Another data point to help answer the question, “What exactly are people complaining about when they complain about ‘Critical Race Theory’?” This. They’re complaining about this.
Critical Race Theory in its truest sense is a way of understanding how the law works to privilege whites and disadvantage blacks. That’s why some lefties have replied to conservative agitation about CRT by snarking that unless your eight-year-old is in law school they don’t need to worry about encountering it. Which is half-true. They’re not going to hear much about disparate impacts in America’s system of property rights, say, in social studies class.
But the elements of CRT that bug parents have nothing to do with law. It’s the core critique of CRT to which they object, that all developments should be considered through the prism of race, that due to “structural racism” America is irredeemably biased in favor of whites, and that because of that whites should feel ashamed of their “whiteness,” even ones who don’t hold racist beliefs themselves.
As one Twitter pal put it this weekend, schools aren’t teaching true Critical Race Theory but some are teaching within the ideological bounds drawn by CRT. Case in point:
The next generation is going to be worse than this one thanks to teachers like this pic.twitter.com/ukZQXwsZKW
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) June 16, 2021
Another case in point:
This is gaslighting. It’s not so simple as teaching Richard Delgado or Derrick Bell in middle school. It’s about what Delgado himself speculates in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction could be the future: https://t.co/JOrURXRWB6 pic.twitter.com/QRrADoxFOf
— Thomas Chatterton Williams 🌍 🎧 (@thomaschattwill) June 20, 2021
The WaPo video below comes from the paper’s offshoot, “The Lily,” a platform that launched a few years ago aimed at young women. If it were an introduction to Critical Race Theory aimed at explaining to readers what all the recent fuss is about, that would be understandable. This is more an expression of CRT’s foundational assumptions, though, replete with one woman describing a “period of deep shame for being white” during her journey to awakening. “The speakers in this video urge white people to organize themselves around their racial identity, marinate in the understanding that they are united by their race, and to think in racialist terms in order to… combat white supremacy,” marvels Noah Rothman. Yeah, CRT has no issue with racial tribalism; to the contrary, I’m sure adherents would say that the sort of tribalism practiced for centuries by whites is why Critical Race Theory exists in the first place. To undo that racial tribalism requires first becoming aware of it, the speakers in the video insist.
In practice, though, and especially to a child’s impressionable mind, one would think, it translates to “white people are innately evil,” essentially replacing white supremacy with white inferiority. How do you educate people about their privilege without insinuating that they should be despised? Whatever the answer to that question is, the people in this clip seem not to have found it.