What is CRT?
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not some imaginary boggy-man invented by the far-right. It is one of the more recognized and promoted versions of the Woke worldview. In response to its growing dominance within academia and resulting suppression of free speech and inquiry everywhere, Professor Johnathon Haidt and over 5,000+ other scholars from across the political spectrum created Heterodoxy Academy with specific guidelines to ensure open inquiry, viewpoint diversity and constructive disagreement within higher education. (See Heterodoxy Academy’s The HxA Way. (See https://heterodoxacademy.org/library/the-hxa-way/ ) Thus, many, though too few, in education recognize that CRT is a very real operational frame work used by actual people in positions of institutional power and cultural influence today-right now! LH’s current leadership has enthusiastically brought CRT into the school’s pedagogy and administrative structure thru its adoption of the Woke mantra of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and thru its connection to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and its People of Color Conference (PoCC) and Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) “leadership training” seminars for LH faculty and students. The exact same CRT dogmas and doctrines discussed below are reflected in the course content of the NAIS’s PoCC and SLDC. (See What is NAIS?) LINK (See NAIS PoCC Course Content) LINK
CRT, in theory and practice, is an updated version of Marxism, rooted in postmodern philosophy’s rejection of objective truth. Truth and reason are replaced by the claim that all human relationships are determined exclusively by group conflicts and relative group power. One of the founders of CRT, and author of the book Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, Richard Delgado describes his eyewitness account of the seminal 1989 meeting of two dozen “Marxist” academics where the term CRT was first coined (by Kimberley Crenshaw, who also coined “Intersectionality”) and designed. “I was a member of the founding conference…gathered in Madison, Wisconsin…[W]e gathered at [a] convent for two and half days, around a table in an austere room with stained glass windows and crucifixes here and there-an odd place for a bunch of Marxists…and worked out a set of principles.” (p. 3. Race Marxism, J. Lindsay 2022) In Delgado’s book he defines CRT as “a movement” driven by “a collection of activists and scholars interested in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power.” (Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, p. 2; as quoted in Race Marxism p. 1). Thus, the founders of CRT self-describe themselves and their efforts as Marxist. Moreover, they self-describe CRT not as a mere academic theory or a point of view. Rather it is a political “movement” of “activists” focused on “power” and “transforming” education and society. (Ibid; Ibid)
In fact, as James Lindsay shows in Race Marxism, his thoroughly sourced book on CRT, like Marxism 1.0, the theory of CRT is inseparable from the “transforming” political and social activism of CRT. “Critical Race Theory is as Critical Race Theory does.” (Race Marxism, p. 221). Thus, Woke classroom content, like the Gender Studies course in LH’s curriculum and the NAIS PoCC and SDLC seminar content, seeks to train faculty and students to “problematize” literally everything around them by filtering their lives and all of reality thru the Woke ideological lens, be it the lens of race (CRT), sex (Critical Feminism), or gender (CGT). (See NAIS PoCC Course Content) LINK LH’s Gender Studies class repeatedly implores students to “…find evidence… in the world around them by looking critically within their homes, schools, and local surroundings” and even to “…reflect on the theories and texts we’ve studied to provide advice on how sons should be raised.”- (See the 6-19 28-page LH parent analysis of LH’s Gender Studies class in LH’s Subtle but Significant Changes) LINK Woke uber-celebrity Ibram Kendi has even lobbied for an amendment to the constitution creating a Department of Antiracism (DOA). The DOA “would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expression of racist ideas.” (How to Be an Antiracist, I. Kendi. P. 13; Race Marxism, p. 73).
As with original Marxism and all versions of Woke, CRT divides humanity into strict group identities. Whereas Marx separated society into the capitalist bourgeoisie and the oppressed proletariat, CRT substitutes race for economic class. Furthermore, the goal of CRT is not the capture of just the means of economic production, but the capture of the means of cultural and knowledge production itself, first and foremost education. In this way it’s ambitions for power and control are unapologetically totalitarian.
