***This was originally published on March 16, 2021. But, due to the videos showing Iowa educators talking about teaching Critical Race Theory and skirting Iowa law, it seems worth revisiting.***
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
It’s a quote often falsely attributed but remains true nonetheless. And on Tuesday, Iowa House Democrats were not going to allow criticism of Marxism.
Republican Rep. Sandy Salmon spoke in favor of House File 802, a bill that would crackdown on using Critical Race Theory in diversity trainings at college campuses and government entities as well as curriculum in Iowa schools.
Salmon said Critical Race Theory infused training is the divisive concepts infused in the bill. She said schools will still be able to have discussions of Critical Race Theory, but teaching, training, advocating and promoting using Critical Race Theory or the divisive concepts defined in the bill will not be allowed.
“Critical Theory is simply Marxism that has been updated for the modern-day,” Salmon said. “It is Marxism 2.0. What we are prohibiting is simply Marxism 2.0 training in our schools.”
Marxism, she said, is an economic and political ideology based on class warfare. People are separated into the wealthy class, known as the oppressor, and the working class, known as the oppressed.
“Under Marxism, the working class, or the oppressed, rises up and defeats and destroys the wealthy class, the oppressor, by violent means if necessary,” Salmon said.
She also highlighted religious overtones of Marxism, which is atheistic in nature and opposed to Christianity.
“It is directly opposed to capitalism and the free market,” she said. “Marxism is updated by adopting Critical Theory into its model. Marxism remains an economic and political ideology, but now the 2.0 version is based on race warfare.”
Now individuals are separated into races, with the white class being the oppressor and the black, brown or people of color class being oppressed.
At this point, Democrat Rep. Liz Bennett called for a point of order.
“This bill is not about Marxism and we’re having a long tirade about Marxism here,” Bennett said.
After discussion at the Speaker’s chair, Salmon was allowed to continue. But Democrat minority leader Rep. Todd Prichard called for a point of order as the chair didn’t give his ruling on Bennett’s point.
“The floor is Rep. Salmon’s,” Wills said.
Prichard called for a point of order again.
“The point of order is not well taken,” Wills said. “The floor is Rep. Salmon’s.”
Salmon continued her excellent undressing of Critical Race Theory and its Marxist influence.
“Under this updated Marxism, the oppressed are to rise up and defeat and destroy the white class, which are the oppressor,” she said. “So it is very much the same thing as just an updated form of Marxism – these divisive concepts that are in the bill. These ideas are what we are prohibiting in training in our schools.
“I don’t believe Iowans want this kind of training in our schools. They don’t believe that an individual, by virtue of his race or sex, is inherently or systematically racist, sexist or oppressive. Iowans don’t believe that an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of their race or sex. Iowans don’t believe that America or the state of Iowa are fundamentally racist or sexist and that’s what the divisive concepts say and that’s what we are prohibiting.
“This kind of training is divisive and agitating and is actually discriminatory and racist and sexist in nature. It provokes hostility and aggression. It actually results in violence and warfare. Marxism has always done that in its history and this version of it will not have different results. It has done and will do the same. We have seen it at work in the riots in our cities last summer. We need to face the fact that adherence to Critical Theory or Marxism 2.0 have abandoned freedom as a strongly held value. Marxism, or these divisive concepts have been and never will be about freedom. It is about imposing a Critical Theory, divisive concepts ideology on others and that’s what we are seeing in our regent universities and it’s growing in our K-12 schools. That is not education but indoctrination. We need unity around common principles and ideals. This Marxism or Critical Theory will not achieve that.
“Our nation was not founded on Marxism or Critical Theory. For unity, we need to return…”
Democrat Rep. Ras Smith then called for another point of order and said there was a conversation at the Speaker’s chair about bringing Salmon’s comments back to the bill, which hadn’t been done. He said he was confused about why the conversation was allowing to continue.
After another deliberation at the Speaker’s chair, Prichard announced Democrats were going to caucus immediately.
And just like that, the debate ended.
It will pick up again eventually, but it certainly showed that Democrats were not willing to allow any criticism of Marxism on the floor of the Iowa House on Tuesday.
That’s one reason why, if they were around the House floor to take a look, they’d see just 41 Democrats and 59 Republicans.
Because Rep. Salmon is right. Iowans do reject Marxism. And since Marxism goes hand-in-hand with Democrat ideology, by extension, Iowans consistently reject Democrats.