Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

1 truth and 3 lies about Critical Race Theory

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Judd Legum has an illuminating column today:

Between now and November 2022, you will be hearing a lot about Critical Race Theory (CRT). On Saturday night, former President Trump bashed CRT during his first rally since leaving the White House. Last week, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the “END CRT Act.” In the first two weeks of June, CRT was mentioned 408 times on Fox News

Why has a complex academic legal framework that has been around since the 1980s suddenly become a hot political topic? We don’t have to speculate. Right-wing operatives have stated publicly that they plan to use CRT to elect more Republicans. 

Steve Bannon, who advised Trump in the White House and now hosts an influential podcast on the right, said putting CRT at the center of the political discussion was the key to Republican success in 2022 and beyond:

I look at this and say, “Hey, this is how we are going to win.” I see 50 [House Republican] seats in 2022. Keep this up. I think you’re going to see a lot more emphasis from Trump on [CRT] and [Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis and others. People who are serious in 2024 and beyond are going to focus on it.

Trump, Cruz, Bannon, and many other Republicans say that CRT is an insidious force that is being imposed in schools, corporations, and the government. This is how Cruz describes CRT in his new bill. 

By teaching that certain individuals, by virtue of inherent characteristics, are inherently flawed, critical race theory contradicts the basic principle upon which the United States was founded that all men and women are created equal.

This is a false description of CRT. (It is also an inaccurate historical description of the Declaration of Independence, which states “all men are created equal.” And it was referring only to white men.) 

But understanding politics in the months ahead will require understanding the truth about CRT — and how CRT is being distorted and manipulated. 

The truth about Critical Race Theory

At its heart, Critical Race Theory emerged from a group of legal scholars trying to answer a question: Why, after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 created formal legal equality between racial groups, does substantive racial inequality persist?

Let’s explore how this works with a concrete example. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more, including the three lies. This is probably behind a paywall, but this guy is good and worth a subscription.

Later in the column:

The purpose of CRT is to understand the structural causes of racial inequality — large and small — in order to dismantle them and create a fairer society. CRT scholars use similar analysis to explain how the law creates racial inequality in health, education, and other areas. 

Disagreeing with some or all of CRT does not make you a racist. CRT is a lively field of academic study and many CRT scholars disagree with each other

But Chris Rufo, an operative affiliated with the Manhattan Institute who popularized opposition to CRT through frequent appearances on Fox News, acknowledged in March that he is simply using CRT as a vessel to fill with whatever concepts he thinks are politically unpopular. By their own admission, the current crop of CRT critics is not engaged in a good faith argument. They are misrepresenting and distorting CRT for political purposes.

From a column by Philip Bump in the Washington Post:

Christopher Rufo is broadly and appropriately credited with seizing on critical race theory as a useful point of focus. He’s been upfront about both how the term is being redefined and why.

The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory,’ ” he wrote on Twitter this year. “We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.

In other words, critical race theory would become a stand-in for a range of “unpopular” cultural struggles — most of which, given the descriptor, will focus on race.

Rufo has also been explicit about one of the things that he says should be slotted under the umbrella of critical race theory: communism.

Written by Leisureguy

28 June 2021 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Daily life, GOP, Politics

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