CRT emerged because, in the 1960’s, Marxists admitted to an empirical problem. Neo-Marxists like Herbert Marcuse openly complained that advanced capitalism had successfully created a prosperous, flourishing middle class, and as a result the working class had “lost its revolutionary spirit”. (Race Marxism, p. 6). Marcuse, and others, looked for a “new location” for the development of the Marxian “critical consciousness” necessary to transform western societies into a socialist utopia. Marcuse targeted what he called “the ghetto populations” and the wedge issue of race. (Ibid) Other Woke advocates followed with other demographic categories and real wedge issues ripe for inflammatory exploitation in 1960’s America. This included actual discrimination based on race and sex (K. Crenshaw’s Intersectionality), sexual preference (Queer Theory) gender (Critical Gender Theory), as well as the colonialization of the third world (Post-Colonial Theory), and even issues of weight, beauty and personal appearance (so-called Fat Studies). (See Cynical Theories, H. Pluckrose & J. Lindsay 2020). In this way today’s array of subvariant theories of Woke, each focused on a different group identity, all emerged in academia from the same neo-Marxist set of first principles. This is also why all are dedicated to the same transformative, utopian-and ultimately totalitarian-goal of political and cultural revolution within all western democracies.
Some of What CRT believes
CRT views all of reality and every aspect of human existence thru the lens of race. As CRT author, Robin DiAngelo announced “The question [under CRT] is not ‘did racism take place’ but ‘how did racism manifest in that situation?’” (Race Marxism, p. 32) Because CRT sees thru racializing lenses, colorblindness, individuality, merit, human universals, equality (the enlightenment definition) and even scientific methodology and verifiable truth are all deemed impossible and are categorically rejected and derided. These classical liberal, enlightenment Judeo-Christian values are described by CRT advocates, DiAngelo and Ozlem Sensoy, as part of a “white” conspiracy to “fool people”. They are “…a mechanism for keeping the marginalized in their place by obscuring larger structural systems of inequality”. (Is Everyone Really Equal? p. 5; Race Marxism, p. 33). Delgado declared in his book that “critical race theory calls into question the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and the neutral principals of constitutional law” (Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, p. 3; Race Marxism, p. 59). Delgado continues “[Critical Race Theorists] are highly suspicious of another liberal mainstay, namely rights.” (p. 23; p. 59). Thus, CRT, like all of Woke, categorically rejects the foundational principles of a classically liberal, enlightened, Judeo-Christian tradition; the very principles upon which LH was founded.
Of necessity, CRT cannot acknowledge any meaningful improvement or progress within western societies on any of these issues. To do so would be to acknowledge yet another empirical problem: that liberal, enlightened, free-market democracies work for all human beings regardless of race. This, in turn, would diminish the “revolutionary spirit” within “the ghetto populations” targeted by CRT for its “transforming” agenda: to overthrow these liberal, enlightened, free market democracies and install a vanguard of the Woke. (See Ibram Kendi’s Department of Anti-Racism above). To be clear, we certainly do not deny that racism exists, especially in America. The abhorrent history of racism here, as everywhere, should be taught. But slavery, racism and racial injustices are injustices of human beings, verifiably practiced by all races of humanity throughout human history, and still practiced openly in some corners of the world today. We believe this too must also be taught as a truthful context to America’s own racist past. However, the Woke world view rarely focuses its racial lens on anything but the open, tolerant and free societies of western civilization, in particular the United States. Thus, narrowly focused, CRT insists that the elimination of formal and visible white racism in America simply means that white bigotry has gone underground, become even more intransigent, more “systemic” and psychologically embedded, most especially in the minds of white people. This theory of “unconscious white racism” informs the now scientifically debunked fad of Implicit Bias/Attitude Testing. (See Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t up to the Job, J. Singal April, 2017). Yet, despite its proven lack of scientific reliability and validity, LH continues to promote its use with its own faculty.
