Criticizing Critical Race Theory

I love how talking points get thrown into the media cauldron and some stick like shit on a wall and some don’t. Well, Critical Race Theory stuck for a lot of people, and it’s laughable how the term is thrown around without so much as a general understanding of what it is and who’s learning it.

I was recently with friends of ours whom we love and look up to. Quietly in fall 2020, they sold their Chicago condo and moved out of the state. One of the reasons they were thrilled to move was that teachers at their son’s school were teaching third graders Critical Race Theory, specifically teaching that white people were responsible for slavery.

“Well, who else was responsible for it?”

Blank stare.

Let me tell you what Critical Race Theory is not: it’s not a history lesson on slavery and who caused it.

It is collegiate level examination of race, racism and cultural issues surrounding how it’s intertwined in modern ways by people from all walks of life.

It’s not some teacher discussing the early years of colonial life and how white people became rich on the backs of “free” labor from people shipped in from Africa.

Does that hurt your widdle feewings?

During another conversation with a friend whose dad printed out an article examining right-wing talking points exposing CRT’s problems, he was nonplussed. “My dad’s a racist,” he explained.

“What was the crux of the article?” I asked.

“That we are not to blame for our ancestors sins,” he responded.

Good, then we shouldn’t be to blame for Adam & Eve’s original sin, too?

No, no, no, that’s biblical. And living in a fallen world is unavoidable. We must account for the sins of the first two incestuous people. But seeking to right the ship on 400 years of enslaving a race of people? That’s out of line!

I’ve had friends and family battle their own racist demons. And the response I’ve tried to point out is, “We’re all racist.”

There’s this tendency by some people to wish that they are superhuman and immune from humanity’s natural feelings to look down on some people.

Why just recently, a friend was explaining that he had to put a foster kid in a public school who was clearly not performing at the level other kids were at his age. So they put him in a classroom with similarly-uneducated kids … which he ended up being smarter than all of them … “which were almost all black,” my friend explained.

See. Racism. Superfluous racism.

The guy was doing great. Explaining the story of educating a foster kid. Win. Win. Win. Win. Drops the race card. Lose. Lose. Lose. Lose.

Sure, it’s matter of fact to explain that the class consisted of a majority of black kids. But it’s the way it was said. It’s that dig toward a certain type of people with a certain color of skin. It’s the dumb white kid was smarter – and proud of it – than the class of [bum, bum, bum!] idiot black kids, who, you know, come from dumb families with dumb parents.

This is an example of what they would teach in a CRT class. What is the rationale for separating the kids with different levels of education? What kind of effect does this have on a larger scale? What kinds of things can we do to improve education to help these kids succeed?

But people, like my friends, don’t want to worry about that. They don’t want that in their heads, so they’ll setup an arsenal of mental artillery to keep it out. What can we blame? People studying the ramifications of race at a collegiate level? By all means! Yes!

Who are these people? All kinds. Educated. Uneducated. Self-educated. Otherwise, harmless people are latching on to talking points they wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for the steady stream of drivel pouring out of the mouth holes of their favorite websites and TV stations, they are becoming the armchair experts on the topics and repeating it mindlessly to their friends and family.

But the anti-CRT people are inadvertently succumbing to their own fears by being more racist than they initially set out to be.

Repeat after me: I’m a racist. I want to do better. I want to help all people and be a shining light in the darkness. It’s okay to admit that we are racist. No one is perfect. Let’s try to be better together.

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