Critical Race Theory pt A. What is it? Why teach it?

Page 1 of 1 [ 14 posts ] 

naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 26,900
Location: temperate zone

13 Jul 2021, 8:19 pm

What little I know about CRT is sounds unnecessary at best, if not like a harmful thing to teach as a standard thing in the lower grades. Maybe as an elective for advanced students in advanced grades who can discuss contraversial subjects its ok.

But I dont know much about it. So if you are a staunch supporter of teaching CRT I will allow you to do the heavy lifting of explaining to me what exactly it IS...and why you consider teaching it to be desireable.

If you are an expert on CRT and are AGAINST teaching it then you can weigh in on the other thread.



roronoa79
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 882
Location: Indiana

14 Jul 2021, 1:45 pm

The short version:
CRT is a theory formed about a half-century ago by legal scholars. It teaches that racism strongly influenced the foundations of US law in ways that harm and continue to harm non-whites. The foundations of US law were built before non-whites had any meaningful say in government. They were built by white men who were overwhelmingly racist, or at least rationalized racist norms of their times. These rationalizations twisted collective understandings of justice, freedom, and equality. As these principles were twisted to accommodate racism, so too was the law twisted.

Students of history should be taught this, as understanding racism is critical to understanding US history. It will also encourage consciousness of racism, which will help racism be collectively understood and addressed.


_________________
Diagnoses: AS, Depression, General & Social Anxiety
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.
- Brian Wilson

Δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν
Those with power do what their power permits, while the weak have no choice but to accept it.

- Thucydides


roronoa79
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 882
Location: Indiana

14 Jul 2021, 1:57 pm

The long version:
Critical Race Theory is a model for examining the law, culture, and society and how race and racism influence those things.

It started to form as a set theory in the 1970's among legal scholars researching how racism has influenced the law--namely in instances where the racial motivation of the law is not explicit in the law itself. Though CRT started to form in the last few decades, the scholarly roots of this theory go back over a century to the writings of, for example, Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. du Bois.

These scholars concluded that racism has always had a major influence on US law, whether intentional or not. When you have members of one race making virtually all legislation for 350 years, that legislation is not going to take into account the issues and experiences faced by those who do not belong to that race. This is especially the case for a society which uses the idea of racial/cultural superiority to collectively rationalize the enslavement or genocide of other races. This influence on collective thought is still very present in our comparatively tolerant times--it was even stronger before the 20th century.

The US was nominally founded on Enlightenment principles of fundamental rights, freedom, and equality. As such, collective understanding of these principles were formed which could excuse the denial of these rights to others. A man who can rationalize slavery is going to have a more twisted understanding of freedom and equality than someone who recognizes slavery as barbaric. These beliefs are reflected in the laws these men pass and the politicians they elect.

This influence of racism on the US's legal framework did not vanish into thin air when non-whites finally obtained full suffrage. When studying law, history, and society, it is important to keep this in mind. As such, students learning about these things must be made aware of these facts if they are to study it properly. Popular understanding of history and race in this country has been undermined by the insistence on teaching students a romanticized or at least sugar-coated version of US history. Students have historically received a watered down, family-friendly version of history which is meant to instill in them a belief in their country's exceptionalism and moral superiority.

Recognizing the slavery of the past as wrong is necessary to forming rational understandings of freedom and equality as eternal, universal rights. The counter to this is usually that modern values are being projected unfairly onto people who lived in times with different values. This argument falls apart when you point out the undeniable fact that there have been people in this country since before it was founded who found slavery unconscionable. Were they unfairly projecting values onto their contemporaries? I think not.

The legal foundations of this country were built before non-whites had a say in government. It was built by men who believed in freedom, equality, and justice. Those men's understandings of those ideals were twisted to accommodate racist norms of their times. Therefore, the legal foundations of this country are built on racism. This is important to teach students of history, because it is fact.

As for the idea that it teaches people to be victims, as I have said before: Every civil rights activist had to learn (the hard way) that racism affected them negatively, and that it is perpetuated, intentionally or unintentionally, by society and individuals in that society. Recognizing racism has always been the first step to fighting racism. Recognizing racism and teaching others to recognize it is not feeding into a 'victim complex' or sowing division. It is teaching fact.

It is not teaching white children to hate themselves. It is not teaching non-white children to hate white children. It is not teaching white children that they are as guilty as the slaveholders. It is teaching white children how important of a problem racism is and how they can avoid perpetuating that racism. I'm white, and if I had children, I would teach them these things. I would not want them to hate themselves. I just want them to be informed.

