Opinion "Critical race theory" is just the ideology of the Democrats
The Conservative Disinformation Campaign Against Nikole Hannah-Jones
Only by identifying these campaigns as disinformation can we counter them, two UNC professors write.But then her tenure case reached the university’s conservative majority Board of Trustees, where it apparently lingered without action in a subcommittee. In the end, the board took the unprecedented step of refusing to hear the case at all. When the news became public, there was a large public outcry. Hannah-Jones’ legal team gave the Board of Trustees until Friday to reconsider tenure.
If you’ve been on Twitter recently, you may have stumbled across arguments about critical race theory, or CRT — what it is, whether it’s good or bad, whether it even exists at all. The term has surged in popularity largely thanks to the efforts of Christopher Rufo, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has almost single-handedly spearheaded a wave of state-level Republican initiatives to ban the teaching of CRT in public schools, which have provoked alarm among liberals and a long string of jokes about right-wing "cancel culture." But in afor Arc Digital, the writer Oliver Traldi noted that "critical race theory" is just the latest name for an ideology that we’ve been arguing about for nearly a decade: social justice, identity politics, “wokeness,” “intersectionality,” the successor ideology, cancel culture, cultural Marxism, etc. It can be hard to define precisely, and the various names cover a range of practices, from law to corporate and university culture to art and entertainment, but you generally know it when you see it. If you encounter language about “whiteness” and “white supremacy,” hetero- and cis-normativity, “racialized” and “criminalized” persons, and “gendered” bodies, among others, you’re encountering the phenomenon designated by the term critical race theory, regardless of what you think the best name for it is.
Critical Race Theory Is Banned in These States
Florida, Arkansas, Idaho and Oklahoma have all banned the academic theory, which examines the ways race and racism intersect with politics, culture and the law. © Joe Raedle/Getty Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives away a pen after holding a bill signing ceremony at the Florida National Guard Robert A. Ballard Armory on June 7, 2021 in Miami, Florida. DeSantis moved on Thursday to ban critical race theory from being taught in Florida schools. The Florida State Board of Education unanimously approved an amendment to its rules on Thursday, after hours of debate and public comment.
The name isn’t super important. “Car” and “automobile” both refer to the same object, and debates over the correct terminology, as Traldi pointed out, are often a sort of filibuster, a way to avoid discussing substance by fixating on words. The more interesting question is what the object actually is. (I’ll use critical race theory here for clarity, but it’s arguably not the best term: Narrowly defined, CRT refers to an academic legal theory, and the underlying ideology that critics like Rufo are referring to also puts emphasis on minority sexual, gender, and linguistic identities.) Those whowith it, or at least those who both sympathize with it and are tactically willing to acknowledge its existence, tend to portray it as little more than an acknowledgment of the fact of racial inequality. CRT, according to the Washington Post’s Christine Emba, is merely the recognition that “our nation’s history of race and racism is embedded in law and public policy, still plays a role in shaping outcomes for Black Americans and other people of color, and should be taken into account when these issues are discussed.” Critics, obviously, disagree. Former President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director, Russell Vought, famously CRT “divisive, anti-American propaganda” in a memo banning CRT-inspired training for government employees, and Rufo has it as “little more than reformulated Marxism.”
What Is Critical Race Theory and Why Are People So Upset About It?
Most Americans are not familiar with term critical race theory, but that hasn’t stopped some from getting upset about attempts to reckon with the sprawling repercussions of slavery. So What Is Critical Race Theory, Anyway? Critical race theory traces its origins to a framework of legal scholarship that gained momentum in the 1980s by challenging conventional thinking about race-based discrimination, which for decades assumed that discrimination on the basis of race could be solved by expanding constitutional rights and then allowing individuals who were discriminated against to seek legal remedies.
I’m personally sympathetic to the argument that CRT has Marxist influences and overtones, but if it were genuinely Marxist, it would be hard to explain why it has been so eagerly adopted by major corporations, billionaires, and Ivy League universities, none of which are particularly interested in proletarian revolution. Rather, I think the meaning of CRT, wokeness, intersectionality, whatever, is simple and hiding in plain sight. It is nothing more, and nothing less, than the ideology of the modern Democratic Party. Or, more precisely, it is the ideological glue that holds together the modern Democratic coalition, with its new economy oligarchs, affluent college-educated professionals (particularly single women), socialists, and racial and sexual minorities (of course, these groups are not mutually exclusive). As Christopher Caldwellin a November essay in the New Republic, “civil rights, broadly understood” (his term for what I’m calling CRT) is the “reconciler-of-contradictions” within the Democratic Party, analogous to the role that anti-communism used to play in “fusionist” conservatism — that is, providing an ideological least common denominator that could unite the downscale religious believers and upscale businessmen and Cold War hawks who made up the Reagan coalition.
