A Deeper Look at Critical Race Theory

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  vic-eldred  •  2 weeks ago  •  37 comments

By:   William A. Galston (WSJ)

A Deeper Look at Critical Race Theory
In one training session, an instructor told teachers and staff to consult an "oppression matrix" and identify where they fall on it. According to the matrix, "privileged social groups" include "white people," people with "male assigned at birth," "gender conforming CIS-men and women," "adults," and "Protestants."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



In last week's column about critical race theory, I said that I had barely scratched the surface of this complex movement. To dig deeper, I turned to a collection of essays by the movement's founders and early adherents—"Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement"—published in 1996. Here is what I found in the volume and in an article by Kimberle Crenshaw, one of the book's editors and one of the movement's most insightful thinkers.

Critical race theory denies the possibility of objectivity. As the volume's editors state in their illuminating introduction, "Scholarship about race in America can never be written from a distance of detachment or with an attitude of objectivity. . . . Scholarship—the formal production, identification, and organization of what will be called 'knowledge'—is inevitably political." And politics is about power—specifically, about the struggle between those who seek to maintain oppressive hierarchies and those who seek to overturn them. Scholarship can be a powerful weapon in that struggle.

• The theory moves race to the center of our focus. As the editors put it, it aims to “recover and revitalize the radical tradition of race-consciousness,” a tradition “that was discarded when integration, assimilation and the ideal of colorblindness became the official norms of racial enlightenment.”

• The founders of Critical Race Theory identified with Black Power movements much more than with those who were working for integration. This form of race-consciousness can’t be reduced to class-consciousness. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who understood the fight for equality as a class struggle, learned this lesson the hard way during his quest for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

• Critical race theory is an explicitly left-wing movement inspired by the thinking of an Italian neo-Marxist, Antonio Gramsci. Against classic Marxism, for which material conditions are primary, Gramsci (1891-1937) focused on “hegemony”—the system of beliefs that “reinforces existing social arrangements and convinces the dominated classes that the existing order is inevitable,” as Ms. Crenshaw puts it.

• The theory offers a fundamental critique of the civil-rights movement and the liberal ideology it reflects. Such theorists argue that the civil-rights movement scored some “symbolic” gains for black Americans but left their material conditions mostly unchanged, in part because civil-rights law is inherently limited. Such laws treat “discrimination” as isolated acts by specific individuals or businesses, as exceptions to prevailing norms and practices, not as pervasive and “systemic.” Civil-rights law can mitigate the consequences of illegal and unjust acts, but it can do nothing to redress the continuing impact of past oppression.

• Critical race theory rejects the principle of equality of opportunity. Its adherents insist that equality of opportunity is a myth, not a reality, in today’s America, and that those who pursue it are misguided. The real goal is equality of results, measured by black share of income, wealth and social standing. Critical race theorists reject the idea that sought-after goods should be distributed through systems that evaluate and reward “merit.”

This metric is unacceptable, the editors say, because certain “conceptions of merit function not as a neutral basis for distributing resources and opportunity, but rather as a repository of hidden, race-specific preferences for those who have the power to determine the meaning and consequences of ‘merit.’ ” These critics don’t specify which conceptions of merit, if any, they would find acceptable.

For those who reject meritocracy and demand equal results, even race-conscious policies such as affirmative action are diversionary. “The aim of affirmative action,” the book’s editors insist, is to “create enough exceptions to white privilege to make the mythology of equal opportunity seem at least plausible.” Such policies are an inadequate response to the persistence of “white supremacy.”

Following Gramsci’s lead, critical race theory has used mainstream concepts such as equality and inclusion to wage a highly effective war of position against liberal ideology. Some liberals have been co-opted, and others silenced. But now the debate has moved to states and school districts around the country, and many parents don’t like what they are seeing. Presenting an honest view of American history in public schools is one thing, parents say, but focusing the curriculum on the “1619 Project” is quite another. Hiring practices and workplaces should be fair and welcoming to all, employees say, but mandatory diversity training premised on the ubiquity of “unconscious racism” and “white fragility” is coercive and insulting.

Critical race theory’s popularizers have done the movement no favors. In his bestselling book, “How to Be an Anti-Racist,” Ibram X. Kendi bluntly asserts that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.” If prescriptions such as Mr. Kendi’s come to be seen as the inevitable consequence of critical race theory, the movement will end in failure.


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    2 weeks ago

Missouri  Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the Springfield  school district , alleging that the district violated a transparency law by restricting access to teacher and staff training that promoted critical race theory. 

