A woman who grew up in China during Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution condemned the teaching of critical race theory in U.S. schools, saying it's "heartbreaking" for Chinese Americans to see the communism they escaped infiltrate the country.
“I have been very alarmed about what’s going on in our schools. You are now teaching, training our children to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history,” said Xi Van Fleet in a statement at the Loudoun County School Board meeting on June 8 that was later shared by The Virginia Project, a political action committee working to combat what it deems as "un-American" ideologies, including CRT.
“Growing up in Mao’s China, all of this seems very familiar,” she continued. "The communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people. The only difference is they used class instead of race."
Van Fleet, whose son graduated from Loudon High School in 2015, told Fox News Wednesday that she lived through the Mao's Cultural Revolution until she immigrated to the United States.
The Cultural Revolution was led by Mao, a brutal dictator who purged so-called “impure” elements of Chinese society. The Cultural Revolution lasted from 1966 to 1976, and resulted in the death of around 1.5 million people, while millions more were imprisoned, tortured or humiliated, according to History.com.
“To me, and to a lot of Chinese, it is heartbreaking that we escaped communism and now we experience communism here,” Van Fleet continued in her statement to the school board.
CRT, which is tied to Marxist critical theory, criticizes the U.S. and Western nations as being oppressive and promoting institutional “systemic racism” or “white supremacy.” It teaches that systemic racism is ingrained in every aspect of American life.
Many opponents have noted that the ideology uses Marxist tactics of “class struggle” to divide people among race, gender and ethnicity. Critical theory, which first arose in academic journals three decades ago, is now being taught at public schools, government agencies and business training programs.
Van Fleet said CRT reminds her of growing up in Maoist China.
“They are a communist regime [that] uses the same critical theories to divide people,” she said. “The only difference is that they use class instead of race. During the cultural revolution, I witnessed students and teachers turn against each other, we changed school names to be politically correct, we were taught to denounce our heritage. The red guards destroyed everything that is not communist ... statues, books and anything else.”
Evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, a former professor at Evergreen State, was among the first to warn the public that critical theory, now CRT, was not going to remain an issue on college campuses but would later affect all aspects of society.
“The critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our schools,” Van Fleet said as she concluded her remarks that were met with applause.
"I just want Americans to know that their privilege is to be here living in America, that is just the biggest privilege," Van Fleet told Fox News. "I do not think a lot of people understand. They are thinking they are doing the right thing, ‘be against racism’ sounds really good. But they are basically breaking the system that is against racism."
CRT has received pushback and condemned as “toxic” and divisive in nature.
Former President Donald Trump banned critical race theory training in federal agencies, but President Joe Biden reversed it on his first day in office.
When Biden reversed Trump’s ban, Christopher Rufo, a director at the Discovery Institute, announced a new coalition to stop critical race theory and “wage relentless legal warfare against race theory in America's institutions.”
"Critical race theory is a grave threat to the American way of life. It divides Americans by race and traffics in the pernicious concepts of race essentialism, racial stereotyping, and race-based segregation—all under a false pursuit of 'social justice,’” Rufo wrote at the time.
Florida’s Board of Education announced Thursday that it voted 8-0 to prohibit CRT from being taught in public schools in an effort to stop the "distort[ion] historical events,” according to The Washington Examiner.
"Some of this stuff is, I think, really toxic," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said about CRT in a video. "I think it's going to cause a lot of divisions. I think it'll cause people to think of themselves more as a member of particular race based on skin color, rather than based on the content of their character and based on their hard work and what they're trying to accomplish in life."
“The woke class wants to teach kids to hate each other, rather than teaching them how to read, but we will not let them bring nonsense ideology into Florida’s schools,” DeSantis said in a statement.
Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org