What is Critical Race Theory (CRT)?*
Who cares? Nobody on the Right will honestly discuss or explain it. It must simply be attacked.
Critical Race Theory has the word "Race" in flashing red letters over the heartland. Fear is the stock-in-trade for the radical Right. It's a commie plot. It's racist. It's a threat to the American people.
Any discussion of Critical Race Theory degenerates into Critical Racist Tirades. They tag it as a “Marxist threat" to stir resentment and fear among conservative white Americans.
The radical Right will demonize any and all academic, government, or corporate discussion of racial issues. The 1619 Project frightened them to their snowflake white core. They’re terrified of Black people contributing to discussions and research regarding the history and impacts of racism.
They will smear all of it as Critical Race Theory, whether it has anything to do with it or not.
On September 20, 2020, Chris Rufo went on FOX(R) and told resident white nationalist Tucker Carlson, “Conservatives need to wake up. This is an existential threat to the United States. And the bureaucracy, even under Trump, is being weaponized against core American values. And I’d like to make it explicit: The President and the White House—it’s within their authority to immediately issue an executive order to abolish critical-race-theory training from the federal government. And I call on the President to immediately issue this executive order—to stamp out this destructive, divisive, pseudoscientific ideology.”
That’s all it took.
The next morning, Rufo got a phone call. The man on the other end said, “ ‘Chris, this is Mark Meadows, chief of staff, reaching out on behalf of the President. He saw your segment on ‘Tucker’ last night, and he’s instructed me to take action.” Rufo flew to Washington, D.C., to assist in drafting an executive order, issued by the White House a few days later. It limited how contractors providing federal diversity seminars could talk about race
Rufo has been relentless in his crusade to demonize any and all racially oriented seminars, training and education, especially when minorities are allowed to frame them.
He tweeted on March 15th 2021:
We have successfully frozen their brand—"critical race theory"—into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.
The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think "critical race theory." We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.
Yes, I envisioned a strategy—turn the brand "critical race theory" toxic—and, despite having virtually no resources compared to my opponents, willed it into being through writing and persuasion.
“Critical race theory,” Rufo said, “has become, in essence, the default ideology of the federal bureaucracy and is now being weaponized against the American people.”
That sounds incredibly dangerous, and for good reason. Fear is the goal. Fear is what molds and motivates the radical Right. Facts have no place in this brainwashing tactic.
But we have to consider the sources of this pogrom that is busily white-washing racial issues. This is propaganda from the same ilk who accuse the press and journalists of being enemies of the people. These are not defenders of democracy and equality. These are conservative radical right WHITE propagandists. And as every “good American” knows, only conservative white people have unilateral authority to define racism.
Rufo’s dire warnings leave out any description or quoted reference to what CRT really is. All he’s interested in are angry reactions to any program that endeavors to advance racial understanding. He amasses the grievances from white conservatives who were annoyed or offended by diversity training. Often these training sessions were voluntary and given even online.
When he posts “The Original Source Document” of a session, it shows nothing of what they are accused of saying. The same applies to all of his articles I’ve seen. All of his quotes and “evidence” are cherry-picked from his “trove of whistleblower documents”, in other words, the emotional reactive resentments and grievances by angry white conservatives.
Nowhere does he present any context or elaboration of content. His purpose is not to inform, but to deceive, and to incite white anger and fear.
Republicans are following Trump's lead and are banning Critical Race Theory, or anything they call critical race theory, or even any diversity training or education at all.
Here’s the bottom line. Banning the teaching of systemic racism is actually a perfect example of systemic racism.
And racism isn’t racism to racists.
This is the rising influence of the radical White Right. It is racist and it is rooted in fascism.
And the radical White Right is not relenting. If elections won’t hand them power, then a coup will do.
When asked about Critical Race Theory, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley gave an answer Americans need to hear.
* This is Critical Race Theory:
In their work "Critical Race Theory": An Introduction, first published in 2001, the legal scholars Richard Delgado (one of the founders of CRT) and Jean Stefancic discuss several general propositions that they claim would be accepted by many critical race theorists, despite the considerable variation of belief among members of the movement.
These “basic tenets” of CRT, according to the authors, include the following claims:
(1) Race is socially constructed, not biologically natural.
(2) Racism in the United States is normal, not aberrational: it is the common, ordinary experience of most people of color.
(3) Owing to what critical race theorists call “interest convergence” or “material determinism,” legal advances (or setbacks) for people of color tend to serve the interests of dominant white groups. Thus, the racial hierarchy that characterizes American society may be unaffected or even reinforced by ostensible improvements in the legal status of oppressed or exploited people.