"Today we sued Springfield Public Schools on behalf of parents to find out exactly what is being taught to their children, especially as teachers and staff are attending trainings where they’re required to consult an ‘oppression matrix’ and other materials," Schmitt told Fox News on Tuesday. "Springfield Public Schools have stonewalled parents and a state representative, but they will not stonewall the Attorney General’s Office."

The lawsuit alleges that Springfield Public Schools publicly acknowledged that it had been instructing teachers and staff on  critical race theory  – a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface. In a December 2020 report, the school district reported that it had required district leaders and staff to participate in a one-day training from the Facing Racism Institute, and the district claimed the goal of the training was to "introduce the components of critical race theory from educational research with applications to the district."


 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2  Tessylo    2 weeks ago

So who is all up in an outrage now over something that isn't happening?

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
2.1  Right Down the Center  replied to  Tessylo @2    2 weeks ago
So who is all up in an outrage now over something that isn't happening?

Except where it is.  I hope all the dems keep shoveling the same shit you spew.  That will help the Repubs in Nov.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
2.1.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Right Down the Center @2.1    2 weeks ago

Unfortunately there are those among us who willfully go through life with eyes wide shut.........

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.2  Ozzwald  replied to  Right Down the Center @2.1    2 weeks ago
Except where it is.

At least you guys are consistent.

  • CRT is being taught in kindergarten.
  • Dead illegal aliens voted for Biden.
  • There are pedophile rings in the basements of pizza restaurants.
  • Jewish space lasers are starting forest fires.
  • Trump is a very stable genius.

Did I miss anything?

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
2.1.3  Right Down the Center  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

 Yea, dems like to deflect because looking at what they are doing to the country is not getting them anywhere.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.1.4  Ronin2  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

Yes you missed all the left wing BS and denial..

  • The southern border is secure.
  • Biden's inflation is transitory.
  • Gas prices are not Biden's fault. Trump, Putin, Republicans, Covid, OPEC, and US oil companies are all conspiring against Biden.
  • Crime rates don't matter.
  • Illegal immigration isn't a problem.
  • Biden is mentally competent. No matter how many times his handlers have to walk his comments back.
  • There is no connection between Joe and Hunter's business dealings with Ukraine, Russia, and China.
  • The Jan 6th committee is bipartisan
  • The Afghanistan withdrawal was a success.
  • There are no more US citizens in Afghanistan
  • Russia colluded with Trump in the 2016 election
  • Jan 6th was an insurrection.
  • Hillary won in 2016
  • Vast right wing conspiracy

I am sure a missed several things. Democrats and leftists are living in their own reality. It is hard for us living in the real world to comprehend them.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.5  Ozzwald  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.4    2 weeks ago
I am sure a missed several things.

I'm sure the ones you missed are still in your spam folder, so you should be able to find them easily enough.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.5    2 weeks ago
I'm sure the ones you missed are still in your spam folder, so you should be able to find them easily enough.

I'll take your utter failure to address any of his points as capitulation.

Wise move.

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
2.1.7  Right Down the Center  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.5    2 weeks ago

Having trouble responding to the 14 or so items he mentioned?

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.8  Ozzwald  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.6    2 weeks ago
his points

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.9  Ozzwald  replied to  Right Down the Center @2.1.7    2 weeks ago
Having trouble responding to the 14 or so items he mentioned?

Having trouble deciding if I want to spend any time with his utterly moronic talking points.  Let's see:

  • The southern border is secure.

The southern border is not now, nor has ever been "secure".  No one is claiming it either.

  • Biden's inflation is transitory.

Inflation will change it will go up and it will go down, the very definition of "transitory" means change.  Like I said, moronic claim.

  • Gas prices are not Biden's fault. Trump, Putin, Republicans, Covid, OPEC, and US oil companies are all conspiring against Biden.

Gas prices are not Biden's fault, any more than they were Trump's, Obama's, Bush's, Clinton's, etc.  POTUS does not set prices for private companies.  Or didn't you know that?

  • Crime rates don't matter.

No clue where he came up with this one.

  • Illegal immigration isn't a problem.

Illegal immigration is no more of a problem now, than when it was under Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.  Allowing more legal immigration, or work permits would actually help the inflation (BTW).

  • Biden is mentally competent. No matter how many times his handlers have to walk his comments back.

I covefe That remarK, no MATTER where itS orange came FROM.  Now excuse ME while i finish My hamberder.

  • There is no connection between Joe and Hunter's business dealings with Ukraine, Russia, and China.

Congrats, he got one right.

  • The Jan 6th committee is bipartisan

Another correct one.  Liz Cheney (R), Adam Kinzinger (R)

Enough for now.....

