Az Senate candidate Blake Masters says Critical Race Theory is 'anti-white racism'
Tucson resident made comments weeks before launching U.S. Senate campaign
Blake Masters, the U.S. Senate candidate and right-hand man of billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, recently took to the stage at a conservative rally in Arizona and complained about what he described as “anti-white racism” in America’s schools.
His comments came amid a rant about Critical Race Theory, a bogeyman that conservatives are increasingly using as a wedge issue in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections.
“All it does is teach kids to identify in racial terms. Right? You are good or bad, depending on what you look like,” Masters told the audience. “At this point it is straight up anti-white racism. I don’t think we’re allowed to say that. But let’s call it what it is. It is toxic, and it does not belong in our schools.”
Masters delivered his comments to a mostly white audience on May 25 during an event in Phoenix called “America’s Comeback Tour.” The event was hosted by far-right British politician Nigel Farage and sponsored by the conservative group FreedomWorks.
Last month, Masters announced he’s running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Arizona, hoping to unseat Democrat Mark Kelly in 2022. His effort is being backed financially by Thiel, who gave $10 million to a super PAC set up to support Masters.
The term Critical Race Theory was unknown to most people outside of graduate schools a year ago, but it has swept through conservative politics in recent months thanks to a coordinated (and apparently funded) effort, which some on the right have admitted is designed to put more Republicans in office in 2022.
Many on the right claim Critical Race Theory is a sweeping attempt to get white people to hate themselves and that it has infiltrated schools, corporations and even the military. Amid the hysteria, multiple GOP-controlled states have already banned the theory from being taught in public schools. In many cases, it has become shorthand for any discussion of racism in the U.S., including the history of slavery and segregation.
In reality, the theory is still a somewhat obscure attempt to explain why racial disparities exist in the U.S. despite there being laws on the books that ban racial discrimination.
Masters played on conservative fears during the Phoenix event. The Stanford Law School graduate painted a dark picture of education in America.
“Unfortunately it all goes back to the schools,” he said. “Too much of schooling in America has become a machine to uproot common sense and to replace it with something much more sinister. You’ve heard of Critical Race Theory, I assume, at this point, right? Conservatives are up in arms about it. And rightfully so. It sounds academic. It sounds fancy. It’s not.”
The Informant asked Masters for further explanation of his comments about “anti-white racism.” He did not respond.
Complaints of “anti-white” or “reverse” racism were once relegated to racist rallies and online message boards, but the comments from Masters show that such language is increasingly becoming mainstream. It’s also a reminder that Thiel maintains a cadre of white nationalists and anti-immigrant activists in his own orbit.
BuzzFeed News published an investigation last year looking at Thiel’s ties to far-right extremists. Among other things, the article showed he has dined with a white nationalist who regularly writes for the racist website VDARE and met with others involved in the white nationalist movement.
Masters is the chief operating officer for Thiel Capital and president of the Thiel Foundation.
While his campaign is still relatively new, the policy positions outlined on Masters’ website show he’s aligned with the far-right. One of the issues he has put front and center of his campaign is a promise to reduce not just illegal immigration but legal immigration as well.
That position has already won Masters favor with VDARE, which recently published a blog post headlined: “Ariz. GOP Senate Candidate Blake Masters Appears To Be Running As An Immigration Patriot.”
The anonymous writer of the blog post was fond of Masters’ position on immigration, but the writer also mentioned what they saw as another plus for the U.S. Senate candidate: his comments about “anti-white racism.”
The writer noted how unusual it is to hear a Republican speak out in such terms.
“As for CRT, pretty much every Republican denounces the racial toxin, but very few call it anti-white,” the blog post said. “Masters is different.”
Watch the comments from Masters below. The buffering appeared in the original video, which was livestreamed.
This report was first published by The Informant.