Conservatives like feeling outraged, but they don’t often like to earn their outrage. For most, it’s enough to wait for the AP to mention Dr Seuss getting canceled, briefly become upset, then return to waiting for the next setback to kvetch about.

This passivity has created an excellent opportunity for one Christopher Rufo. In the past year, Rufo has carved out a career niche by adopting the novel strategy of actually finding all the poisonous propaganda embedded in America’s schools and government departments, and suggesting that, just maybe, these insanities should actually be tackled instead of being the subject of an instantly-forgotten Fox News segment.

Rufo’s latest find is from Arizona, where the Department of Education has crafted an ‘equity toolkit’. ‘Equity’, readers of The Spectator will have noted, has become quite the buzzword over the past year, emerging from academic obscurity into mainstream discourse following the George Floyd riots.

Cockburn has no doubt that most people assume ‘racial equity’ is just a highfalutin way of saying ‘racial equality’. In fact, the two are virtual opposites. A supporter of racial equality wants the races to be treated equally. A supporter of ‘equity’ prefers them separated into good and evil, favored and disfavored (and if possible, they’d like to take some of the equity from the bad races’ 401(k)s for themselves).

Rufo’s discovery in Arizona is a case in point, explaining how even as toddlers, American children are quickly being sorted into nice races (black, Hispanic) and nasty ones (whites):

The first signs of racism, it seems, come at three months, when human infants display the (racist) behavior of recognizing the appearance of their caregivers over those of completely unrelated other people. Things get worse from there, until ‘expressions of racial prejudice often peak at ages four and five’, roughly the same age interest in Sesame Street is most observed. No doubt, if the children were capable, they would be burning crosses instead.

Racial prejudice at three months! That’s a remarkable feat, given it is also a part of the progressive catechism that race isn’t real. How can race be a mere ‘social and political construct’, as Vox and so many others have said, if it’s noticed by humans too young to have object permanence? Does the Arizona Department of Education believe that a two-month-old learns to prefer his father’s face after seeing him microaggress the pizza delivery man?

Yet they blunder on. To prevent their babies from becoming racist, parents must start to utter anti-racist spells and incantations from birth. Cockburn wonders what, exactly, might be expected. Should white parents sport blackface every third time they care for their child, so it grows up to see blacks as equal caregivers? Should they make ‘Black Lives Matter’ their child’s first words? How about cutting off contact from all other white children so they cannot racistly prefer them as playmates at age two?

This is the sort of nonsense so ridiculous that only a university graduate could convince xirself that it is true. In 50 years, racism has gone from the visible oppression of Jim Crow, apartheid, and the poll tax to society’s dark matter, invisible yet somehow everywhere and turning helpless toddlers into baby Klansmen.

And yet so far Cockburn has ignored the most absurd part. That would be this: Arizona is a Republican-controlled state! They control its House, its Senate, and its governor’s mansion, and they have for more than a decade. Republicans appointed all seven members of the State Supreme Court.

No matter how demented politics gets, there is always a kernel of reason in a party promoting its agenda. But a party sitting passively while its enemies use the organs of state to spread the most bizarre propaganda imaginable? That is insanity of the most suicidal sort.