Recently, I read an article about Critical Race Theory. The writer clearly favored CRT but advised readers to do their own research. I did — exhaustively —- and concluded that CRT is a frightening group-think threat to democratic ideals that made our wonderful America the envy of the world.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology had scheduled a lecture for Oct. 21 by Dr. Dorian Abbot, a geophysical science professor at the University of Chicago. The lecture was titled “Climate and the Potential for Life on Other Planets.” It had zero to do with CRT.

But MIT “canceled” Abbot’s appearance following students’ Twitter tantrums about political positions Abbot took in an opinion on Newsweek.com. His sin? He criticized “woke” American universities. Limiting free speech is central to “cancel culture” and lies at the very heart of CRT.

The late Harvard law professor Derrick Albert Bell Jr. is credited with initiating CRT in the 1980s. Bell believed civil rights gains of the 1960s had essentially stopped. So he began developing ways outside of our step-by-step process of law and the courts to bring about equity for “people of color.”

Bell quickly attracted liberal university faculty disciples. One notable adherent was Richard Delgado, professor at the University of Alabama School of Law, who supported court challenges to language he regarded as “hate speech” toward Black people.

That strategy fizzled in 1992 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment’s free speech protections prevented the Court from precluding speech denigrating Blacks unless it also outlawed speech denigrating Whites.

Undeterred, CRT proponents began looking for ways to circumvent First Amendment free speech guarantees. One tactic was “civil” suits attempting to bankrupt organizations considered hate groups. However, its applicability to groups yielded limited success. After all, there’s only so many groups to sue.

So CRT adherents switched to persuading liberal colleges to ban speakers that administrators believe espoused hate speech. Paydirt. Today, speech and speakers are filtered and assessed for cancelling at more than 200 universities.

Enter Dorian Abbot’s Newsweek article. Abbot opined that “Nearly every decision taken on campus, from admissions, to faculty hiring, to course content, to teaching methods, is made through the lens of DEI” (diversity, equity and inclusion).

True to Dr. Bell, CRT doesn’t seek “equal” treatment. It seeks “equity.” Forms of equity include reparations, affirmative action, race-based hiring and college admissions, etc. University of Illinois Black studies professor David Stovall urges ending standardized college testing, calling it an “extension of eugenics.” Stovall says grading should also vanish, as it is an example of an “objective methodology used to maintain a permanent Black and Latino underclass.”

In plain talk, by paying particular people off, CRT strives to rebalance social scales allegedly skewed by past inequities. By definition, that divides people into us-and-them, which is anything but “inclusion.”

Adherents argue that “America was fashioned by elite white people, and white laws and conventions maintain a system of suppressors and suppressed.” Perhaps nothing explains CRT like this excerpt from an editorial in The New York Times. It purports to show how the police are part of a conspiracy against everyone but particular white people. The police “succeed in keeping middle-class and especially upper-class white people safe, so long as they don’t get out of line. They succeed in keeping people of color in their place so that they don’t challenge the social order that privileges middle- and upper-class white people.”

CRT was incubated in academia by the elite people least likely to be affected by social inequities. CRT theory seeks to subvert fundamentals that have held America together. But to survive, as with any subversive ideology, it must be propagandized through schools.

The line they hope to sell in schools is explained by Robin DiAngelo, one of the most prominent CRT “facilitators.” Her book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” tells readers that CRT holds that white people are “inherently racist.”

CRT’s task is daunting because it can’t attack a culture it says is white without attacking whites. Nonetheless, it succeeded in cowing opponents into fearing reputational or economic retribution. Forbes.com says, “In this sort of environment, it’s not surprising that many people are looking to their state legislators for help.”

And they’ve responded. Nearly half of all states have passed or are actively considering laws that would restrict the teaching of CRT. Further, according to Newyorker.com, “Republicans are planning mid-term campaign efforts to tie Democrats to critical race theory by appealing to those uneasy with proposed changes to public schooling or the implication that they are to blame for the enduring inequity in American society.”

A bit of heartening news: Princeton University has agreed to host Dr. Abbot’s climate lecture on the same day originally scheduled at MIT. Thousands have signed up.

Michael Smith is a Southern Pines resident.