(4) Members of minority groups periodically undergo “differential racialization,” or the attribution to them of varying sets of negative stereotypes, again depending on the needs or interests of whites.
(5) According to the thesis of “intersectionality” or “antiessentialism,” no individual can be adequately identified by membership in a single group. An African American person, for example, may also identify as a woman, a lesbian, a feminist, a Christian, and so on.
(6) The “voice of color” thesis holds that people of color are uniquely qualified to speak on behalf of other members of their group (or groups) regarding the forms and effects of racism. This consensus has led to the growth of the “legal story telling” movement, which argues that the self-expressed views of victims of racism and other forms of oppression provide essential insight into the nature of the legal system.
I haven't heard such garbage since I read Mein Kampf.
Exactly. The American Radical Right are one of Hitler's dreams come true.
I need to read more about CRT, but your post was a great start.
One of the things Americans can do to try to understand more about what it means to be non-White in this country is read more non-White authors. I'd suggest as a start, "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison; "Go Tell It On A Mountain" by James Baldwin; "Their Eyes Were Watching God," by Zora Neale Hurston; "The Warmth of Other Suns" and "Caste," by Isabelle Wilkerson, and everything by Toni Morrison.
Also, every African-American male that I've ever known has, with consistency, told me how he has been stopped by a cop and harassed for being black.
It's damn depressing to know about these things. Can you imagine what it must feel like to a person of color?
Learning about how systemic racism affects our daily lives, whether you're a p.o.c. or not, can only make us a better country.
What are people afraid of?
Thank you for the great suggestions.
Being from a small town in a rural area, my long hair back in the day drew some negative attention. It didn't rise to the level of openly racist "driving while Black" levels, but it was enough to elicit hate from the bigots.
The books you mention should accompany some additional reading of American history, one of my favorite pastimes.
CRT is spot on in citing racism as always being part of the story of America. The inhumane brutalities inflicted on Native Americans and African Americans, slave or free, must be acknowledged.
What are people afraid of? We observe conservative white Americans generally live in small communities with little interaction with minorities. Also relevant is the nature of the authoritarian personality. They see a threat where most of us just see something different. For tough guys, they are quite skittish.
They fear what they do not understand. And that fear is amplified by the radical Right. They are conditioned to respond to CRT as a threat, like they were conditioned to react to Muslims, the press, or people of other religions. CRT is being demonized to the degree socialism, LGBTQ, and liberalism have been.
Reactionary minds need to ramp up fear, resentment, and misunderstanding, instead of seeking understanding. It's how they have always faced the world and its diversity.
As I noted: Critical Race Theory has the word "Race" in flashing red letters over the heartland. Fear is the stock-in-trade for the radical Right...The 1619 Project frightened them to their snowflake white core. They’re terrified of Black people contributing to discussions and research regarding the history and impacts of racism.
The real snowflakes project their own delicate sensibilities.
Rufo spilled the beans. It seems to happen regularly with these folks: they are so self-impressed & proud of their evil deviousness that they, just as when a movie super-villain has James Bond tied up, proceed to explain their plan in detail.
That, of course, gives the hero time to foil their plot.
This CRT hoo-ha is typical squid ink by the RW propaganda masters, a nonsensical combination of unrelated things under one scary name. It's all symbology and gestures.
Brings to mind Pat Robertson recently warning that once the minorities get "the whip handle" things will be bad for whites. The R's always announce their own evils by their all-too predictable projection of it onto their enemies.
The REAL root of our problems is the high-powered big-money 24/7 RW hate & fear propaganda machine. Until we counter that their poison will continue to control millions of low-info low-life Americans.
Yup. Mobilizing white resentment became an industry in corporate and right wing media.
All in the service of Republican greed and power.
Reagan's corrupt foxes in the henhouse and the destruction of the fairness doctrine unleashed the radical Right's ministry of propaganda. Gingrich, Murdoch, Ailes and Limbaugh pressed American white nationalist buttons to radicalize the public and inflame the racist fear lurking in the amygdalas of every white authoritarian personality.
The Monster has grown out of control, and regulated only to the extent social media can ban the most egregious hate and lies.
So much hinges on the next year and mid-term election. American democracy and equality are facing its second, and longer, civil war.
If the radical Right can sweep 1/6 under the rug, and facilitate the Trump cult's evasion of justice, their job will be nearly complete.
Post a Comment