Fact and Fiction: PragerU Conservative Edition

Fact: they use flashy graphics to conceal something more sinister…

By Meredith McLaughlin

Features & List Co-Editor

Have any of you guys ever seen any of those PragerU videos? I was on Instagram recently and one of them came up as an advertisement. The video was titled “The ‘Anti-Hate Group That’s a Hate Group,” and it was talking about how the real extremists in America was the Southern Poverty Law Center. Naturally I was intrigued. Going to the PragerU Instagram page reveals that claiming a pro-civil rights nonprofit is more discriminatory against the right than ACT for America is against Muslims. This far from their most insane view. In a matter of like two days I had dived deep into the rabbit hole, uncovering some of the most infuriating viewpoints that PragerU has put out onto the Internet. They try to act like their videos are reasonable, but that illusion is shattered pretty quickly once they start comparing the West’s slavery with slavery committed by the Native Americans. PragerU videos are flashy, with nice graphics that try to distract the viewer from realizing the speaker is justifying colonialism. The channel is funded by right wing radio talk show host Dennis Prager, whose goal is to protect the “Judeo-Christian values that made America great,” from the attacks of the “godless Left.” Now you might want to watch some of their content out of curiosity or irony, but once you do that YouTube will start recommending “Feminazi DESTROYED by Milo Yiannopoulous!” videos, so for your sake I’ve watched a few so you can experience it second-hand.

The SPLC video actually serves as a decent template for most PragerU videos: it features an author or scholar using flowery language to try and cover up the legitimate criticisms people have of groups and people they’re trying to defend while saying that Judeo-Christian values/ limited government/ “freedom” etc. is under attack. This video in particular is trying to push the narrative that the SPLC discriminates against average right-wing views, but in reality it shows how far PragerU will go to defend racists and homophobes.

One of the groups that PragerU believes the SPLC has wrongly defamed is the Alliance Defending Freedom Group. PragerU claims it’s a “legal advocacy group” that fights for “religious freedom,” but did you know they also advocate for the recriminalization of homosexuality and have defended the use of state-sterilization of trans people abroad? It’s almost like rampant homophobia and “religious freedom” are the same thing for PragerU. And considering their views of Islam outlined in “Where are the Moderate Muslims?” (nowhere, according to PragerU), I don’t think they apply “religious freedom” equally to all religions. Another person who PragerU believes the SPLC has smeared is Charles Murray, who PU describes as “one of the most influential social scientists in the US.” Murray has gone on record saying that “There is some evidence that blacks and Latinos are experiencing even more severe dysgenic (genetic deterioration of a population) pressures than whites, which could lead to further divergence between whites and other groups in future generations,” and that women are genetically dumber than men, claiming “no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world’s great philosophical traditions.” Clearly, a paragon of social thought. Thanks, PragerU! As baffling as this video is, though, it doesn’t hold a candle to the ominously titled “If You Live in Freedom, Thank the British Empire.”

Did you know colonialism was a good thing? Living formaldehyde mummy H.W Crocker III wants you to think so. According to him, the British Empire is the source of the world’s values of freedom, independent judiciary, and limited government. That’s right folks, the British EMPIRE is the founder of “limited government.” But it gets so much worse. For five minutes this walking skin husk just spews classic colonialism justification rhetoric that you thought was considered old fashioned like 15 years ago, like how the British Empire’s goal was a moral one and that British people thought of themselves as liberators. Of course the British wanted to free the people they colonized from their oppression by… invading them and exploiting their labor and resources for profit? H.W. Dipshit actually won’t admit to the atrocities of the British Empire because it won’t fit into his narrative that the Empire “kept the peace” and supported “Judeo-Christian morals” worldwide. That’s why he’s able to assert that Gandhi once said he liked British rule, but “accidentally” forgets to mention that after the Amritsar Massacre (in which the British army fired upon unarmed Indian protesters, killing several hundred people), he completely changed his opinion of the empire and started resisting against them. The only time he mentions the Empire did anything wrong was in Ireland, but he’s quick to remind us that the British gave the “Celts” a word for republic, as if that justifies the exploitation Ireland experienced under British rule. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that PragerU is only mentions Ireland as the colonial situation in which the British Empire “merited criticism.” This video pushes PragerU from being a possibly reasonable voice for the right to literal colonial apologists. Their promotion of nebulous American “values” over actual facts hurts any ability they have to make an argument, and overall they should be avoided.

 

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