As Iowa moved to ban the teaching of critical race theory, a state-run education support agency held workshops for teachers about the controversial topic that included a graphic that listed former President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” as an example of “covert white supremacy,” according to a report.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed a law prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in schools earlier this month, calling the theory “indoctrination not education,” and the ban will take effect on July 1.
But leaked documents show an Area Education Agency in the state was advising teachers on “antiracism” and created a presentation that cited the authors of critical race theory Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, one of nine such groups in Iowa that advise public schools and some private schools, prepared presentations in April and May titled “MBAEA Equity Department Meetings: Anti-racism.”
The display included a slide that listed what topics are considered “covert white supremacy” but “socially acceptable” and included “Make America Great Again,” “Police murdering POC,” referring to people of color, and “Confederate flags.”
It also listed “Denial of White Privilege” and “Denial of Racism” in that category, along with the phrase “Don’t blame me, I never owned slaves” and the “Bootstrap Theory.”
A Republican state senator told Fox News that “we have segments of our educational institutions who are indoctrinating students.”
“‘Make America Great Again’ is a belief that all Americans and Iowans can fulfill the American dream,” said state Sen. Jake Chapman, president of the Iowa Senate.
“President Trump did far more for minority populations than any other president,” he said. “This AEA has conveniently neglected these indisputable facts and instead are peddling far-left extremist views.”
The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.
Trump defeated President Biden in Iowa by 8.2 percentage points in 2020 and won the state in 2016.
Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) said she opposes teaching critical race theory.
“We should be having productive and empathetic conversations that move our country forward, but this would take our country back in time and further divide us,” Hinson told Fox News.
“As a mom of two schoolchildren in Iowa, I’m glad Gov. Reynolds banned critical race theory in our schools.”
US Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican, also said she’s glad the controversial theory has been banned in Iowa.
“We absolutely should not be indoctrinating our children to judge one another by the color of one’s skin, gender, or sexual identity,” she said.
Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, the grandson of Iowa’s other Republican senator, Charles Grassley, said critical race theory has no place in Iowa schools.
“Examples like this are exactly why House Republicans took action and prohibited these divisive concepts from being taught in Iowa schools,” Pat Grassley said. “We heard from countless parents with these concerns of political indoctrination in their child’s school.”
“Critical race theory teaches students to label, stereotype, and demonize people based on their race, gender or sexual identity rather than judge people based on their character,” he continued. “We cannot fight racism with more racism.”