White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said it is “responsible” to teach about “systemic racism” as part of critical race theory, dismissing a proposal to tax endowments of elite universities that teach it to be put toward vocational training.
Psaki was asked about a proposal by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that would place a 1 percent tax on the value of the endowments of the country’s wealthiest schools, and put that money toward training for working-class jobs.
The reporter noted Cotton’s opposition to schools teaching subjects like the 1619 Project and critical race theory, which claims the consequences of slavery continue to be present in all levels of social interaction.
“I don’t think we would think that educating the youth and next and future leaders of the country on systemic racism is indoctrination. That’s actually responsible,” Psaki said.
Cotton introduced his legislation, called the “Ivory Tower Tax Act of 2021,” this week.
“Our wealthiest colleges and universities have amassed billions of dollars, virtually tax-free, all while indoctrinating our youth with un-American ideas.
“This bill will impose a tax on university mega-endowments and support vocational and apprenticeship training programs in order to create high paying, working-class jobs,” Cotton said in a statement.
The bill says the funds should be used to support apprenticeship programs registered under the National Apprenticeship Act.
In 2020, Cotton introduced the “Saving American History Act of 2020’’ that would prohibit federal funds from being used by schools to teach the 1619 Project.
In it, Cotton claims that an “activist movement” is spreading the idea that America was not based on the Declaration of Independence, but on slavery.
“This distortion of American history is being taught to children in public school classrooms via the New York Times’ ‘1619 Project,” which claims that “nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional” grew out of slavery.
The bill goes on to call the project a “racially divisive” revision of US history that “threatens the integrity of the Union by denying the principles on which it was founded.”
The bill is in committee.