Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), who is now an establishment-backed U.S. Senate candidate, appointed an education official during his governorship who has since gone on to support Critical Race Theory (CRT) in education.
McCrory, who was governor of North Carolina for one term between 2013 and 2017, made Eric Davis chairman of the North Carolina State Board of Education in 2014. Davis is reportedly registered as an unaffiliated voter, according to the Carolina Journal. He was senior vice president with Wells Fargo Corporate Real Estate Group, a West Point graduate, and was a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, as well as a former chairman. Current Gov. Roy Cooper (D) — who McCrory lost to in the 2016 election — reappointed Davis to the position in 2021.
As Breitbart News reported, the North Carolina State School Board approved a contract with the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel-Hill’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center in early January of 2022, in which $7 million in funding from the IDEA Preschool Handicapped Grant was awarded to North Carolina by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Education Department. The state’s largest education groups sounded the alarm on the contract soon after, saying the contract promotes a “state-wide preschool program that pushes critical race theory in special education classrooms.”
In audio of the State School Board meeting which Breitbart News obtained, Davis voted “yes” in favor of the program, and the contract passed 7-4.
North Carolina’s largest education groups — Education First Alliance, No Left Turn in Education, and NC Citizens for Constitutional Rights — found that the program’s “Identity” module tells teachers that “whiteness affects everything outside of the classroom” and that the goal of pre-K is to “deconstruct” whiteness for all students.
“Deconstructing whiteness, they explain, is challenging whiteness and building skills to be accountable to people of color,” the groups reported.
According to the education groups, the program encourages three-to-five-year-olds to “question scientific, social and historical facts,” as well as to “question issues of power and control in their lives.”
One slide from the program obtained by the Education First Alliance and presented in their press release states the program seeks to build “racial identity” in young children by urging teachers to:
- Encourage the children to question social, scientific, and historical facts. We want children to question whether information is true.
- Talk with children about their identities.
- Present materials that show children of color in positions of power or authority as main characters.
- Learn and teach about people of color all year; ensure that children of color see themselves in the curriculum.
- Provide challenging instruction that encourages children to question what they see around them including issues of power and control.
Besides the vote this year to approve the program for disabled preschoolers, Davis also voted with Democrats 7-5 to approve new social studies standards for the state in February of 2021, the Carolina Journal reported. Critics of the standards say they are built upon the tenets of CRT — the modules for most grade levels contain a heavy emphasis on “gender” and race.
“At the time, [Lt. Gov. Mark] Robinson called the standards ‘politically charged’ and ‘divisive’ for teaching American history through the lens of racism and discrimination,” the Journal stated.
In June 2020 following the death of George Floyd, The Pulse reported that Davis believed the nation had “suffered under the disease of systemic racism for far too long.”
“Like COVID-19, which is seemingly invisible, which can be carried, transmitted and received unknowingly, inequity and racism are in the air we breathe,” Davis said. “And like COVID-19, we must first mitigate its spread and ultimately vaccinate ourselves and remove it from our society.”
“It will take intentional, determined, relentless commitment and work from all of us, especially those of us who are white, in positions of power and leadership, to end the social pandemic,” he added.
Breitbart News reached out to McCrory’s U.S. Senate campaign office asking for McCrory’s position on Critical Race Theory, parental rights in education, and education overall, as well as whether he stands by his decision to appoint Davis during his governorship and whether he agrees with Davis’s more recent decisions. His campaign did not respond by the time of publication.
McCrory is backed by outgoing Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), one of the seven Senate Republicans who voted in favor of convicting Trump of impeachment charges in 2021. McCrory served as Charlotte mayor for 14 years, governor for one term, and was host to a popular Charlotte-based radio show before terminating it last year to run for office.
Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on Twitter.