Robin Diel: Critical race theory insidious indoctrination
During the first presidential debate, both candidates displayed a lack of familiarity with critical race theory. I was shocked that the moderator, Chris Wallace, termed critical race theory as a benign form of racial sensitivity training rather than a radical fringe social theory that aims to redefine American society.
So what is critical race theory?
Critical race theory began as a leftist movement within critical legal studies to interpret American law, politics and society as a system used by white people (Euro-Americans) to maintain their historical advantages over people of color.
Critical race theory is a derivative of 1960s French postmodernism mixed with a large dose of Marxist social theory and group identity politics. Critical race theory argued that the law and legal institutions of Western civilization were inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biological fact, was a social construct used by white people to further their socio-economic advantage over people of color.
Today, critical race theory argues that racism is ingrained in the fabric of American society and all aspects of governmental and legal systems, hence the term systemic racism that is popular in the modern era.
Since 1989, critical race theory has spread beyond the narrow confines of academia. In particular, some of the specific points of critical race theory:
• Institutional racism is pervasive.
• Power structures (government/corporate) are based on white privilege and white supremacy.
• Racism was essential to America’s founding and is ubiquitous in American society.
• Rejection of Enlightenment rationalism, liberalism, colorblindness and meritocracy.
• The 1960s civil rights movement was superficial rather than transformative.
The modern critical race theory movement is a collection of activists and scholars engaged in transforming the relationship between race, racism and government/corporate power.
Unlike traditional civil rights movements, which stressed incremental change and step-by-step evolution of American society, critical race theory attacks the very foundation and legitimacy of the American society, including the legal system, Enlightenment rationalism and neutral principles of constitutional law.
So why should you care about a fringe racial theory from academia?
Critical race theory is openly anti-liberal. Traditional liberalism strove to make race largely irrelevant with the goal that American society would come to see skin color as having no more significance to a person’s worth or abilities than their hair color; essentially colorblindness.
Traditional liberal civil rights legislation was passed to ensure that race, gender, or sexuality does not prevent anyone from accessing any employment or educational opportunity. Colorblindness worked together with the traditional liberal goal of advancement through individual merit, or meritocracy, to optimize individual opportunity.
Critical race theory rejects both colorblindness and meritocracy as illusions that allow white people to perpetuate their cultural dominance. In this world view, traditional liberals who believe in colorblindness and meritocracy could be branded as racist.
Instead of advancement through individual merit, critical race theory recommends an exclusive focus on race in hiring and educational opportunities. Critical race theory promotes the use of race to create an Orwellian hierarchy of equality in which racial groups would be ranked “more equal” than others.
Rather than address socio-economic disparities through colorblindness and meritocracy, critical race theory advocates for governmental/corporate intervention based on race to “fix” American society. This explains California Proposition 16, the Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment.
This movement is generally focused on the African-American community. It is less clear where Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Indian-Americans and Latinos would rate in the new hierarchy of equality.
Critical race theory is attempting to alter your government.
Recently, the U.S. Army distributed leaflets at the Redstone Arsenal that promoted talking points taken verbatim from critical race theory. The U.S. Army leadership claimed this was a mistake, but the pamphlet promoting critical race theory was written, vetted, printed, and distributed to soldiers before anyone noticed.
This suggests a pervasive influence within the U.S. Army. Rep. Mo Brooks questioned the indoctrination of soldiers as a violation of the Hatch Act, after which President Trump prohibited critical race theory training in the federal government.
Critical race theory is not a benign form of racial sensitivity training. Any political discourse or social theory rooted in French postmodernist ideology (see Lyotard, Foucault, and Derrida), is antithetical to traditional liberalism.
This may explain why many traditional liberals have “left the Left” as a rejection of this new “American postmodernism” based almost exclusively on race and intersectionality.
Some authors even suggest critical race theory sows more racial discord than it could ever heal.
To hoist mandatory government/scholastic/corporate racial sensitivity training based on critical race theory onto an unsuspecting public who never even heard of French postmodernism smacks of indoctrination rather than education.
Robin Diel lives in Penn Valley.
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