If you have a strong negative view of CRT, or what you think CRT is, then ask yourself:
Where am I learning about CRT? Am I learning about CRT from people who profit from my outrage? Am I overly concerned with maintaining a positive view of our Founders or the Constitution? Where did I, or where am I learning about racism and what it is? Am I assuming that if these things were true, then I should hate myself? (You shouldn't hate yourself). Am I assuming that if people believe in CRT, they would stop valuing freedom, equality, and justice, since the Founders claimed to value those things? (Of course not).

Damn that got long. Whatever, I'm autistic af and I'm resigned to my inability to be cogent and laconic.


_________________
Diagnoses: AS, Depression, General & Social Anxiety
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.
- Brian Wilson

Δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν
Those with power do what their power permits, while the weak have no choice but to accept it.

- Thucydides


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 77,187
Location: Queens, NYC

14 Jul 2021, 2:03 pm

I believe in some aspects of it----but there are certain items, such as "white privilege," which are way too simplistic. There were, and are, very many "white people" who do not benefit in the least from supposed "white privilege."

I also don't believe in making people feel guilty for the sins of the ancestors----no matter what race/ethnicity they are. I am not a slaveowner. No member of my family was ever a slaveowner---at least as far back as the 18th century. Even if it so happens that a sixth cousin, twice removed, was a slaveowner, I would feel terrible as to the role this person played. I would feel guilty in the sense that he/she had slaves, and imposed slavery upon other human beings. But I just don't believe in feeling personal guilty merely for being white/European. Or being called an "oppressor" because I'm white/European.

There has to be a middle ground.



roronoa79
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 882
Location: Indiana

14 Jul 2021, 3:08 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I believe in some aspects of it----but there are certain items, such as "white privilege," which are way too simplistic. There were, and are, very many "white people" who do not benefit in the least from supposed "white privilege."

White privilege is one of those terms that shot itself in the foot with it's somewhat misleading name. White privilege refers to the fact that being white in our white-dominated society gives whites several advantages that others do not have. The amount of privilege can vary wildly between people, but on average, on the whole, being white grants you advantages over non-whites in many different areas and circumstances. The white billionaire and the white beggar both have and benefit from white privilege. White privilege alone does not guarantee you will have a happy or even comfortable life, but it makes it more likely than it would if you were not white. If you are poor and white, you still have white privilege. If you are poor and straight, you still have straight privilege. The privilege refers more to general advantages rather than to ones individual circumstances.

Quote:
I also don't believe in making people feel guilty for the sins of the ancestors----no matter what race/ethnicity they are. I am not a slaveowner. No member of my family was ever a slaveowner---at least as far back as the 18th century. Even if it so happens that a sixth cousin, twice removed, was a slaveowner, I would feel terrible as to the role this person played. I would feel guilty in the sense that he/she had slaves, and imposed slavery upon other human beings. But I just don't believe in feeling personal guilty merely for being white/European. Or being called an "oppressor" because I'm white/European.

There has to be a middle ground.

I wouldn't ask you to feel guilty even if your ancestor was Jefferson Davis or Nathan Bedford Forrest. I do not feel guilty just for being white. You are not responsible for your ancestors or the circumstances into which you were born. We are responsible for how our ancestors actions are perceived, because that has an influence on what actions are considered acceptable today.
Virtually all whites benefitted directly or indirectly from slavery. A massive portion of America's wealth and power can be owed to slave labor. Money made from slave labor went into public services at all levels of government. Non-slave states exploited southern slavery as a cheap source of raw materials which they could then export for a profit as finished goods. The wealth created indirectly from slavery is ubiquitous in American society.

Honestly, white guilt can be toxic itself if improperly understood. No one wants you to self-flagellate or go overboard with the virtue signaling. It's somewhat self-centered. Wallowing in guilt is unhealthy. Try to fix the things you can and don't act like your soul is damned for ever having a racist thought. So many of us end up at least slightly racist because of our upbringing. As long as you're really trying to learn and be better, then that's good enough for most--unless they're morally paranoid, overcompensating Puritans wearing leftist clothing.


_________________
Diagnoses: AS, Depression, General & Social Anxiety
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.
- Brian Wilson

Δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν
Those with power do what their power permits, while the weak have no choice but to accept it.

- Thucydides


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 77,187
Location: Queens, NYC

14 Jul 2021, 5:22 pm

There are some "critical race theory" adherents who actually believe the "white race" is a morally inferior race.

I do believe in the general "anti-racism" stance.

I do believe we have to stamp out racism in all its forms. I even believe in things like "affirmative action" to some degree----though the ideal would be to dispense with "affirmative action."