Critical race theory: Diverse group of mothers from across the country speak out
"Critical race theory," the phrase that has captured headlines and driven news cycles, was once relegated to the halls of academia. But as CRT and its associated ideas have spread to school districts, so went the demographics of people debating its implications. Ideas related to CRT have featured prominently in controversial materials that pose what mothers see as a very real threat to their children's futures. Despite the controversy being painted by some as manufactured, the battle over CRT has thrust a long list of concerned parents into the public square.
In other words: Jack Dorsey is not going to agree with socialists who want confiscatory taxes on CEOs. White urban gay couples may feel some tension with black and Hispanic anti-gentrification activists. Black and Hispanic Christians, and religious Muslims, in turn, might be uncomfortable with abortion, which is tremendously important to college-educated single women, or with their children learning about. And Asians, who have been targets of a wave of violent assaults in major cities such as New York City and San Francisco, might be more sympathetic to the conservative politics of law and order than African Americans, who are generally more skeptical of the police. So what could all these groups agree on? Possibly, they could agree on a narrative according to which the main problem in our society is the present power and past crimes of straight white men, the American nation that they traditionally governed, and the Republican Party for which most of them vote. As a result, this narrative is hammered relentlessly. We are all on the same side against them, and here's a sophisticated-sounding theory explaining why we are good and they are bad. (This admittedly puts straight white men in the Democratic camp in an awkward position, but they can always discover a nonbinary identity or play up a Cherokee ancestor.)
How I'm fighting for school boards
For many years, the Left has worked to infiltrate schools and indoctrinate our children with critical race theory. © Provided by Washington Examiner This should concern us. After all, critical race theory is an ideology that seeks to socially engineer our society based on race. The theory believes that all inequalities flow from race. It's time to reclaim lost ground in the culture war. We need to structure public school curricula against this theory. That starts by electing school board members nationally who reject these anti-American beliefs.
My theory is admittedly crude and functional. It doesn’t explain all the subtleties of this ideology, its history, or the mechanisms of its transmission. It doesn’t say anything about the validity of CRT's claims, some of which may be true. But it does, I think, explain why you hear about this ideology all the time and why, particularly in the media, certain stories are emphasized and others are ignored. Elite culture is heavily Democratic. Joe Biden won counties accounting for 71% of the nation’s gross domestic product. I don’t think journalists intentionally mislead their readers, but theythe Democratic Party and live in where Republicans have roughly the social prestige of the Ku Klux Klan. And people generally tend to internalize the mythos of their favored party — why would you vote for people you sincerely believe are bad?
So when a white guy shoots up an Asian massage parlor, regardless of his stated motive, journalists recognize it as a national story thata bunch of evil things that are basically dog whistles for “Republican” — whiteness, masculinity, guns, hate, racism, misogyny, what have you. It fits the pattern they have in their head. But when on the streets of New York, such incidents are either local news stories or prompts for Jesuitical about how they, too, are the fault of white supremacy (i.e., Republicans). Conservatives like to point to these stories as evidence of hypocrisy, but there’s no real hypocrisy if you understand that the only relevant question is, “Which framing helps the Democrats?”
No, banning critical race theory in K-12 is not 'cancel culture'
The Florida State Board of Education will vote on a rule prohibiting the required instruction of “American history as something other than the creation of a new nation based largely on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” If adopted, this policy will fulfill Gov. Ron DeSantis’s promise to support a new civics curriculum that, in his words, “will expressly exclude critical race theory.”Florida is not alone in standing against critical race theory. Recently, the Washington Examiner reported that Wisconsin state lawmakers have proposed prohibiting “sex and racial stereotyping” in curricula and training.
By itself, this wouldn’t be so much of a problem. Lots of people believe something because it is what people from their political party are supposed to believe. I would prefer that the Democrats’ ideology be less divisive, but American politics is notoriously pugilistic, people don’t always need to like each other, and our last Republican president was famous for his crudity. In other words, I can understand liberals who don’t want to hear complaints about “civility.” But earnest proponents of CRT, wokeness, and “civil rights, broadly understood,” should have a little more self-awareness about what they’re doing, or at least what it looks like they’re doing to people outside of their bubble. When the media nearly unanimously amplify the ideology of one of the major parties, when the tenets of that ideology are written into school curricula, and when publicly criticizing that ideology is seen asfor job loss and social death, a lot of people are going to feel as if they’re living in a one-party state. And at that point, they won’t be wrong.
Park MacDougald is the Life and Arts editor of the Washington Examiner magazine.
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Critical race theory banned in Florida schools .
Florida has become the latest state to ban critical race theory, continuing the growing charge by Republican lawmakers against schools teaching about systemic racism. © Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union/USA Today Network After hours of debate and public comment Thursday, the Florida State Board of Education unanimously approved the amendment banning critical race theory. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who appointed much of the board, spoke ahead of the meeting, saying critical race theory would teach children "the country is rotten and that our institutions are illegitimate.