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(18) comments

Suzanne Martin

Nowhere in this opinion do I see CRT defined. Let's start there

Sally, I have never thought that blacks were inferior. I have known too many to believe that.

Sally Larson

But in the 1990s the NFL thought so. Isn't that worth correcting?

Jim Tomashoff

What are Mr. Smith's qualifications to write on this subject?

Sally Larson

This is an opinion.

Mark Hayes

https://tennesseestar.com/2020/01/15carol-swain-commentary-critical-race-theory-and-christain-education/

Conrad Meyer

Thanks for posting that link Mark - very helpful.

Equity “is a political conception describing a state in which all people have approximately the same material and income, or in which the general economic conditions of everyone’s lives are alike.” This is from Wikipedia. The short definition is Communism.

ken leary

Come on Michael, this is the real world, not your fantasy of the USA being the pleasant example of “democratic ideals that made our wonderful America the envy of the world.” It is not. Wake up. You actually think much of the world sees us as anything but international terrorists. I’m against “cancel culture”, but I have no difficulty understanding professor Bell’s attempt to stem hate talk; not to mention cross burning and swastikas which the 92 ruling also condoned. I reluctantly agree with that ruling also, however, long ago, in this paper, we established that CRT was developed at Harvard University as a spinoff of Critical Legal Studies. CRT was to address issues tangent to CLS that were difficult to consider in that discipline. CRT was never intended to be taught in schools. You suggest that CRT advocates attempted to thwart hate groups through civil actions. That failed, you say, because there were “only so many groups to sue”, suggesting that the dearth of hate groups is the problem limiting success. Your logic aside, have you ever looked at

Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups.

Can you explain this line: “In plain talk, by paying particular people off, CRT strives to rebalance social scales allegedly skewed by past inequities.” I get the “inequities” part although I’m not sure why you think they are “past”, but who is “paying” who? And this: “Adherents (of CRT) argue that “America was fashioned by elite white people, and white laws and conventions maintain a system of suppressors and suppressed.” I’m not an “adherent” of CRT other than to recognize that its purpose is to make people think about the FACT that “America was fashioned by elite white people, and white laws and conventions (to) maintain a system of suppressors and suppressed” and we should talk about that. You appear to disagree with this statement: “They (cops) succeed in keeping people of color in their place so that they don’t challenge the social order that privileges middle- and upper-class white people.” Write a column on that proposition Michael, “exhaustively” research it; I suggest you start with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. CRT’s task is “daunting” because many people, yourself for instance, can’t deal with reality. Otherwise there would be no such nonsensical assertions that we are that ”wonderful America the envy of the world.” And for your information, Robin Deangelo’s book was heavily criticized by such people as Adolph Reed, someone I invariably agree with.

“Black Scholar Adolph Reed DESTROYS "White Fragility" & Robin DiAngelo”

Sally Larson

Ken, you hit the nail on the head.

” I’m not an “adherent” of CRT other than to recognize that its purpose is to make people think about the FACT that “America was fashioned by elite white people, and white laws and conventions (to) maintain a system of suppressors and suppressed”

What “white laws and conventions to maintain to maintain a system of suppressors and suppressed?” If you are referring to the Jim Crow law of Southern Democrats, you are right.

Sally Larson

Peyton, this isn't such a scary thing to address because once it's recognized, it can be changed. The obvious recent example that I've mentioned before is the NFL practicing race-norming, suggesting black players had a lower cognitive functioning and so the insurance pay-out was harder for them to prove their injuries. This happened in the 1990s and has just been uncovered. CRT is about uncovering the rules and regulations based on discriminatory information. Can't you see how wrong that was and understand the need to change this kind of thinking?

Mark Hayes

Peyton, may want to pass this along . AP reports that the NFL, and players, agree to end ' race norming ' in $ 1 billion settlement.

Matthew Hintz

Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group.

Sally Larson

And where did you get that information?

Kent Misegades

CRT in government schools is a gift to school choice. Private, charter and home schools are experiencing historic growth as parents have had enough of such lies being taught to their children. The strongest area of growth in home schools is among the black community.

Matthew Hintz

FACT

ken leary

While your comment is articulate and well reasoned Matthew, it would behoove you in the future to be a little less verbose. Perhaps you could just use onomatopoeias in the future to convey your thoughts.

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