Koch family stays out of debate to ban critical race theory

Politics

FILE – In this May 25, 2021, file photo, a man holds up a sign against Critical Race Theory during a protest outside a Washoe County School District board meeting in Reno, Nev. Developed in the 1970s and ’80s, critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. It centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of whites. (Andy Barron/Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A prominent backer of Republican causes and candidates is notably absent from the conservative political groups backing efforts to ban in schools what they call critical race theory.

Leaders in the network built by the billionaire Koch family said they oppose government bans on the discussion of any concepts.

Koch’s philanthropic decision-makers say government stifling debate runs counter to principles of democracy and the network’s own efforts to improve the nation’s social climate.

However, their record of support for policymaking organizations and candidates working to advance such bans has sparked new cries of hypocrisy from critics.

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