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Five Tenets of CRT: What they say vs. what they mean

Five Tenets of CRT: What they say vs. what they mean

As with so much jargon, one can use these principles in a benign way or a destructive one.

https://criticalrace.org/

One of the problems with discussing and debating CRT is that it’s a complicated set of teachings and beliefs about which people know very little and which probably vary at least somewhat according to whom is doing the trainings. The most pernicious aspects of CRT are often in the details of how the trainings and/or classes go.

Here’s a set of five supposedly basic tenets of CRT:

(1) Centrality of Race and Racism in Society: CRT asserts that racism is a central component of American life.
(2) Challenge to Dominant Ideology: CRT challenges the claims of neutrality, objectivity, colorblindness, and meritocracy in society.
(3) Centrality of Experiential Knowledge: CRT asserts that the experiential knowledge of people of color is appropriate, legitimate, and an integral part to analyzing and understanding racial inequality.
(4) Interdisciplinary Perspective: CRT challenges ahistoricism and the unidisciplinary focuses of most analyses and insists that race and racism be placed in both a contemporary and historical context using interdisciplinary methods.
(5) Commitment to Social Justice: CRT is a framework that is committed to a social justice agenda to eliminate all forms of subordination of people.

As with so much jargon, one can use these principles in a benign way or a destructive one. From what I know about CRT in actual practice, they tend to be used destructively and somewhat differently than the words in those five principles would indicate.

For example, let’s take principle #1: “CRT asserts that racism is a central component of American life.” Actually, CRT asserts that racism is the central component of American life and pervades every aspect of it.

Or #2: “CRT challenges the claims of neutrality, objectivity, colorblindness, and meritocracy in society.” Actually, CRT challenges not just the claims of those things, but also challenges the idea that they are worthwhile goals. CRT considers meritocracy, for example, to be utterly bogus and inherently racist and would like to eliminate it as a goal or standard. CRT would like to substitute color awareness and eliminate colorblindness. Same for objectivity and neutrality, which are defined as white values and inherently racist.

Or #3: “CRT asserts that the experiential knowledge of people of color is appropriate, legitimate, and an integral part to analyzing and understanding racial inequality.” Is there anyone who disagrees with that? I think you’d find very few people who don’t think that the experiences of black people and other minorities are worthwhile to hear. However, CRT actually asserts that this “experiential knowledge” is far more important than statistics in the aggregate – in other words, that anecdotal evidence (which, among other things, can be a misperception even if a sincere one) is of far more importance than anything else, and it’s only the anecdotal evidence of “people of color” that matters.

Here’s #4: “CRT challenges ahistoricism and the unidisciplinary focuses of most analyses and insists that race and racism be placed in both a contemporary and historical context using interdisciplinary methods.” That’s so jargon-packed that I can’t quite figure out what it refers to (“interdisciplinary methods”?). But my sense is that it tries to change history by bringing in a perspective that makes history into whatever the CRT people want it to show – a la the 1619 Project, for example.

On #5: “CRT is a framework that is committed to a social justice agenda to eliminate all forms of subordination of people.” More jargon that obscures what’s happening. “Social justice agenda” is an example of what Thomas Sowell referred to in his book The Quest For Cosmic Justice (highly recommended by me) as an endeavor that is doomed to create more problems than it solves. As Sowell writes:

In its pursuit of justice for a segment of society, in disregard of the consequences for society as a whole, what is called “social justice” might more accurately be called anti-social justice, since what consistently gets ignored or dismissed are precisely the costs to society.

The costs of achieving justice matter. Another way of saying the same thing is that “justice at all costs” is not justice. What, after all, is an injustice but the arbitrary imposition of a cost—whether economic, psychic, or other—on an innocent person? And if correcting this injustice imposes another arbitrary cost on another innocent person, is that not also an injustice?

Those who are promoting CRT leave out all the costs and are mum about the anti-white racism inherent in those costs. However, word has been getting out recently, and more people (not enough, but more) are starting to understand what CRT is actually about in practice rather than in the descriptive language that attempts to obscure that practice.

[Neo is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at the new neo.]

