country, weakening our children, endangering our children, filling our schools, filling our hospitals. She knows that it’s a failed policy. So there’s no chance she’ll show up to debate. But that offer stands.
Del Guidice: You mentioned the ranchers that you speak to and the broken fences, the broken water lines, everything that we see that happens on these ranches. More broadly speaking, how does illegal immigration affect Texans?
Roy: Look, you have direct impact. How about Jared Vargas, who two years ago was murdered in San Antonio by an illegal immigrant who was working at the restaurant where he was working? And this guy, the illegal immigrant, had been caught, released, caught, released, caught again, released, and three days later, killed Jared Vargas.
I know his family very well. They’re a lovely family. Jared’s twin brother just graduated from college last year and he’s going on to graduate school. Great guy and God bless him. They’ve moved on through strong faith. That’s one story of dozens, of hundreds I could tell you of Americans that have been negatively impacted by this situation.
Now, currently, with this recent flow, ranchers call me every single day. I got people that are texting me and showing me pictures. I could sit here and show you a picture after picture of fences that are down, people breaking into homes.
I had the mayor of Uvalde, Texas, which is just south of the district I represent, the mayor said they had 100-mile-per-hour high-speed chase through their town yesterday. And a migrant went through and they threw a gun out the door as they went blowing through.
The district attorney in Kendall County, Texas, just outside in Boerne, just outside of San Antonio, Nicole Bishop—they had nine immigrants in a car, two of them bound up in a trunk. They were headed to a stash house in Houston, Texas, to be put into the sex trafficking and human trafficking trade. One of the kids in the car had paid $4,000 to go pick grapes in California. The driver of the car is an American citizen, employee of the Cartel del Noreste of Los Zetas operating in Laredo.
That’s what’s happening every day in Texas, every single day. Fentanyl’s killing our kids; human and sex trafficking in our country; 600,000 apprehensions, that means hundreds of thousands of got-aways. Negative impact on our schools, negative impact on our communities, crimes that are committed against American citizens. But really, most of all, we’ve empowered cartels to run the border of the United States.
Del Guidice: Before we wrap up, I wanted to talk a little bit about HR 1. It was called the For the People Act, now I believe Democrats are calling it the John Lewis Act. What’s your perspective of this legislation and what is your thought on it?
Roy: It’s absolute and total garbage. It federalizes elections in a way that undermines the very structure of our Constitution. It would limit Texas’ ability or any other state’s ability to have voter identification. It would basically put in place mandates.
It requires to use mail-in ballots in ways that undermine our ability to have integrity in our ballots and elections. It would pay for campaigns for federal candidates, which inserts the government into that mix.
And I go down the laundry list of things, but it is a federal takeover of elections. It is, I think, in some ways, unconstitutional, maybe not in other ways, but it’s certainly highly problematic. And I’m obviously strongly against it.
I think states ought to be doing what they’re doing. We saw Florida, Iowa, Georgia, other states that have passed reforms. Texas needs to kick it into gear. They just closed out their legislative session without passing election reform. That’s a fail.
They need to come back into session and pass election reform. The governor is going to call them back. Hope they will do so pretty quickly. And they’ll get back in and pass reforms.
We need to ensure that we use voter ID, not just in person, but have voter ID attached to mail-in ballots. We need to target mail-in ballots to those who need it, who request it, who are sick, infirmed, serving overseas. But largely, then have people be able to show up in person, know that who’s voting, that that ballot is attached to that person.
Because if you don’t, people say, “Oh, you’re trying to limit—,” no, we’re not. We’re trying to make sure every ballot that’s cast is a ballot that you can trust so that if you cast your ballot, you know it’s not being diluted or watered down by somebody voting who’s not supposed to be voting.
I introduced legislation to require [United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security] to provide the information necessary to ensure that only citizens vote. This is common sense in a republic. A republic’s only as strong as the faith you have in the elections when you’re sending representatives to represent you. And we need to make sure that we can believe it.
HR 1 is a disaster. We can hope that Sen. [Joe] Manchin holds the line. But we need states, Texas and others, to step up and lead and demonstrate that we’re going to fix our elections here locally.
Del Guidice: Well, Congressman Roy, thank you for joining us on The Daily Signal. It’s great having you with us.
Roy: Great to join you, as always. Glad you’re in Texas.