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.8    2 weeks ago

I suppose laughing at what you can't answer works for some folks.

 
 
 
Lucifer Morningstar
Professor Guide
2.1.11  Lucifer Morningstar  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.4    2 weeks ago

We have ample and incontrovertible evidence that vast numbers of people actually believe the absurdities that you list.

How is it possible that anyone can take them seriously after that? 

The one you may have missed is....

An unarmed group of protesters that were welcomed into restricted areas of the Capitol by removing barriers and warning signage were the greatest threat to democracy in the US and even went on to murder officers guarding the Capitol.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
PhD Participates
2.1.12  Jasper2529  replied to  Ozzwald @2.1.9    2 weeks ago
The southern border is not now, nor has ever been "secure".  No one is claiming it either.

Someone should tell Mayorkas, because he keeps testifying before Congress that it is not only "secure" but that it is "closed".

March 2021:

May 2021:

During a House Appropriations Committee hearing, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday insisted that “the border is closed” 
“The president could not have been clearer in his articulation of this administration’s position nor could I have been clearer and continue to be so, which is the border is closed"

September 2021:

Mayorkas emphasized that the “borders are not open,

April 2022:

Mr. Mayorkas said the border is secure

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
2.1.13  Dulay  replied to  Lucifer Morningstar @2.1.11    2 weeks ago

How is it possible that anyone can take you seriously after that? 

 
 
 
Ozzwald
Professor Quiet
2.1.14  Ozzwald  replied to  Jasper2529 @2.1.12    one week ago
Someone should tell Mayorkas, because he keeps testifying before Congress that it is not only "secure" but that it is "closed".

Which means that he is as much an idiot as those that claim the border is wide open.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
3  Dulay    2 weeks ago

First of all, you cited the WRONG author for your seed Vic. 

The author is William A. Galston. 

Secondly, Galston claims:

Here is what I found in the volume and in an article by Kimberle Crenshaw...

Yet as your seed illustrates, Galston couldn't seem to manage to quote a whole sentence from Crenshaw's article OR the book and the vast majority of the Op/Ed isn't about the content of Crenshaw's article or the book. Claiming that his Op/Ed was predicated on either is bullshit. 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
4  Hallux    2 weeks ago

So FOX having failed miserably in its desire to whitewash Jan. 6 trots out CRT to keep their Dodo birdwatcher's wing all a flutter. The abject fragrancy of their propaganda suggests their watchers are noseblind. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  Hallux @4    2 weeks ago
ng failed miserably in its desire to whitewash Jan. 6 trots out CRT to keep their Dodo birdwatcher's wing all a flutter.

Lol.  Polly needs to learn a new trick. Parroting deflection over and over is growing stale. Try and be creative. 

 
 
 
Hallux
Sophomore Principal
4.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1    2 weeks ago
Parroting deflection over and over is growing stale

Which is precisely what this article is doing. Try and show a modicum of reason, its not a difficult task.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Hallux @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

Projection, deflection, denial, plus outright lies is all the gqp has.

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
4.1.3  Right Down the Center  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.2    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

I don’t think Critical Race Theory, per se, is what really freaks people out.

Much of the foundational concepts underpinning CRT are legitimate and have been taught in schools for years. You can’t have, in my opinion, a valid survey of American history without acknowledging and studying the racist institutions in government and society that have been present since before the country was even established, and persist (albeit to a far lesser degree) into modern times.

Slavery is a component of the Constitution. Jim Crow laws were a real thing. White people - some white people - fought to preserve segregation even within the memories of many people alive today. We still make or enforce laws that hit people of color harder than they hit white people. We just do it indirectly and not overtly. Why is marijuana (traditionally not a white man’s drug) still illegal when alcohol isn’t? Why did penalties for crack far outweigh those for regular cocaine? Why does the country lose its collective mind when a bunch of white people are shot, but the far greater number of black and brown shooting deaths - year over year - are not as urgent a problem? Why do schools in white suburbs not smell like urine or disinfectant? Why do they have newer equipment?

These things, and many others, are real and worth learning about. But this isn’t the problem with CRT.

What freaks out white parents is the fear that their 8 year old will go to school and the teacher will tell him he’s racist just because he was born white. They don’t want their kids guilt ridden over the sins of their ancestors. They don’t want their kids made to contemplate their white privilege.

This stuff exists, too, but it isn’t what CRT is.

Nevertheless, there are teachers bringing this into the classroom and it’s being lumped in with CRT. It’s probably pretty rare, but it does happen. I have to agree with the parents who think that such lessons probably do more harm than good. This kind of lesson is more appropriate for a high school or college course.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
5.1  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @5    2 weeks ago
It’s probably pretty rare, but it does happen.

