Far-right talk radio host Michael Savage took conservatives’ latest moral panic to a bonkers new level during a Monday-night Newsmax appearance, warning that the teaching of so-called “critical race theory” in schools is akin to “exactly what was done to the Jews in Germany” and is the “road to the death camps” for white people.
Republicans and right-wing media have been mired in a months-long freakout over critical race theory, an obscure legal academic framework that conservatives now use as a catch-all term for any racial-equity training or anti-racist school curriculum. At the same time, NBC News recently reported that the battle over CRT that has invaded local school boards is largely an astroturfed effort funded by well-connected national political organizations and right-wing activists.
Prior to interviewing Savage on Monday night, Newsmax hosts Steve Cortes and Jenn Pellegrino griped that the left was trying to deny that critical race theory exists while claiming they “have the receipts to prove” that it is “permeating all of our culture and our schools.” They then turned to Savage, a provocateur long known for his inflammatory and offensive rhetoric, as their expert on the subject.
After taking issue with NBC News anchor Chuck Todd dismissing the right-wing outrage over CRT, saying he’d like to “reach through the screen and smack him in the face,” Savage then delivered an overheated diatribe about how the schools are literally abusing white kids.
“And now they're beating up white children in schoolrooms,” he fumed. “And I’m not going to mince words. You can cut me off if you have to. I know you probably agree with me. I can't take this anymore. And there’s only one solution to it—sue the goddamn schools if they do it to your child for child abuse, and you will win.”
He went on to assert that “children are being humiliated and hurt and damaged for life” by critical race theory, which he claimed was “nothing but racism towards white people.” And all-but-inevitably, Savage then invoked the Holocaust and Nazi Germany.
“The same kind of thing started in Germany. The Jews were no good. The Jews did this. The Jews did that,” Savage dramatically exclaimed. “The next thing you know they were being excluded from swimming pools. They didn't put them in concentration camps overnight.”
He continued: “I studied this intimately. I am Jewish. I know how this starts. Attacks on white people is exactly what was done to the Jews in Germany in the 1930s. Don’t fall for this garbage. This is the road to the death camps. Stand up to these bastards and sue them!”
Cortes, a former senior adviser to ex-President Donald Trump’s campaign, appeared to endorse Savage’s over-the-top rhetoric and Holocaust analogy while adding his own commentary.
“I worry sometimes that if we continue to always use the phrase critical race theory that we might allow the left to hide, in effect,” the conservative host said. “What I mean is they’ll say, ‘Oh no, we’re not teaching CRT.’ But they are, in fact, teaching some other version of anti-white racism.”
Cortes concluded: “So I’d really—I’d prefer to call it anti-white racism as a term because, let’s face it, no matter what flavor this takes or what shape this takes the goal, always, is to shame white people.”