I grew up in New York City. I've seen, and still see, many manifestations of racism----including "institutional racism." Segregated neighborhoods were the norm growing up. It's gotten somewhat better--but it still exists. I live in a mixed neighborhood at present. I am in the "minority" in that neighborhood.

But some of these "woke" folks really go too far sometimes.

Yes, I do believe we have to present to students the true manifestations of what racism was all about before the Civil Rights Era.



timf
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 727

15 Jul 2021, 1:26 pm

Critical Race Theory is only one of any one of a number of "theories" that derive from the Critical Theory construct developed by the Frankfurt Institute in Germany in the 1920s.

The Frankfurt Institute was established to make Marxist objectives more achievable. It was becoming obvious that workers of the world were not interested in "throwing off their chains" and rising up in revolution.

Since the Marxist objectives of destroying Christianity, the institution of the family, free market economy, and private property, was not to be gained directly through revolution, it was decided to work more slowly to erode and corrupt these institutions from within. This was to be done through the advancement of intellectual constructs that "criticized" all established institutions.

These "critical" theories began with the assumption that everyone is oppressed and the existing social institutions need to be eliminated to end oppression. Additional assumptions were that there were no absolute standards of right and wrong, that humans were evolving, and that any condition where anyone did not get whatever they wanted was proof of oppression.

It is being taught because the first institution taken over by Marxists was the educational system. You would think that with big business, the media, and half of the government in their pocket, they wouldn't need to continue their attacks, but apparently they want to not only destroy us, but also have us thank them.



uncommondenominator
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 8 Aug 2019
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 604

15 Jul 2021, 10:38 pm

I see a lot of people are buying into the "common wisdom" of what CRT supposedly is. Plenty of people talking about what they THINK it is, but that's about it. Google'd it, read a wiki for 30 seconds, watched this really good youtube vid, got it. Suddenly they're an expert.

CRT is NOT about "all white people are racist", or "owing a penance for the sins of the past", or any of the common "complaints" about it. They are fabricated strawmen, or blatant misunderstandings or oversimplifications.

For one thing, it really isn't being taught to "kids". It's a college course that requires a pretty solid understanding of history, sociology, and psychology. At UCF its a 3000 level course. Here's the syllabus.

https://www.cah.ucf.edu/common/files/sy ... ll2017.pdf

If the opposition DIDN'T make CRT out to be some horrendous boogeyman, it wouldn't make for as good of a show for their obsessive need to oppose it. If it were treated as harmless, it might catch on. People that have been taught the pretty and sanitized version of history tend to freak out when they find out their history isn't as glowing and noble as they'd thought.

When you've spent your while life believing that "we made friends with the natives, and lived happily ever after! Except for a few SAVAGES! who we had to DEFEND ourselves from!", it's a hard pill to swallow when you learn "we stole their land and killed anyone who resisted, from sea to bloody sea" - it makes them feel bad that their foundation is built on the bones and blood of others, rather than the much more pleasant image of america as persecuted refugees fleeing european tyranny and protecting freedom as we're all taught in school, and most people still believe today.



roronoa79
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 882
Location: Indiana

16 Jul 2021, 12:38 pm

timf wrote:
Critical Race Theory is only one of any one of a number of "theories" that derive from the Critical Theory construct developed by the Frankfurt Institute in Germany in the 1920s.

The Frankfurt Institute was established to make Marxist objectives more achievable. It was becoming obvious that workers of the world were not interested in "throwing off their chains" and rising up in revolution.

Since the Marxist objectives of destroying Christianity, the institution of the family, free market economy, and private property, was not to be gained directly through revolution, it was decided to work more slowly to erode and corrupt these institutions from within. This was to be done through the advancement of intellectual constructs that "criticized" all established institutions.

These "critical" theories began with the assumption that everyone is oppressed and the existing social institutions need to be eliminated to end oppression. Additional assumptions were that there were no absolute standards of right and wrong, that humans were evolving, and that any condition where anyone did not get whatever they wanted was proof of oppression.

I've never understood this line of thinking:
certain critics of 'Marxism' wrote:
Marxists think that Christianity, capitalism, and the nuclear family are wrong!
Marxists think that atheism, socialism, and communalism are right!
....Also, Marxists believe that nothing is right and nothing is wrong! That's why they never say that they think anything is right or wrong!

timf wrote:
It is being taught because the first institution taken over by Marxists was the educational system. You would think that with big business, the media, and half of the government in their pocket, they wouldn't need to continue their attacks, but apparently they want to not only destroy us, but also have us thank them.