There are thousands of school districts in this country. All over the country, the RW is threatening school board members and teachers without a shred of proof that it's happening in THEIR schools. The mere mention of race is enough evidence for them to assume that it's rampant. It's become a 'shinny object' for the RW to dangle in front of their base. They're talking about video surveillance in schoolrooms in districts that can't afford nurses or counselors or enough certified teachers. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Dulay @5.1    2 weeks ago

Schools are now a political tool for them to get the base riled up. Suddenly, everybody working at your local school either wants to break your white child’s spirit, or they’re just a pedophile, grooming the children. They don’t care to learn what really goes on in schools or to prioritize the kids. It’s all about terrifying the parents so they’ll vote Republican. It’s really disgusting.

 
 
 
Dulay
Professor Principal
5.1.2  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

It is disgusting and it's sad that all too many allow themselves to be used in this way.

This isn't rocket science. Go spend some time in your kid's classroom. Talk to your kid and ask them how the feel about their teacher and school. Don't have a kneejerk reaction to something before you find out for yourself how your kid interprets it or feels about it. Try to keep your mind out of the gutter. Read some of the books your kid is assigned for yourself with an OPEN mind.

 
 
 
afrayedknot
Freshman Quiet
5.1.3  afrayedknot  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

“Suddenly, everybody working at your local school either wants to break your white child’s spirit, or they’re just a pedophile, grooming the children.”

Suddenly, you have gone off the deep end. Re-read that comment and do tell how it can be reconciled.

The saddest part is you had been a relative voice of reason hereabouts, agree or disagree. Peace, tacos, nonetheless. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5.1.4  Tacos!  replied to  afrayedknot @5.1.3    2 weeks ago
Suddenly, you have gone off the deep end.

I see an opinion, but no support for it.

do tell how it can be reconciled

Reconciled with what? I feel like you either used the wrong word or you don’t know what “reconcile” means

rec·on·cile
/ˈrekənˌsīl/
Learn to pronounce
verb
  1. restore friendly relations between.
    "she wanted to be reconciled with her father"
    • cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible.
      "a landscape in which inner and outer vision were reconciled"

See how that works? Two things (not just one) are reconciled to or with each other. What you wrote makes no sense.

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
5.1.5  Right Down the Center  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

Maybe many of the parents looked over their kids shoulder while they were locked in their homes and didn't like what they were being taught. And then when they went to school board meetings (something that more parents should be doing anyway) they were told they had no business being there and were labeled terrorists.  Yep, great plan, tell parents that their children need to be taught what the school board thinks society needs them to know. That is what they tried in my town. They all lost.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
5.1.6  Tacos!  replied to  Right Down the Center @5.1.5    2 weeks ago
And then when they went to school board meetings (something that more parents should be doing anyway)

I agree that parents should take an interest. Around here, they stream the meetings online or you can go in person. We watch the streams a lot.

Citizens are very active at these meetings, but I have to say that a lot of people who address the school board are out of their freaking minds.

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
Freshman Guide
5.1.7  Right Down the Center  replied to  Tacos! @5.1.6    2 weeks ago
but I have to say that a lot of people who address the school board are out of their freaking minds.

No doubt.  I think many have been going on cruise control because they thought the school boards were doing what they expected of them.  Then when they found out their trust may have been misplaced they are mad at the board, and themselves, for not keeping an eye on it.  And we all know mama bears have no sense of humor.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
6  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

Let me get this straight.  This is why the right-wing fears CRT.

So...It is fine to inform that Ruby Bridges had to have Federal escort to go to school.  

But...It is not fine to inform why Ruby Bridges had to have Federal escort to go to school.

Is that about right?  Is there something I missed?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
6.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  bbl-1 @6    2 weeks ago
Is that about right? 

Not at all. 

Is there something I missed?

Try and read the article again.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
6.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Sean Treacy @6.1    2 weeks ago

Why don't you comment on what I wrote.  [removed]

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
6.2  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  bbl-1 @6    2 weeks ago
Let me get this straight. 

You didn't get it straight, not that there is anything wrong with that.

So...It is fine to inform that Ruby Bridges had to have Federal escort to go to school.

There isn't anything about Ruby in the seeded content, perhaps you mixed her up with Kimberle Crenshaw.

 
 
 
bbl-1
Professor Quiet
6.2.1  bbl-1  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @6.2    2 weeks ago

Article centers on CRT.  Nevermind. [removed]

 
 

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