According to CRT dogma, like Derrick Bell’s Interest-Convergence Thesis, whites, as the dominate racial group, have never acted at any time out of a sense of moral regard for other human beings of a different race, but only because it served their own racial group interests. (Race Marxism, p. 34) Not only does Bell reinterpret (see Storytelling below) iconic civil rights legislation and judicial decisions as nothing but racially self-serving masks, he claims these advancements actually made racism and racial injustice worse, because now racism is less visible and therefore more insidious. (p. 35). The subtle, racial slur here is that people with white skin are congenitally incapable of moral action. This shockingly cynical, if not clinically paranoid, view is the ideological well spring for the proliferation of Critical Whiteness Studies (CWS) throughout academia today. (p. 36) (See Whiteness Studies in Translations from the Woke) LINK
The concept of “Whiteness” and CWS is also a common topic at the NAIS PoCC and SDLC where current LH leadership enthusiastically sends our faculty and students for “leadership training”. (See LH’s Subtle but Significant Changes) LINK According to CRT author, Barbara Applebaum, “…racism is essentially a white problem” invisible to white people. Only by studying this ethereal social substance called “whiteness” can we “…make visible what is rendered invisible…” in white supremacist America today. DiAngelo tells us that there is “no such thing as a positive white identity” and that society must become “less white”. (White Fragility, R. DiAngelo, p. 150; Race Marxism, p. 67) Not surprisingly, the next logical question becomes the need to rid the world of white people. (Is There Room in Diversity for White People? S. Salerno. Quillette May 10, 208). In other words, CWS and CRT engage in the moral scapegoating of a specific racial group as constitutively inferior moral beings based on the amount of light that reflects off the surface of their skin. Worse, they openly advocate for the abolition of the property of whiteness, which not surprisingly leads some Woke to postulate both the final question and final solution. (p. 66). In other words, those who advocate CRT have literally learned nothing from the horrors of the 20th century.
As we explain in Understanding Woke, CRT presupposes the Woke knowledge principal. That is, all knowledge is “socially constructed” by the dominant powers in any particular society and culture. Universal knowable truths are impossible. According to CRT all knowledge is “structurally determined” by one’s membership within a racial group. (Race Marxism, p. 45) Thus, the “lived experience” of non-whites living in a systemically white racist society is an unassailable truth beyond question or critique with empirical evidence. (See Standpoint Epistemology in Translations from the Wokish). Racism, which CRT claims is a creation of white people, can only be explained and understood by non-white people. Hence CRT’s doctrine of the “unique voice of color”. (p. 48). Delgado explains “The ‘voice of color’…impl[ies] that critical race theorists have a deeper understanding of certain issues than their white counterparts…” (Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, p. 91; Race Marxism, p. 49). Non-whites are “…able to communicate to their white counter parts matters that whites are unlikely to know. Minority status, in other words, brings with it a presumed competence to speak about race and racism.” (Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, p. 9; Race Marxism, p. 49). Worse, CRT assumes that in virtue of one’s skin color every individual has the same “lived experiences” as every other individual of the same skin color. Here in lies the Woke definition of “Diversity” in the mantra of DEI: a uniformity of racial thought, character, desires, ambitions, and experiences for everyone with that skin color. Hence the need for racial “affinity groups” and overt racial segregation, like that practiced at the NAIS PoCC/SDLC and now at LH.
However, CRT dogma holds that the “lived experience” expressed thru the “unique voice of color” is only “authentic” as long as non-whites agree with Woke dogma and mouth the ideological talking points. (Race Marxism, p. 49). Stray from the Woke hymnal and a non-white becomes “inauthentic” or is said to be “acting white”. (p. 50). (See Authentic and Acting White in Translations from the Woke). Thus, Larry Elder is called “the black face of white supremacy” and Condoleezza Rice “a foot soldier for white supremacy”. CRT advocate Ta Nehsi Coates described Kanye West as “no longer black” in 2018, just months after attending the 2017 NAIS PoCC/SDLC as a celebrated speaker along with CRT and Intersectionality founder Kimberley Crenshaw. Woke congresswomen Ayanna Pressley declared “We can no longer have black and brown faces who do not want to be black and brown voices.” (“Pressley: Democrats don’t need ‘any more black faces…’, Klar. R, The Hill July 14, 2019; Race Marxism, p. 51). Author of the revisionist history The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones, tweeted “There is a difference between being racially black and politically black.” (Race Marxism, p. 51). The CRT message to all young minds is clear: individuality and diversity of thought are verboten. Allegiance to one’s race is demanded and expected. Support the Marxist Woke cultural revolution or be racially, socially and publicly ostracized.
