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'Deplatform White Parents': BuzzFeed looks at how the media framed 'debates' over trans issues and critical race theory

First off, the headline is clickbait. You’d think the piece was directly inspired by the drubbing Terry McAuliffe took in Virginia after he argued that parents shouldn’t have a say in shaping their kids’ schools’ curriculums. Glenn Youngkin embraced parents’ concerns about public education, and it became a major issue in the gubernatorial race.


BuzzFeed’s Alessa Dominguez doesn’t write about directly deplatforming white parents, such as taking away their right to speak at school board meetings; instead, her piece is more of an indictment of the mainstream media for amplifying the concerns of white parents. She thinks major newspapers and cable channels took the bait and ran stories on issues like trans women in girls’ sports and critical race theory as though there were an actual “debate” to be had.

Dominguez writes:

Framed largely by right-wing activists and think tanks as human interest issues about fairness in sports and classrooms, they circulated into national legacy media — including publications like USA Today, CBS, The Atlantic, and the New York Times — through first-person opinion pieces by mothers of cis athletes raising fears about trans inclusion or human interest reports featuring on-the-ground stories of white moms airing complaints about supposed radical ideas being introduced in schools.

Whatever the content of the reporting or articles, in platforming these issues through the “concerns” of cis and white people, mainstream media helped distort what constitutes legitimate perspectives for coverage, and in doing so sidelined the actual difficulties experienced by marginalized communities, including Black and trans youth.

Ultimately, this kind of coverage raises deeper questions about news organizations and who decides the perspective of “culture war” journalism.


We remember pieces from CBS News, the New York Times, and The Atlantic slamming parents over their concerns over critical race theory. MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Nicolle Wallace certainly had nothing good to say about those parents.


Not surprisingly, it’s an argument in bad faith; the writer thinks white parents equate critical race theory with “attempts to eradicate histories of race in the U.S.” And as someone suggested above, where’s the proof that “white parental anxieties” are strictly held by one race? And there’s this conflation of “the marginalized”: Are we supposed to believe black parents’ interests directly line up with the trans community?



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