There is a peculiar theory that has its basis in Marxism and that hails from early-twentieth-century Germany. The theory first manifested itself in the United States in the 1970s. Critical Race Theory brings with it the idea that all whites are racists, whether they are aware of this or not. The labeling of a group based on race is certainly an erroneous idea the world had previously endured. Certainly people—and not just whites—take offense to such an idea. But the theory implicates whites, accordingly, in at least three ways.
First, whites are considered racists because of the sins of America’s past. White families whose relatives emigrated from Europe in the 1900s, or even more recently, are deemed just as racist as those whose families descended from the original British citizens who occupied The Thirteen Colonies.
Whites are racists by the nature of their skin color at birth. This is true whether a white was born in America or anywhere else. To paraphrase Van Jones, CNN commentator, whites are born with a racism virus in their brains, a virus which can be switched on and off and manifested at any time. This statement seems to imply racism has a DNA component to it. To conclude that babies are fledgling racists sounds like what cult members are told about people with whom they find disagreement. CRT does nothing to diminish these ideas, and the racial component to the critical theory implicitly marginalizes by explicit labels.
Second, whites are deemed racists for denying they are racists. Any effort that demonstrates defensiveness or that shuns the label is met with retorts. These retorts elicit claims that whites are comfortable in their roles as “supremacists” and “oppressors.” When whites deny they are racist, it means their power is being challenged and that they are psychologically defending themselves in order to maintain their “fragile” whiteness over those whom they oppress.
Third, when whites agree they are racists, they are then shamed and called out for their implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) bias. They can be doxed, they can lose their job, and their families and property can be literally destroyed by mobs. Such actions occur across America. Confessions of racism are met with statements of “See, we told you so,” and “You must check your privilege and deconstruct your whiteness.”
There seems to be no way for white people to avoid being labeled racist. The reason, they are told, is because they cannot help but express their racism in a society that is corrupt from its beginning. The critical race theorist is not focused on acts of racism, per se. However, the reality is that these actions are viewed as evidence of the existence of something systemic, which critical race theorists maintain affects all institutions in American society. But is this sensible?
CRT Is Illogical and Immoral
The logic of the critical race theorist breaks down at several points. One of these points becomes obvious when we substitute politics for race. If CRT is logical, it should not break down with application to other examples. Observe the following:
Based on the assumption that the history of an institution is systemically racist, critical race theorists are quick to call for the destruction of such an institution. Would they do the same for political institutions?
Consider that the Democratic party is the political party that favored the enslavement of blacks, that developed Jim Crow laws, and that voted against the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the 1960s. It supported segregationists and birthed the KKK—and, to this day, most of America’s impoverished and high-crime areas are inner cities run by Democratic political machines. Based on the criteria for dismantling and deconstructing society, would it not be sensible for critical political theorists and advocates to call for the destruction of such an institution—horrible from its inception?
However, as with their participation in American capitalism and adoption of white culture at many junctures, most black Americans seem content as a monolith and continue to vote for an institutionally and systemically racist political group. If Critical Political Theory is true, then it must be applied to the Democratic Party based on the same criteria used against conservative, white Republicans. If it is not, then any Democrat who claims not to be racist is “politically fragile,” defensive, a political supremacist, and immoral—especially if he is a white Democrat. Sound ridiculous?
A second point to consider is the theoretical notion that is applied to law enforcement in America. Again, Americans are told that institutions are corrupt, and this includes the system of policing and law enforcement. Yet, what proponents of CRT insist upon, including Black Lives Matter supporters, is that sporadic incidents involving black men and police are evidence of institutional racism. But wait! You can’t have it both ways. On the one hand, CRT believers (CRTs) are not supposed to use individual incidents to determine racism. On the other hand, CRTs use these incidents to identify racism in an institution, in this case law enforcement. This is not logical and it is not moral.
