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July 2, 2021 31 min

In Loudoun County, Va., a fierce debate has been raging for months inside normally sleepy school board meetings.

At the heart of this anger is critical race theory, a once obscure academic framework for understanding racism in the United States.

How, exactly, did critical race theory enter American public life, and what does this debate look like on the ground?

Guest: Trip Gabriel, a national correspondent for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • In a culture-war brawl that has spilled into the country’s education system, Republicans at the local, state and national levels are trying to block curriculums that emphasize systemic racism.
  • More than 20 states have introduced legislation restricting lessons on racism and other so-called divisive concepts.
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

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