Finally, because classically liberal, enlightenment concepts like truth, reason and even science are expressly rejected in favor of power as the source of all knowledge, CRT favors “storytelling”, “Narrative -weaving”, and “Counter storytelling” by “unique voices of color” over logic and empirical evidence. CRT activists recognize the ease and power of incendiary narratives over dry, often contested empirical historical data. (p. 51). After all, “a lie can travel half-way round the world before the truth can get its boots on.” (Purportedly Mark Twain) Lindsay documents some of the more bizarre ways that CRT utilizes this license to literally fabricate historical events and personal interactions of historical figures. (p. 53). CRT founder Delgado unapologetically embraces the practice of “revisionist history” as a “signature CRT theme” so that history “..squares more accurately with minorities’ [subjective] experiences.” (Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, p. 20; Race Marxism, p. 57). Hannah-Jones’ NY Times 1619 Project is the most famous example of such fabrications for mass political effect. (See The 1619 Project: A Critique, P. Magness 2020). In this way Woke educators “weave” their revisionist, Marxist racial history into class curriculums and into the larger cultural narrative, so as to transform our understanding of ourselves in the past and the present.
Anecdotally speaking, children are confused when first presented with these doctrines because they are naturally accepting of others. These ideologies have no meaning to them until they are taught that they should recognize this Woke worldview. Woke ideology understands this truth, which is why they target children as young as 3 years old in their training materials. Study our section titled NAIS PoCC Course Content if you doubt us. The Woke are half right, but this is no novel insight on their part. Yes, racism must be taught. However, it is the Woke themselves, as well as those unable or unwilling to understand and resist Woke, who are teaching racial segregation and patently racist dogma to our children. The Woke, knowingly or unknowingly, literally are everything they accuse everyone else of being.
Critical Race Theory red flags to look out for
at private schools
The formation of a Diversity, Exclusion & Equity task force or committee.
Asking for parent participation In a racism survey.
Optional or mandated personal development training reflecting CRT for teachers, staff, administration and students using accreditation standards as the reasoning.
Directing parents to only one administrator when a parent has a question regarding CRT.
When questioned about CRT the administrator wants you to provide them with proof.
Quiet subtle retaliation against parents questioning CRT.
Suggestions that a parent find another school if they question CRT.
THE BUZZWORDS OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY
Equity - This has replaced “equality.” Instead of ensuring that every American has an equal opportunity to succeed, equity demands equality of outcomes.
Implicit/unconscious/internalized bias - This is the relentless search to find racism in every aspect of American life. If it’s not immediately evident, look harder.
Social Justice/Restorative Justice - This is the belief that society must be torn down and remade in order to fully root out racism.
Systemic racism - According to critical race theory, racism is the original sin of America, and it persists everywhere to this day. Every institution is designed, they say, “to maintain the dominance of white people in society.”
Microaggressions - These are “subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously.”
Antiracism - This is critical race theory’s nom de guerre, the practical outworking of its central ideas.
White privilege - According to this doctrine, white people derive immense benefits from their race. According to one theorist (and Wisconsin politician), “America needs to be honest about how race has driven every decision from education to homeownership, and everything in between.”
White fragility - This makes critical race theory non-falsifiable. Any objection to any tenet of critical race theory is said to be white fragility.
Colonialism - That villain Jean-Jacques Rousseau would recognize this as his “noble savage” concept—it’s the notion that most human societies lived some kind of idyllic existence until explorers from the West arrived. As one scholar puts it, “colonialism, as a project of bringing the backward races into the universal History, bridged Enlightenment with modern constructions of race.” In other words, colonialism was the seedbed of race—and racism. Critical race theorists demand that we decolonize—reject all that the West brought with it, including Enlightenment ideals.
Identity - Everything is about what you are, not who you are.
Ally/Allyship - According to Harvard University, an ally is “Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice.” Critical race theorists demand nothing less of the rest of us.
Social construct - Race is made-up; it’s a fiction used by oppressors to control the oppressed. Oh, and also race is real and immutable. It’s the one thing you can’t change about yourself, and it’s all that matters (see identity).
Intersectional theory - Looking at additional aspects of a person's background, such as class, ability, race, and ethnicity to understand gender. In fact, women and men experience differing levels of oppression in both consistency and intensity within their gendered groups. For example, women as a whole are not afforded the same social benefits that men are. To add to this, minority women have access to even fewer social benefits than their white counterparts. Scholars realize that cultural patterns of oppression are bound together and influenced by the intersection of things like race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.
(See more definitions in Translations from the Wokish Encyclopedia) LINK
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