Editor’s note: On Thursday, Xi Van Fleet was interviewed by Fox News host Sean Hannity about why she spoke out against critical race theory during a recent school board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia and said the theory was the “American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.” Watch the interview or read the lightly edited transcript below.
Sean Hannity: More developments tonight on how parents and commonsense Americans are pushing back against the destructive far-left critical race theory ideology that’s infiltrating America’s schools. Just listen to how one Virginia mom who actually survived Mao[’s] China eviscerates her local school board amid the district’s critical race theory push. Take a look at this.
Xi Van Fleet: I’ve been very alarmed by what’s going on in our school. You are now teaching, training our children to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history.
Growing up in Mao’s China, all this seems very familiar. The communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people. The only difference is they use class instead of race. This is indeed the American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our schools.
Hannity: And, down in the great state of Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to be a beacon of hope against this far-left lunacy as the Florida Board of Education has approved the governor’s rule banning teaching of critical race theory in the state’s public schools.
Joining us now for reaction, Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz, along with the mother you just saw in that video, Xi Van Fleet is with us.
You were 6 years old when the Cultural Revolution began in China. … And you’ve spoken eloquently about what it was like in school and posters hung in hallways and teachers and students would attack each other for being ideologically impure. Can you explain what you experienced and the similarities you see?
Van Fleet: OK. I just want to let the American people know that what’s going on in our schools and in our country is really a replay of the Cultural Revolution in China. And I want people to see there’s similarities and the similarities are terrifying.
They use the same ideology and same methodology, even the same vocabulary, and weighs the same goal. The ideology is cultural Marxism and we were divided into groups as oppressor and oppressed. And here we use race and there they use class.
The people here who have a different view were labeled racist. But in the Cultural Revolution, the label is counterrevolutionary. So, it is a hat that fits all. And once the hat is on your head, your life is ruined.
And the methodology is also very similar, it’s cancel culture. We basically canceled the whole Chinese civilization, pre-communism. And we changed our school names, street names, store names. We changed even our personal names.
My name is Xi and I was named after the city I was born [in], Xi’an. Xi means west. It also refers to the imperialism. So, I wanted so bad to change my name because I wanted to be more communist. I’m glad my parents convinced me not to.
And the vocabulary is even the same: wokeness. To be specific, we used class wokeness. … Your level of wokeness determining your chance to get a promotion or to get benefit. And who decides your level of wokeness? It is the party leaders.
Hannity: Yeah. And you speak from real experience. I mean, you were 6 years old, but you lived 20 years under this oppression. And it sounds like out of the lessons you learned under Mao and the revolution, you see this groupthink now appearing in America, and you’re trying to warn Americans that you don’t want to go down this road.
Congressman Chaffetz, let me ask you, I mean, you see what is being taught here, what is your reaction? And do you see the similarities?
Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz: I do see the similarities, but to hear it firsthand from Xi, I’m just proud of her for speaking up. I’m proud of her for doing it the American way and actually going out of her comfort zone and making an issue of this. So on behalf of millions of people all across this country, thank you for doing that.
I’m very proud of what Ron DeSantis is doing. He was on our oversight committee, he was pretty good, but as governor, that guy is great. He’s doing the right thing, but it’s going to take ordinary people doing extraordinary things. So, I just want to thank her for voicing what so many millions of people and parents know is happening and we got to change it.
Hannity: I’ll give you the last word, Xi Van Fleet. … What would your message be to America if they continue to go down this road?
Van Fleet: I just want people to know that the freedom is fragile and we can lose it any time if we don’t defend it. And there’s a lot of Chinese Americans who have the same experience and share my point of view. And I know that more and more people will step up and share their stories and tell the American people critical race theory is not anti-racism. It itself is racist. It’s divisive, it’s destructive, and it is dangerous.
Hannity: All right. Thank you so much. I’m sorry you had to live that way. And Congressman, it’s great to see you, as always.
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email [email protected] and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.