News Story

Dem Leaders And ‘Trusted’ Fact-Check Sites Biased On Inaccurate Critical Race Theory Claim

Under the leadership of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the department’s website is promoting three left-leaning fact-checking sites (Snopes, PolitiFact and as sources for trusted information.

On her personal Twitter account on Nov. 8, Benson wrote a post that gave three talking points for defending democracy:

“Talk to people who have been fed lies. Share facts & data. Listen & respond to their concerns. Point them to trusted sources of info.”

She added this: “Reject politicians and candidates who spread lies & deceive the public.”

Just three days before Benson posted that tweet, an op-ed written by Democratic State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden made inaccurate claims about House Bill 5097, a Republican bill that would restrict using racialized curriculums in Michigan public schools.

Bolden told the story of a past relative who was lynched in the 1920s, and said the bill would prohibit schools from teaching about such events.

“This bill would prevent these type of stories to be told in our schools,” Bolden told a House committee considering the bill, and then repeated that claim in a Nov. 5 op-ed published by Bridge Michigan.

The claim is not factual.

No bills have been introduced by Republicans that would prohibit events related to America’s troubled race history from being taught.

HB 5097 explicitly describes the ideological propositions asserted by critical race theory. Nothing in the bill prohibits teaching school children about lynchings or other tragic historical events related to race.

So it is notable that State Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a video of Bolden giving her speech, including the same inaccurate claim that the bill would bar such lessons from being taught in public schools.

“Incredibly powerful speech,” Nessel posted on Twitter. “I urge anyone who comes across this to stop and watch it. Those who are ignorant of our past are doomed to repeat it. Or might that actually be the point?”

The Michigan House Democratic Caucus also pushed out that narrative from its own Twitter page:

“Should history students learn about the ugly impacts of racism in America? We believe stories such as (Rep. Kyra Bolden’s), told in this important article, SHOULD be taught (age-appropriately) in schools to give students the whole truth about U.S. history.”

The liberal fact-checking website Snopes is filled with items about Facebook memes it has debunked.

PolitiFact also fact-checks Facebook memes.

Yet when a state representative makes an inaccurate claim related to the hot button issue of critical race theory, the fact-checking sites Benson cited as “trusted” are silent. None of the three fact-checking sites promoted by Michigan's secretary of state had challenged Bolden's claim as of Nov. 9.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.