So this is not a hidden campaign. Its thought leaders did not try to hide the revolutionary, activist nature of their “discipline”. They boasted about it; the activism was the point. The purpose of CRT was never simply to throw around ideas — it was to change America, and by extension the wider world, by applying these new racial rules in the widest possible way.
So why the sudden reversal? Why the sudden retreat into contradictory forms of self-defence? The reason, I suspect, is clear: the ugly little game that has been playing out in American academia is — like many a theory before it — not surviving its first encounters with the public.
In that sense, at least, it faces a similar problem to that experienced by Marxists. On paper, Marxist academics were able to make grand claims about how to make an equitable society. But try it out on the public and they soon learned that what worked on paper did not work in practice
A similar, if so far less bloody, discovery is being made with CRT.