Ah yes, those anti-capitalist Marxists really have the world's corporations under their thumbs. :| That's why corporations are all suddenly empowering their workers and encouraging union membership, right? That must be what they're doing then, right? They're not just paying the tiniest amount of lip service to the left, which is still enough for some to think that every CEO is a Leninist, right?
Leftists don't even control half of one of the major political parties--let alone half of government.
If conservatives were so concerned about leftists taking over the media and academia over the last half-century, why were they sitting around and doing nothing about it the whole time? They always talk about a bygone age when the media and academia were politically balanced, but then never address how they allowed themselves to be so thoroughly defeated. Is that not just their own fault? Anti-conservative bias (so-called) was not always the norm, according to you, right? So how did conservatives manage to be so totally defeated except in dedicated christian/conservative universities and news outlets?


_________________
Diagnoses: AS, Depression, General & Social Anxiety
I guess I just wasn't made for these times.
- Brian Wilson

Δυνατὰ δὲ οἱ προύχοντες πράσσουσι καὶ οἱ ἀσθενεῖς ξυγχωροῦσιν
Those with power do what their power permits, while the weak have no choice but to accept it.

- Thucydides


XFilesGeek
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jul 2010
Age: 38
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 6,031
Location: The Oort Cloud

16 Jul 2021, 1:38 pm

In my understanding, CRT merely states that most institutions in the U.S. are inherently racist, and, if you're white, you've benefited from these institutions, regardless of whether you, as an individual, are racist or not.

I find that neither controversial or offensive, despite being one shade away from being an albino.


_________________
"If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced."

-XFG (no longer a moderator)


naturalplastic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Age: 66
Gender: Male
Posts: 26,900
Location: temperate zone

16 Jul 2021, 2:26 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
In my understanding, CRT merely states that most institutions in the U.S. are inherently racist, and, if you're white, you've benefited from these institutions, regardless of whether you, as an individual, are racist or not.

I find that neither controversial or offensive, despite being one shade away from being an albino.


Pretty much this.

The theory that the machinery of society was set up generations ago, and Whites still benefit from it (at the expense of minorities) even though they arent as individuals all "racist". A theory which has undeniable elements of truth. But I dont see how it could, nor why it should, be "taught" at the grade school level.



XFilesGeek
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 24 Jul 2010
Age: 38
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 6,031
Location: The Oort Cloud

17 Jul 2021, 5:01 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
In my understanding, CRT merely states that most institutions in the U.S. are inherently racist, and, if you're white, you've benefited from these institutions, regardless of whether you, as an individual, are racist or not.

I find that neither controversial or offensive, despite being one shade away from being an albino.


Pretty much this.

The theory that the machinery of society was set up generations ago, and Whites still benefit from it (at the expense of minorities) even though they arent as individuals all "racist". A theory which has undeniable elements of truth. But I dont see how it could, nor why it should, be "taught" at the grade school level.


Cool.

Why should school children be taught that the Founding Fathers were amazing, and that the U.S. is a bastion of equality?


_________________
"If we fail to anticipate the unforeseen or expect the unexpected in a universe of infinite possibilities, we may find ourselves at the mercy of anyone or anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced."

-XFG (no longer a moderator)


Sweetleaf
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jan 2011
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Posts: 32,542
Location: Somewhere in Colorado

17 Jul 2021, 5:07 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
In my understanding, CRT merely states that most institutions in the U.S. are inherently racist, and, if you're white, you've benefited from these institutions, regardless of whether you, as an individual, are racist or not.

I find that neither controversial or offensive, despite being one shade away from being an albino.


Pretty much this.

The theory that the machinery of society was set up generations ago, and Whites still benefit from it (at the expense of minorities) even though they arent as individuals all "racist". A theory which has undeniable elements of truth. But I dont see how it could, nor why it should, be "taught" at the grade school level.


I think it would have been good to learn about that when I was a kid. Instead they seemed to teach the civil rights movement had solved all those issues....so that is what I pretty much thought until adulthood, when I learned differently. I mean I was very ignorant about the issues black people and other minorities face to this day.

My youngest brother though, he even went to a BLM protest and I am proud of that but I was much more ignorant when I was his age. He's like 18 or 19...I am always bad at remembering his exact age.


_________________
There's a magic spider on the wind
He spins a web for you
And if you wish upon a spider
All your wishes will all come true
-Nekrogoblikon


rabo
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

Joined: 14 Apr 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 60

18 Jul 2021, 2:37 pm

timf wrote:
Critical Race Theory is only one of any one of a number of "theories" that derive from the Critical Theory construct developed by the Frankfurt Institute in Germany in the 1920s.


Are you sure about this? As far as I know, the "Frankfurter Schule" was part of the 68-movement. Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse and Fromm were members, I think.