TBT: Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory

We observed Juneteenth, the new Independence Day for black Americans, here in the United States this week.  The “national” holiday is an extremely regional celebration that dates back to 1866 in Texas.

To state the obvious but controversial:  the only reason we have Juneteenth is because of a summer of racial violence two years ago.  Apparently, our entire political system and culture has to bend over backwards to accommodate a handful of disgruntled race-baiters.

But all of that traces back to Critical Race Theory (CRT), which I described last year as an odious blend of “identity politics, Foucaultean power dynamics, Cultural Marxism, and Nineties-style corporate diversity training.”

Race-baiting isn’t anything new in America, but now it’s taken on a quasi-systematic, pseudo-intellectual, cult-like quality that has major corporations and government entities at all levels cowed.

But appeasement clearly doesn’t work.  Indeed, I’d argue it undermines CRT’s alleged goal of racial reconciliation.

I said as much in 16 June 2021’s “Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory“:

In the waning years of the Obama Administration, a strident new form of race hustling emerged.  Combining elements of identity politics, Foucaultean power dynamics, Cultural Marxism, and Nineties-style corporate diversity training, Critical Race Theory (CRT) emerged as a powerful ideological bludgeon with which to batter anyone with the audacity to be white.

At its core, CRT proposes a simple thesis:  any person of color, in any material or spiritual condition, is automatically oppressed compared to white people, because white people benefit from inherent privilege due to their whiteness.  Alternatively, black and brown people face systemic racism—racism present in the very structure of the West’s various institutions—so even when not facing overt acts of racism, they are still suffering from racism nonetheless.  The source of white people’s “privilege” is that systemic racism benefits them at the expense of black people.

The problem is easy to spot:  any personal accountability is jettisoned in favor of group identities, so any personal setbacks for a darker-skinned individual are not the result of that individual’s agency, but rather the outcome of sinister, invisible forces at play within society’s institutions themselves.  Similarly, any success on the part of a lighter-skinned individual is due to the privilege that individual enjoys.

In such a worldview, there are literal black hats and white hats, with one group allegedly seeking to exploit the other.  Such a worldview inevitably breeds jealousy, envy, and hatred.  Black Americans who accept CRT come to hate white Americans prima facie; white Americans come to hate themselves for their inherent “sinfulness.”

It also breeds a dizzying, impossible set of shifting standards:  on the one hand, whites are instructed to “educate themselves” and to “do the work” to account for their inherent racism.  But doing so—say, by reading black American literature, or listening to black American music—is denounced as “cultural appropriation” (a ludicrous concept in and of itself; we should encourage cultural exchange, and the adaptation of cultural elements into artistic works).  The task is impossible, just as atonement for the original sin of “whiteness” is impossible.

Taken to its logical extreme, CRT would demand nothing less than the annihilation of whiteness—in other words, white people.  Indeed, some apostles of CRT have called for just that.

Healing and racial harmony—the ostensible goals of CRT—cannot be achieved within the framework of CRT.  Indeed, the introduction of this malicious Weltanshauung accounts for the swift deterioration of race relations in the United States.

Fortunately, there is some pushback, as the nation is slowly waking up to the insidious influence of this destructive ideology.  Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter (it shouldn’t matter, but he’s black) decried CRTcalling it a concept “that sees life as nothing but abuse of power, and teaches that cringing, hostile group identity against oppression is the essence of a self.”  He also praised Dana Stangel-Plowe, a teacher at Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey, who resigned her position over the brain-deadening impact of CRT in her classroom.  The Blaze.com features some key excerpts from her resignation letter, in which she spelled out the corrosive effect CRT had on her student:

In a lengthy letter, the former English teacher revealed her fears over the “hostile culture” that she said has overtaken the school.

“I reject the hostile culture of conformity and fear that has taken hold of our school,” a portion of her letter stated, and added that the school demands “students to see themselves not as individuals, but as representatives of a group, forcing them to adopt the status of privilege or victimhood.”

A portion of the letter also added, “[S]tudents arrive in my classroom accepting this theory as fact: People born with less melanin in their skin are oppressors, and people born with more melanin in their skin are oppressed. Men are oppressors, women are oppressed, and so on. This is the dominant and divisive ideology that is guiding our adolescent students.”

“One student did not want to develop her personal essay — about an experience she had in another country — for fear that it might mean that she was, without even realizing it, racist,” Stengel-Plowe added. “In her fear, she actually stopped herself from thinking. This is the very definition of self-censorship.”

Even more good news:  Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—who is really on top of things right now—urged his State’s Board of Education to ban CRT from schools across the Sunshine State.  The Florida Board of Education approved his rule.  The rule does not require public school history teachers to ignore the reality of racism and the legacy of slavery and segregation in American history, but it insists that the nation’s history be taught accurately, not as a lurid morality tale in which white people were out to get blacks the minute they arrived in Jamestown in 1619.

Put more bluntly, in March DeSantis said that “Teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other is not worth one red cent of taxpayer money.”

