How much do you know about Critical Race Theory? Let’s play “Two Truths and a Lie” and find out. Can you identify which of the following statements is false?
A. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a radical approach to understanding racism and power dynamics in society.
B. While the American civil rights movement was premised on the quest for equal opportunity, CRT argues that equal opportunity is itself discriminatory.
C. CRT is an intellectual theory, confined to college philosophy departments and elite law schools, that has no relevance in the real world.
Let’s take these statements one at a time:
A. TRUTH! Critical Race Theory is an academic discipline that examines every aspect of society through the lens of race. Developed in the 1980s and 90s at Harvard Law School, CRT is an off-shoot of Critical Legal Studies (a radical/Marxist discipline that analyzes the effect of economic power relationships on the law). Critical Race Theory starts from the premise that racism (conscious or not) infects all human interaction and thought. It argues that all of our daily interactions are tinged with bias and challenges reason, logic, and the scientific method as racially biased endeavors.
B. TRUTH! Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. argued that America had not lived up to its founding promises and demanded equal opportunity for all Americans, irrespective of race. Critical Race Theory rejects this equality principle, posits that America was born of racism, and teaches that all American institutions reinforce and perpetuate white privilege.
C. LIE! Today, under the guise of “Anti-Racism” education, public schools across the country have begun to inculcate students in the principles of CRT, encouraging teachers to adopt lessons on “white privilege,” challenge “norms of whiteness,” and adopt “color consciousness” teaching methods. Indeed, just recently the Department of Education proposed a new rule prioritizing grants for projects that incorporate the CRT teachings of Ibram X. Kendi and the now debunked 1619 Project.
Bottom line: Although it cloaks itself in the mantle of civil rights, Critical Race Theory (or Anti-Racism) is a pernicious ideology that rejects the goals and objectives of the American civil rights movement by encouraging people to think of each other, first and foremost, not as individuals, but as members of distinct racial categories.