Republican state Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr. is hoping to navigate a Tea Party-tough conservative primary that is increasing in complexity with his liberal “It’s My Party, Too” approach that includes sponsoring New Jersey’s most ambitious critical race theory law but the approach is not gaining much support among GOP voters.
In the 1980s, the Senate Minority Leader’s father, former Governor Tom Kean Sr., advocated ‘the politics of inclusion’ and his son, Tom Kean Jr. is now New Jersey’s leading GOP voice in the ‘critical race theory’ movement but instead of being viewed as a visionary progressive, the Republican is fielding criticism from his own party.
Tom Kean Jr. is now serving as a member of a controversial commission in the New Jersey Department of Education that many in the GOP see as a bureaucracy advocating a ‘hate America’ approach to history.
Students being taught that racism in America is systemic, that white people are privileged and that meritocracy is a myth are cited as evidence that teachers may already be spreading “critical race theory.”
Former President Donald Trump has described critical race theory as a “toxic” and “poisonous left-wing doctrine” that is “flagrant racism, plain and simple.”
“Critical race theory is best thought of as a form of Marxism,” the authors declared. “Old-school Marxists divided the world by class — capitalist oppressor versus oppressed workers. Critical race theory is a new variant of Marxism that divides the world instead by race — race oppressors versus oppressed races.”
“It’s not critical race theory, it is racism,” said Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “Not ‘neo-racism’ or ‘reverse racism.’ Those are meaningless terms. It is race hate. It is peddled by the people in charge in the hope that it will make them more powerful. That’s all it is.”
“Critical race theory (CRT) makes race the prism through which its proponents analyze all aspects of American life, categorizing individuals into groups of oppressors and victims,” says the influential Heritage Foundation. “It is a philosophy that is infecting everything from politics and education to the workplace and the military.”
“For more than 50 years, our military has set the standard for race relations in the United States. While there will always be room for improvement, critical race theory will reverse that trajectory,” said John “JV” Venable, a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. “If allowed to propagate, it will foster internal contempt, destroy morale and undercut the demand for excellence on which the success of our military relies.”
Of course, while Kean is the most assertive Republican advocate for critical race theory and his father made a very public determination to have government champions the cause of ending discrimination against African-Americans, the GOP lawmaker has never raised any concern about New Jersey’s segregated schools, which are among the most racially divided in the United States.
The again it was the New Jersey Republican Party, under the leadership of the elder Kean that orchestrated the 1981 Ballot Security Task Force, in a determined effort to suppress the African-American vote by parading armed thugs outside polling places in urban areas.
As Republicans abandon the state Senate Republican Leader, it is creating a vacuum since the GOP needs a strong contender to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski, who defeated Kean in 2020. Observers say Rik Mehta, who earned more votes than any New Jersey Republican last year when he challenged Senator Cory Booker, is the most likely beneficiary of that exodus from Kean’s campaign.
GOP leaders will convene next month to award the coveted ‘organization line’ and unless he finds a way to distance himself from what critics call a liberal indoctrination policy, Kean—already a three-time loser in races for Congress—may not be a candidate that long.