Pat Robertson Faces Backlash After Calling Critical Race Theory 'Monstrous Evil'

Televangelist Pat Robertson is facing a backlash on social media after he called Critical Race Theory (CRT) a "monstrous evil" during a Friday broadcast of his TV show.

Robertson, the 91-year-old host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's flagship program The 700 Club, told viewers on Friday that CRT aimed to give people of color "the whip handle" over white people, according to a report from Right Wing Watch.

Several users took to Twitter following Robertson's broadcast and strongly criticized or condemned his remarks, while some questioned Robertson's motives for attacking CRT.

Robertson offered his explanation of CRT, saying: "That the people of color have been oppressed by the white people, and that white people begin to be racist by the time they're 2 or 3 months old, and that therefore the people of color have to rise up and overtake their oppressors.

"And then, having gotten the whip handle - if I can use the term - then to instruct their white neighbors how to behave. Now, that's Critical Race Theory. "

"This is the way the communists take over; they try to destroy the children," Robertson went on. "It is a monstrous evil."

Terrance D. Carroll, the former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, expressed disappointment with Robertson's comments from a Christian perspective.

"That a person who claims Christ embraces this anti-CRT canard is deeply troubling. Pat Robertson must've forgotten the story of the good Samaritan is also about expanding the narrative to include those deliberately excluded," Carroll tweeted.

Pat Robertson says critical race theory is "a monstrous evil" that is urging people of color to "rise up and overtake their oppressors" so that once they've "gotten the whip handle," they'll then "instruct their white neighbors how to behave."

— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) June 25, 2021

Fr. Robert R. Balleceer, a Roman Catholic priest, pointed to Robertson's track record.

"To be fair, Pat Robertson also guaranteed that Trump would win the 2020 election and that the world would end by asteroid strike soon after," Balleceer wrote. "So by comparison, while this is wrong, at least it isn't also batshiz crazy."

Jason Johnson is a professor at the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University and an MSNBC contributor. He offered his analysis of Robertson's comments.

"At their core these kinds of monolgues [sic] are always telling. White Americans are horribly afraid that black people will somehow become the majority and treat them exactly how they have treated black people for centuries," Johnson said.

Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse pointed to Robertson's own family history to frame his criticism.

"Pat's father, Sen. A. Willis Robertson (D-VA), signed the Southern Manifesto, which urged southern legislatures to ignore Brown [v. Board of Education] and maintain segregated institutions," Kruse tweeted. "It's no shock Pat doesn't want us to think too hard about how officials used state power to entrench racism."

Film producer Tariq Nasheed, who describes himself as a "race baiter" who exposes racists, took issue with Robertson's claims about CRT.

"Like I keep telling people.. Critical Race Theory has NO real definition," Nasheed said. "And this is why suspected white supremacists, like Pat Robertson and others, simply project their own definitions to it arbitrarily."

Antiracism educator Tim Wise wrote: "Pat Robertson just admitted a) white folks are the oppressor and b) they're scared to lose that position. Thanks for the clarification..."

Newsweek has asked the Christian Broadcasting Network for comment.

Pat Robertson Arrives at Jerry Falwell's Funeral
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson arrives for the funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwell at Thomas Road Baptist Church May 22, 2007 in Lynchburg, Virginia. Robertson is facing backlash for comments on Friday about Critical Race Theory (CRT). Mario Tama/Getty Images