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A Primer on Critical Race Theory

What is Critical Race Theory (CRT)?

by Douglas P. Seaton, J.D., Ph.D.

As one of CRT’s most popular evangelists, Ibram X. Kendi, shockingly writes, “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.” While you might expect a racist statement like this to come from someone in 1950s Alabama, CRT and antiracism “scholars” are pushing intentional, racist discrimination against “oppressors” across the United States.

In short, CRT (and the related “antiracism”) is a Marxist ideology which claims to uncover racism baked into American society—in institutions like the police as well as our individual “hearts and minds.” CRT then tries to remove that “racism” by tearing down institutions and discriminating against the “privileged.” This new discrimination is intended to produce “equity”—not equality—in racial outcomes.

CRT claims that every social outcome is race-influenced, and CRT measures whether racism exists by the outcomes people of different races experience across society. So, if one racial group is wealthier or performs better than another in a certain area of life, that difference was caused by racism. CRT avoids reviewing individual instances to see whether there was actual discrimination. 

CRT claims that people with power—not individual decisions—create social constructs that determine how we think and what we do. For example, CRT claims that race is a social construct, not a biological difference, and it has been created by White people with power to oppress Black people. Therefore, our everyday lives are controlled by those in power, and our existence is just a competition between groups over power, not a product of our individual decisions. So those who are “oppressed” can mostly blame the “oppressors” for their personal situations.

CRT also equates racism in America with white supremacy. CRT claims that the white race founded America and built it on racist principles, like private property and freedom of speech. These principles are not neutral according to CRT. Instead, they pretend to be neutral while covering for the American system’s white supremacy, also known as “structural racism,” “systemic racism,” and “institutional racism.” Thus, CRT claims that the United States is a white supremacist nation, and “colorblindness” hides the underlying racism in American institutions.

Like Marxism, CRT seeks revolution. Because American laws and institutions are part of a system of white supremacy, they cannot be saved by amendments and slow change over time. Instead, they must be immediately torn down (e.g. defund the police, abolish prisons). To tear down these institutions, CRT requires active discrimination against White people. 

What Does CRT Look Like?

 In businesses, governments, and schools across America, CRT and the closely-related antiracism are taught in the disguise of “diversity and inclusion” training. For example, in Seattle, Mayor Durkan held a July 2020 Whites-only City Hall training on “Internalized Racial Superiority for White People.” In Nevada, a public school student was forced to answer a questionnaire identifying himself by race and then stating whether he was an “oppressor” or “oppressed.” Coca-Cola tells its employees in mandatory trainings to “be less white.”

 Right here in Minnesota, public employers crack down on employees who criticize the Black Lives Matter movement—even if those employees are people of color themselves. Schools and teachers weave 1619 Project materials into their teacher trainings and classrooms. Without parents and students speaking out, School Districts claim that they get to control curriculum and teach what they think is best, to make their students more “woke.” Children are forced to disclose their sexual, racial, religious, socioeconomic, and other identities before their classmates. 

What Should I Do?

 First and foremost, employees, parents, elected officials, and others who care about true racial equality—equal treatment under the law—pay attention to what is going on in your place of employment, your school, and your district. Where Ibram Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, the New York Times’ 1619 Project, and other CRT or “antiracist” materials are presented to you or your family, you should take note and be prepared to discuss what these materials really mean.

 Second, if you have been subjected to unfair treatment based on CRT or “antiracist” training, or if you believe that your employer, school, city, county, or the State of Minnesota, is imposing CRT or “antiracism” ideology on you or your children, contact us at Upper Midwest Law Center to discuss whether you may have a legal claim to help stop this racist ideology from sneaking into Minnesotans’ lives.

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The Upper Midwest Law Center is a 100% donor-funded, 501(c)(3) non-profit public interest law firm that seeks to advance individual liberty and the rule of law. Our website is www.umwlc.org. All donations are confidential and tax-deductible. You can contact us at 612-428-7000 or at [email protected]

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