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Comments

it’s merit vs. equity
you want cardiac surgeons who earned their place by equity, I’ll be happy to place a bouquet on your grave

CRT isn’t complicated. It’s only complicated if you try to engage them on their terms. Attack its flawed premises and it’s easy to see why it’s faulty. All of their arguments are grounded in the faulty premises that they present as fact. CRT would never stand up under rigorous debate that’s why they are trying to shove it down everyone’s throat.

    n.n in reply to c0cac0la. | July 10, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    Critical Racists’ Theory presumes diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment), a class-based social construct, not limited to racism, sexism, ageism (e.g. selective-child), that denies individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, and normalizes color blocs (e.g. the racist designation “people of color”), color quotas (e.g. Jew privilege, now White privilege), and affirmative discrimination.

    20keto20 in reply to c0cac0la. | July 11, 2021 at 7:23 am

    That’s why they’re going after the young, impressionable children. Shaming them for something of which they have absolutely no part and plant guilt for something that they have never done. Planting those seeds and then planting the doubt that their parents are being honest and have their best interests at heart. That’s the Democrat way. If they really wanted justice, they would subscribe to MLK’s ideal that people should be judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Spend a little time, if you are a proponent of CRT, looking into WHO constantly brings up the subject of race. Which groups, which politicians… We are Americans. Period. Those who want to hyphenate themselves don’t really want to be Americans. They want to be what comes before the hyphen since it is usually more beneficial (financially and socially).

The convoluted, extremely verbose terminology of this CRT theory movement is telling to me. It sounds suspiciously like trying to baffle people with bullshit.

Roll out a bunch of contrived misleading terms, pelt your audience with them, then don’t give anyone a chance to question the origins or meanings of the newly-minted word combinations.

The people who create and push this verbal garbage would have you think they’re some sort of scholar, when in reality, they are simple frauds and rip-off artists using contrived “racial divisions” to further themselves financially.

Look up the net worth of Ibram X. Kendi, compare it to your own, then decide for yourself who is privileged.

Colonel Travis | July 10, 2021 at 5:53 pm

Nothing is objective? Says who? Oh right, CRT people say so. The standard for this notion comes from…. Shut up, you racist. Is CRT subjective? It cannot be objectively measured against any other standard, right? You cannot stand within the boundaries of CRT and claim objectivity, there needs to be a look from the outside. But CRT says that outside sphere doesn’t exist. I think we have a problem here. It also ties into the concept that meritocracy is pure buffoonery. OK, if so, how does CRT stand atop the heap and claim its superiority? I SAID SHUT UP, RACIST!

One of the funniest things about CRT is how it uses Western (whitey) logic to support (loosest sense of the word) itself. Actually, half-logic. They ignore the parts that tear this stupid ideology to shreds. Has anyone ever told them this?

Juris Doctor | July 10, 2021 at 6:17 pm

CRT also posits that the so called “lived experience” did in fact occur. It denies that it is a mere perception of what occured.

    A perception helped along by the race-baiting, anti-American loons pushing this stuff in the first place, creating problems and racial tensions just when they were fading away. What some people won’t do to hold on to and amass power. It’s a disgrace. And it’s evil.

      Ben Kent in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | July 11, 2021 at 6:00 pm

      The cold war did not end. Marxists are trying to undermine the USA.

      CRT and BLM just want to divide America to cause chaos and discord.

      All of the neo-racism is completely opposite to the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. MLK outright rejected the concept of using racism to fight racism. He saw it as a dead-end. Malcom-X wanted to discriminate against Whites. Neo-racism is just rehashed Malcom-X.

      …>> MLK said “”Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can
      …>> do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

      People who fall for the bullshit pushed by race-baiters are being payed for fools.

I don’t understand any of it. I go to work and try to do better than the competition. I treat other people fairly. It’s what I know. I’ll never fit in to CRT.

A starving 4-year old in a West Virginia shack is oppressing Oprah Winfrey, according to CRT.

Bottom line — CRT is repackaged rebranded Marxism that substitutes race for class.

New Neo: Actually, CRT asserts that racism is the central component of American life and pervades every aspect of it.

You find a citation to critical race theory at a major university which describes the lesson they will be imparting to the new generation. Then you simply rewrite it to match your own preconceptions. Not sure that’s much of an argument.

Thomas Sowell: In its pursuit of justice for a segment of society, in disregard of the consequences for society as a whole, what is called “social justice” might more accurately be called anti-social justice, since what consistently gets ignored or dismissed are precisely the costs to society.

To which Dr. King might reply: … the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”

“CRT asserts that the experiential knowledge of people of color is appropriate”

Not just that. It additionally asserts that everything people of color say must be true, because they are people of color. Imagined slights have the same “experiential value” as real slights, therefore any claim of “experiential knowledge” cannot be challenged.

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