Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large analyzes Sen. Johnson’s comments on “wokeness” and liberalism as the cause of mass shooting. Johnson’s timing is questioned.
The Point: Debate the influence of “wokeness” on our culture. Fine. Just don’t do it as a way to explain what happened in Uvalde.
Updated 6:30 PM ET, Fri May 27
(CNN) “Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson offered up a controversial theory to explain the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, this week that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“We stopped teaching values in so many of our schools,” said Johnson in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday. “Now we’re teaching wokeness, we’re indoctrinating our children with things like CRT, telling some children they’re not equal to others, and they’re the cause of other people’s problems.”
To his credit, anchor Neil Cavuto pushed back, noting that “these shootings, Senator, were going on long before CRT and wokeness, right?”
Johnson would not concede the point.
“I think CRT has been going on under the radar for quite some time as well,” he said of critical race theory. “Wokeness has been. Liberal indoctrination has been. This is a much larger issue than what a simple new gun law is gonna — it’s not gonna solve it. It’s not gonna solve it.”
Look. It’s absolutely worth discussing guns in a broader cultural context. But the idea that Johnso appears to be pushing that critical race theory and “wokeness” sit at the root of the problem badly misses the point.
Rather than acknowledge — as the facts bear out — that this country has a gun violence problem, Johnson is instead falling back on a Trumpian hobbyhorse: That political correctness is somehow to blame.”