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Who is Xi Van Fleet? Virginia mom who fled China Cultural Revolution slams critical race theory

Xi Van Fleet likened CRT to China's Cultural Revolution which saw Mao Zedong instigate a genocidal purge with anywhere between 500,000 and 20 million casualties
UPDATED JUN 11, 2021
Xi Van Fleet, who witnessed Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution first hand, addressed the Loudoun County school board on June 8 (Loudon County Public Schools)
Xi Van Fleet, who witnessed Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution first hand, addressed the Loudoun County school board on June 8 (Loudon County Public Schools)

A Virginia mom who immigrated to the US after enduring Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution slammed a Virginia school board over its support of the controversial critical race theory during a public meeting on Tuesday, June 8.

"I’ve been very alarmed by what’s going on in our schools," Xi Van Fleet told members of the Loudoun County School Board. "You are now teaching, training our children to be social justice warriors and to loathe our country and our history."

Fleet likened CRT to China's Cultural Revolution, which saw Mao Zedong lead a genocide of anywhere between 500,000 and 20 million deaths from 1966 to 1976, Fox News reported.


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Who is Xi Van Fleet?

Van Fleet is an immigrant mom whose son graduated from Loudon High School in 2015. Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday evening, June 9, she shared some of her experiences growing up in China's Sichuan province.

She recalled that she was just six years old at the start of the Cultural Revolution, which saw state-sponsored propaganda pitting students and teachers against one another. There would reportedly be several "big posters" in hallways and the cafeteria where students would be encouraged to write criticisms against anyone they deemed ideologically impure.

"One of the teachers was considered bourgeoisie because she liked to wear pretty clothes," Van Fleet said. "So the students attacked her and spit on her. She was covered with spit… and pretty soon it became violence."

She remembered how communist squads would raid their homes and destroy any relics of China's past "culture, history, governments, or religion." "Everything that was considered ‘old,’ feudalist, a vase, Buddhas, everything was taken out and smashed," she explained.

Van Fleet said there were thought crimes too. "We were asked to report if we hear anything about someone saying anything showing that there's a lack of complete loyalty to Mao," she said. "There were people reporting their parents, and their parents ended up in jail."

18th January 1967: Members of the Red Guards in China, their mouths masked against flu germs on the orders of Chairman Mao, address the passing crowds as part of the cultural revolution. (Photo by Ian Brodie/Express/Getty Images)

Van Fleet is grateful that she was able to make it out and move to the US at 26 years old, noting how she found freedoms she had never deemed possible. "I felt like it’s such a free country, meaning I have free access to all sorts of information – books on both sides of the issues," she told Fox News.

However, she said she felt some of those freedoms eroding in the current political and cultural climate in the United States "I can’t really just say what I mean, even though the other side can say whatever," she said. "To me, and to a lot of Chinese, it is heartbreaking that we escaped communism and now we experience communism here."

Van Fleet, in her speech to the school board, drew direct parallels between what she had witnessed in China and what she saw in the US today. "The Communist regime used the same critical theory to divide people," she said. "The only difference is they used class instead of race."

She noted how students and teachers would "turn against each other" and schools changed their names just "to be politically correct." She added, "We were taught to denounce our heritage, and Red Guards destroyed anything that is not communist…statues, books and anything else."

She continued, "We were also encouraged to report on each other, just like the Student Equity Ambassador program and the bias reporting system. This is indeed the American version of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The critical race theory has its roots in cultural Marxism. It should have no place in our school."


According to Fox News, the Loudon County school board has largely embraced CRT and other left-wing policies in recent months.

Recently, a group of Loudoun County parents and teachers were accused of "racketeering" and intimidating parents who objected to the radical proposals. Calling themselves the "Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County," the group reportedly compiled a list of outspoken conservative parents in order to "track, hack, and doxx" them.

Earlier this week, a judge ordered the school district to reinstate Byron "Tanner" Cross, an elementary school physical education teacher who was suspended for speaking his mind during a hearing on new transgender policies last month. Cross said he wouldn't "affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it's against my religion. It's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God."

He was speaking out against a district policy proposal that would necessitate teachers and other staff members to address "gender-expansive or transgender students" with their preferred name, pronouns, and gender, Fox News reported.