*By Jeannie Cook, CLW Contributing Writer
“Critical Race Theory views the world—all relationships, systems, personal interactions, policies, etc—through the lens of racial hegemony. It ascribes guilt and innocence, responsibility and victimhood, oppressor vs oppressed, to groups based on their race.”
One of my favorite conservative voices out there is Allie Beth Stucky. She has a podcast called Relatable where she takes current political issues and scrutinizes them through a Biblical lens. She tweeted the above description of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in response to someone’s question about what CRT really is.
This ideology has been working its way into the mainstream since the early 70s. There is one thing you can say about Progressives: they are patient. Like all their radical ideas, this one stewed for decades on the fringes of American mainstream society. Once it took firm hold in the universities at the turn of the current century, it spread like wildfire and became the not-so-subtle sledgehammer of power over the faculty and staff of nearly every campus across the country.
I was working at a community college in 2012 when a consulting company was brought to our campus to implement a program of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. They asked personnel at all levels to participate in questionnaires, interviews, panels, workshops, and small groups to discuss such ideas as micro-aggressions, equity vs equality, and white fragility. Most ominous was the “Circle of Oppression” graphic that explained those nearer the center of the circle were more privileged than those in the outer circles. In the inner circle were such word as: heterosexual, citizen, educated, and (of course) male. In my observation, few were more eager to bring these ideas onto campus than white liberals. The campus where I worked at that time is located in the middle of a more affluent, white collar neighborhood. Nearly everyone in the college’s executive offices was white.
The language of CRT was added to the college’s framing documents, such as the Mission and Vision statement and strategic plans. In one meeting, I recall questioning the power of these ideas and asked out loud if someone who did not agree with the premises of CRT would be allowed to work there. It took many sentences and a lot of vague phrases to make it clear that such people would not be welcomed to work there, or even attend there as a student. That was quite clear when flyers were discovered on walls and corkboards throughout the campus that said simply, “IT’S OK TO BE WHITE.” I can tell you that that, while the administration played it cool in front of the students, there was an uproar in the offices. It was almost as if there had been a bomb threat. The students responsible for the “threat” were sought out and brought before the administration. I don’t recall now if they were allowed to continue their studies.
So, what is CRT? Allie Beth gave an excellent, brief description, but there is more; so much more that people spend years getting a degree in it, and that degree is nearly always tied to law degrees. CRT is not merely an academic theory. It influences our laws. This should not be surprising when you learn that the man considered the father figure of the ideology was a law professor at New York University, Derrick Bell. Former President, Barack Obama was once criticized for hugging the “radical” Derrick Bell.
Derrick Bell and a small group of legal scholars coined the phrase “critical race theory” in the early 1970s. The phrase is actually an off-shoot of the phrase “critical legal theory.” Critical Legal Theory was a form of study that challenged the validity of bases of legal thought and application in the U.S., such as rationality, objective truth, and judicial neutrality. All forms of “critical” studies actually have their origins in Marxist theoretical frameworks. So, yes, you should be wary any time you hear of any kind of “critical” studies.
The most troubling aspect of CRT is its challenge to the very foundations of western thought and the accelerated efforts of activists to apply CRT into every facet of our lives, and their demands that we do so in a hurry. What do I mean by challenging foundations of western thought? Consider this quote from Richard Delgado, one of the founders of CRT and author of an often-used textbook in law schools today, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction
The critical race theory (CRT) movement is a collection of activists and scholars interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. The movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies discourses take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, context, group- and self-interest, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.
Please note that last sentence, those things which CRT question are the very foundations of the freedoms guaranteed to us in the Constitution. They are the basis upon which our Founders drew to write the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. So, if when you hear the ideas of CRT and they feel foreign or threatening to our way of life, you are correct.
So, what are we to do? Remember that progressives have been incredibly patient to get to this point in our society. Undermining the principles of the American Republic has been an ongoing effort for more than a century. Sadly, they’ve been successful at driving out the teachings of Western thought from our public education system. This is why so many of our younger generations don’t understand why we are free and the dangers that we will face if we lose our freedoms.
My first suggestion would be to those who have school-aged children: get them out of public schools. Aside from CRT, there are other, even more evil teachings being forced upon their young minds. I know that finding an alternative to public schooling will not be an easy task for the majority of parents, but it is incredibly important to do this.
The second thing we must all do is learn those things that proponents of CRT question and oppose. I’ll list a few possible topics here. Please keep in mind that the descriptions are extremely simplistic and leave out much that needs further study to give yourself an understanding. The things listed here are not all that we should focus on, but they can start us on our journey to self-education.
- Classical Liberalism
The idea that there should be restraints in the exercise of power so that people can enjoy their basic civil rights in a constitutional state with a representative assembly
An interest in maintaining existing, traditional order and a respect for institutions.
The principle that actions and opinions should be based on reason rather than emotion or religion.
- Western Philosophy
It’s impossible to give any brief description to this topic since there are many philosophers and schools of philosophical thought. Just know that many aspects of Western Philosophy are looked at with disdain by CRT proponents.
Capitalism is the economic system our world primarily uses. Basically, capitalism is a form of economics where the means of production are privately owned. It is a free- market system that allows for development, innovation, and the accumulation of wealth.
Critical Race Theory activists mean to up-end our current system of government by discrediting these ideas and implementing another idea that has already proven disastrous to millions of people around the globe: Marxism.
I know that the ideas in this writing can seem overwhelming. Few of us know what these terms mean, but that needs to change and it needs to change quickly. We must educate ourselves and our children. We will not be able to combat the tactics used by the radical left without knowledge. Our children’s freedom is at stake.