If such logic was applied to the inner cities where crime amongst black communities continues at all-time highs, then the only conclusion is that blacks as a group are systemically violent. Imagine applying this same inconsistent logic to gender, religion, or nationality. The bottom line is that it is morally wrong for one group to assign inescapable blame to another. It is also just as illogical—and supremacist—to disallow any argument which points out the fallacies of the marginalized assignments.
One additional example must be brought into the conversation about CRT. The call for ending law enforcement in cities while hiring private law enforcement is a contradictory message. If an institution is racist, are not those who work within it also racist? Such a contradiction is similar to BLM leaders claiming that all whites are racists and then buying homes in exclusive white neighborhoods. If law enforcement is systemically corrupt, how is the corruption negated because private law enforcement is hired by black elites?
What About Asians?
Interestingly, due to the achievements of so many Asian groups in America, blacks no longer consider most Asians as oppressed people of color, particularly East Asians. No one is certain whose idea it was to strip Asians of their oppressed minority status. But one may deduce that the comparison of achievements between Asians and other demographics is a difficult pill to swallow. Asians are now generally placed in the same “privileged” class as whites because they generally achieve highly in academic and economic pursuits. Could this be one reason why Asians are seeing so much hatred toward them, and why colleges and universities are restricting their admissions while favoring other students, particularly those of color?
Higher education institutions, as well as many secondary schools, are restructuring courses and curricula to fit lower-achieving student demographics, thus discriminating against higher-achieving students. This type of educational dumbing-down is directly related to CRT training and conversations about “equity” for all students. It is not logical to conclude that lowering standards challenges students. It is also insulting to students at all levels.
Irony and Hypocrisy
The ironic nature of Critical Race Theory is that it criticizes American culture, yet BIPOC (black, Indigenous, and people of color) have full access to all that is allegedly “white.” We should then ask the question: if America is racist, why are so many BIPOC participating in a racist system and succeeding? For example, why would a former leader of BLM suddenly have enough wealth to purchase millions of dollars of real estate, and do so in exclusively white enclaves? The real question is: why would she even want to live surrounded by wealthy racists?
For CRTs to bully whites into disowning their very culture, and yet participate in that same culture, is hypocrisy. Cries of systematic racism fall on deaf ears when “the oppressed” participate in the system they claim is systemically racist. Seeking to revolutionize supposed white supremacist capitalism, while personally and professionally benefitting from it, is a demonstration that materialism often wins over the theoretical.
CRTs castigating whites for desiring the best for their children, in terms of education and jobs, all while accessing the very system for themselves and their families, demonstrates that the system is not so racist after all.
Critical Race Theory has a lot for which to answer. First and foremost is the material wealth and power its spokespersons have amassed. This appears to be about money and power and a new form of Marxist ideology based on racial classification, rather than actually changing social class structures.
Correcting Past Errors By Present Errors?
Ibram X. Kendi argues that we should bully one race until it comes to understand what it is like to be bullied. He writes, “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” In Kendi, we see the clear motive of Critical Race Theory and anti-racism activism. This is a distortion of a biblical principle which now reads, “Do unto others as they have done unto you.”
CRT and its practices are dis-unifying and disrespectful of Martin Luther King’s hard-fought legacy. Character over color was the mantra. Today, melanin over merit is the practice. One has to be of the right skin color to advance, while all others are increasingly instructed not to apply.
CRT Is Not Best For Our Kids
CRT is a dangerous and expansive ideology that has long since left the Ivory Tower. It has infected the minds of millions of people in America and is highly divisive. CRT is predicated on falsehoods about people, while marginalizing these same people in the process.
America’s K-16 public learning institutions were always meant to be places of unity around American principles. Students today are told to see skin color first and to feel guilty if they are the wrong color. If it was wrong for America to separate by race in the past—and it was—then it is still wrong to separate today. Common sense dictates that any theory that encourages this type of discussion or practice must be discarded.
People can be enlightened by truth, love, academic challenge, and their better angels, or become woke to something lesser and racially divisive by an angel appearing as light. The difference is that the latter angel is bent on revenge for the past. Which of the two do we want for our children, our families, and the schools they attend?
Image: Sam Balye, Public Domain