GOP senator cites racist, anti-LGBTQ Fox News contributor in floor speech

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Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) finds a kindred spirit in Mark Steyn.

In a speech given on the floor of the Senate on Monday night, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) extensively quoted from a bigoted column written by conservative pundit Mark Steyn.

Tuberville made his statement in the course of attacking "critical race theory," an approach to the academic study of systemic racism that many Republicans have recently called a divisive anti-American concept that they falsely claim is being taught in primary and secondary schools.

Claiming that "critical race theory is pushed on school districts across the country," Tuberville said, "Simply put, critical race theory reinforces divisions on strict racial lines. It doesn't teach kids moral values, like treating everyone with respect regardless of race. It's just the opposite. Critical race theory teaches kids to hate one another."

Tuberville claimed that the critical race theory that is supposedly being taught is part of a Democratic plan to change the way Americans view their country, and that the focus should be instead on "improving education."

"As the columnist Mark Steyn wrote, 'Education is the biggest structural defect in our society,'" said Tuberville. "'We have an almost entirely corrupt and abusive education establishment.'"

The column quoted by Tuberville was adapted from an April 26 speech Steyn delivered at the conservative Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Franklin, Tennessee, and published in the April-May 2021 edition of Hillsdale's Imprimis magazine.

In the column, titled "Our Increasingly Unrecognizable Civilization," Steyn uses bigoted remarks about LGBTQ and Asian people and slams those fighting racism in support of the thesis that "at this moment of crisis for Western Civilization, or for what we used to call Christendom, the leading country of the free world is pulling the wrong way."

Steyn attacks progress in equality for transgender people, referring to "transgender fanaticism—which involves, after all, the abolition of biological sex and, I'm sorry to have to say it, the physical mutilation of children." He says that trans inclusion in girls' school sports means "competing against a woman who is 6'2" with thighs like tugboats, a great touch of five o'clock shadow on her face, and the most muscular bosom you've ever seen."

He also charges that inclusive curriculums in the United States are resulting in schoolchildren being told, "We're going to have to cancel geography or Latin, because we need to put gay studies in there."

Steyn charges that China "loosed the pandemic on the world": "The COVID pandemic has been hugely profitable for China. ... When COVID struck, we found out fast that the Chinese not only make our viruses, they also make the personal protective equipment that protects us against the viruses—and all of our medicines to boot! Those wily Chinese get you both coming and going."

The frequent contributor to Fox News calls the conversation about racism in America after the murder of George Floyd "totally dishonest" and news coverage of issues like the removal of Confederate statues "a waste of time."

Tuberville seems to have found a kindred spirit in Steyn.

In March, as the Senate debated the American Rescue Plan, Tuberville introduced an amendment to the bill that would have blocked federal funding from schools that allowed transgender girls to participate in girls' sports. The amendment failed.

Campaigning for the Senate in Alabama in 2020, Tuberville said, "I am against this transgender, guys turning into women, and winning all these state championships all over the country."

He complained on Facebook in 2019, "Hard to believe that right in my own backyard the city of Opelika allows drag queens in the city Christmas Parade which was held this weekend. What is next?"

And after the fast food chain Chick-fil-A claimed it would stop donating money to anti-LGBTQ organizations, Tuberville posted, "Isn't it horrible when liberal activists ruin something good? ... What a shame it is that our Christianity is under attack."

Tuberville complained during the 2019 campaign about immigrants, charging "Right now, they're just coming over tens of thousands a day. They're bringing drugs; they're bringing diseases. They're doing everything possible to come here, and you can't blame them, but we got to get our Congress together and help President Trump do things necessary to get a wall up or some kind of fencing."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.