‘The Daily Show’ Investigates Whether Conservatives Even Know What ‘Critical Race Theory’ Actually Is

“Critical Race Theory,” or CRT, is a pretty major buzzword these days. But do the people whipping the term out even know what the hell they’re talking about? The Daily Show’s Roy Wood Jr. isn’t so sure. So this week, he attempted to get to the bottom of the matter in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries: MAGA Edition—trench coat and all.

Though many GOP-led states have embraced a new bill that would ban the teaching of critical race theory in classrooms, it’s not something that really comes up at all. Like, ever. (There’s even a study to prove it.) Still, anything with “race” in the word is understandably scary to conservatives… even if they haven’t got a clue what it is. Which has Wood wondering: “Has anyone even Wikipedia’d this thing?”

After sharing a barrage of clips featuring conservatives describing CRT as everything from “an ideology that threatens to overturn the advances of civilization over the last 500 years” to “a device designed to capture white guilt” (didn’t the Ghostbusters have one of those?), Wood attempted to set the record straight… but really couldn’t. At least not based on the senseless, and usually contradictory, ideas that a variety of conservatives are putting out there into the world. Including one truly bizarre OAN interview (is there any other kind) in which it somehow came to be described as something that reinforces “the Oedipal notion that all kids have [of] wanting to kill their father and marry their mother.” (“Next week on Unsolved Mysteries,” promised Wood: “Is that dude trying to smash his momma?”)

Emphasizing the “unsolved” in Unsolved Mysteries, Wood admitted that “we’re not getting any closer to solving this mystery. Basically, the only thing we know about critical race theory is that it has something to do with race, or does it?… Is it a theory? Is it critical? Is it real at all? Is it possible critical race theory is a mass hallucination we’re all having? The result of 15 months of being locked in our apartments and spraying Windex on all of our groceries? Nobody knows.”

You can watch the full clip above.