In addition to Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have also barred CRT from their curricula.  Anecdotally, I know of several parents who have shifted to homeschooling their children, or have opted for parochial or private school educations, so their children won’t endure the mind-numbing, hateful effects of CRT.

Let’s hope that more States will follow suit.  I can anticipate that some critics will encourage freedom of though, freedom of speech, etc., for educators.  But CRT actively strangles those very things.  At best, it should be taught as a theory to avoid, the same way we teach high school students about fascism and communism, not so they will emulate those ideologies, but so they better understand the concepts and tactics behind them.

End CRT, and let true freedom of thought and racial healing flourish.

11 thoughts on “TBT: Fighting Back Against Critical Race Theory

  1. Great piece, Tyler. I’ll comment further on it when I get back but I wanted to let you know I’ve shared it.

    Back in a bit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tyler—

    Great piece! Ton of work and time invested.

    I don’t know that CRT is not just a new bottle for long-standing collectivist wine — attacks on classical liberalism, freedom, and unregulated capitalism. As such, I don’t think it will ever go away. CRT is suffering now, but it will reformulate into something new. Too many people have a stake in collectivism.

    Despite it having nine lives, or 99,000, we need people who can articulate the benefits of free markets, free speech, and the unbiased presentation of true American history. People who can dispassionately “deconstruct” the worldview undergirding CRT and collectivism.

    — SSW

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, SSW! I don’t know that I put tons of time in it, but I have certainly encountered plenty of CRT foolishness.

      I think you’re right—it’s a never ending battle. Outright Communism was never going to work in the United States, but tying it to race was a genius move. We’re obsessed with race in the States—annoyingly so. It worms its way into every discussion. I read a piece recently about a law in Florida that will make it illegal to smoke on the beach (cigarette butts are a major source of pollution on the beaches). A Democratic State representative was opposed to the measure on the ground that it would disproportionately affect poor block people. I guess strewing cigarette butts on public beaches is a matter of racial justice. 😂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. In the words of Kyle Schwartz, I’m baaaack! (You’ve got to find that on Youtube, it’s hilarious!) 🙂

    Yes, CRT is a scourge brought forth by race hustlers for the purpose of gathering publicity whilst dividing society. Put plainly, CRT states that you are already a racist – that is, if you’re white. A social media non entity over here (I think it was Munroe Bergdoff) once claimed that even homeless people are privileged if they have white skin; CRT is full of the sorts of people who wouldn’t be able to rub two brain cells together to pull out a thought. What a ridiculous notion but it’s just what I’ve come to expect from people who use skin colour/gender/etc to gain followers.

    In America, there is a fightback but here, not so much. You have people in power who are willing to stand up to it. Here, all our parliamentarians stand with it, too afraid to say anything against one of these very vocal minorities.

    Funnily enough, CRT isn’t too dissimilar to LGBTQwhatever propagation. Tina received an Avon catalogue the other day, its pages adorned in the colours of the rainbow as they celebrate Pride Month. It had its usual ethnically diverse models, one with more facial hair than I’ve ever had, and the message ‘educate yourself.’ This wasn’t a message. Just like with CRT, it was a command, essentially saying that you’re already an ist and if you don’t repeat the message and join the campaign, you’re a bigot.

    Some people will be beaten down by that and do it for a quiet life but they shouldn’t. If ever there was a time to stand up against this nonsense, it is now and I applaud Ron De Santis and others in the public eye who are unafraid to call it all out for what it really is – divisive, pointless rubbish that needs to be binned.

    By the way, when I saw the picture heading this article, for a split second I thought it was going to be about chess. That’d have been great but then again, it’s something I’m happy to play, not read about! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I should’ve known we were in trouble when a decade ago I saw Glenn Beck explaining on Fox with a blackboard why capitalism works. Now there was nothing wrong with anything he said. All his analysis was correct. But is former wacky morning DJ guy the right vessel for this discussion? I’m not sure he is.

    We need a new team of charismatic populizer-intellect-free-marketists with real chops… people like Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley or my favorite Ayn Rand (though I think 1000 page novels with capitalist protagonists won’t get much traction in twitter world.) Real libertarian with academic credentials — thinkers, writers, and commentators who with a smile can make economics as simple as it can be without making it simpler than it is.

    Anyway, sorry to occupy your thread. I don’t write about politics. But I appreciate your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feel free to occupy my thread whenever you like, Steven! The more contributions, the merrier.

      I mostly agree with your assessment. However, I think the most important front of this culture war is there in the name—culture. We definitely need academics and public intellectuals like Friedman, et. al., articulating big ideas. But the way to disseminate those ideas is through culture—poetry, fiction, television, music, engaging non-fiction writing, etc. The Left is so dominant because they dominate culture first and foremost. We might win political battles here and there—and we have won some big ones!—but conservatism cannot mount a viable counterpoise to progressivism if we keep surrendering the culture to them.

      Liked by 1 person

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