Critical Race Theory
There seems to be a great deal of discussion during this political cycle in Texas about the Critical Race Theory; what it is, what it is supposed to do, and what should be done about it.
What CRT Actually Is
Paraphrasing the WikiPedia article on the topic, the theory is an intellectual exercise that challenges the mainstream American approaches to racial justice. The term "critical" in the title is an academic term that refers to critical thinking, critical theory, and scholarly criticism rather than any personal criticism or personal blame. In a societal environment, the theory is used to explain social, political, and legal structures through the lens of race. For example the CRT conceptual framework is one that can be used to study racial bias in laws and institutions, such as the how and why of incarceration rates and legal sentencing differs among racial groups in the United States.
"Unstable condition, a symptom of life in mental and environmental change."
The Political and Social Conflict
Scholars and advocates of CRT argue that the social and legal construction of race advances the interests of white people at the expense of people of color, and that the liberal notion of U.S. laws as "neutral" plays a significant role in maintaining a racially unjust social order where laws that are technically "color blind" continue to have racially discriminatory outcomes.
"An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Process information at half-speed."
Critics and opponents of CRT argue that the theory is based on 'storytelling' rather than evidence and reason, that it rejects truth and merit, and that it opposes liberalism. Advocates of banning or restricting the instruction of CRT argue that CRT is false, anti-American, that it vilifies white people, promotes racial leftism, and indoctrinates children. These same advocates have been accused of misrepresenting the tenets and importance of CRT and of having the goal of broadly silencing discussions of racism, equality, social justice, and the history of race.
"Everybody's got mixed feelings about the function and the form."
Several years ago, in a televised interview, actor Morgan Freeman was asked about his thoughts on how to stop racism. His reply was simply, "Stop talking about it." His point was that as long as we continue to bring up the topic, it will continue to be a topic that people will consider important enough to talk about. On this, I could not agree more. If our ultimate goal is to achieve a society where a person's race does not matter, where a person is "judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character", then racism itself will end once the circumstance of a person's birth is deemed as 'unimportant'.
In my opinion, the Critical Race Theory contradicts that entire premise.
"Leave out the fiction, the fact is this friction will only be worn by persistence."
Based on my understanding of the theory itself, a person's race is the "most important" aspect about any person, and that anyone who does not recognize this singular component is a "racist". In my opinion, the Critical Race Theory is not only racist in and of itself, but only serves to create more racial tension and division, that it perpetuates the argument that the circumstance surrounding a person's birth is a primary factor (perhaps the only factor) in determining a person's worth and, as a direct result, to what extent that any person can contribute to the continuing development of a society.
"Leave out conditions, courageous convictions will drag the dream into existence."
My intent, however, is not to state - or even suggest - that the aspects of the theory should not be taught in Texas schools, or even to imply that the events that gave rise to the theory in the first place did not happen. My intent is to suggest that the method of teaching about these events and this theory should not solely (or even a majority) be focused on the plights of any victimized ethnic group. That practice itself smacks of racism in the idea that all members of the discussed victimized group are now somehow entitled to some form of moral superiority by virtue of simply having survived their plights. As long as any single ethnic group believes that they occupy some higher moral or social level, that group is then promoting a form of racism.