UCLA’s pro-CRT map has money and institutional power behind it. Our CriticalRace.org maps have none of that, just lots of inconvenient facts: “What our database has turned into over time is more than a parent tool. It’s really a documentation of, in many ways, the demise of higher education under this ideology, which has a quasi-religious fervor to it on campuses.”
If Legal Insurrection Foundation and its CriticalRace.org website had a dollar for every time Sheldon Whitehouse (and other Democrats/media) whined about “right-wing dark money,” we’d be as rich as the UCLA CRT Forward Tracking Project, whose launch we covered last June, UCLA Law School Launches Project To Track Anti-Critical Race Theory Efforts.
The UCLA Law School CRT project is rich. It is housed within the expansive and expanding Critical Race Studies Center. The project itself has the financial backing not only of UCLA Law School, including use of staff and other operational support, but also a $400,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation. Look how many people they have!
Their map isn’t very impressive yet, with only about 500 data points, but they are throwing resources at it. It’s intended to serve as a platform to push back against the push back against CRT.
By contrast, our Higher Ed Map covers over 500 colleges and universities with many thousands of data points, and we also have maps of Medical Schools, Elite Private K-12, and Military Academies. Every data point on our maps has a source link that also is archived in case the link goes bad. We also have extensive non-database resources to help people learn about CRT, including section on K-12 and the 1619 Project.
Our maps were intended as resources for students, parents, and others (including legislators) concerned about how deeply embedded the racialization of education has become at every level. Only by identifying the problem can you admit it exists, and address it.
I don’t have access to UCLA’s usage statistics, but in the 18 months since we launched CriticalRace.org we have had over 7 million user interactions with the website, mostly page views and clicking on our data links to specific activities. With a small fraction of what UCLA Law School is devoting to its mapping project, we have a more robust and user-friendly mapping. It’s not surprising that over 100 media articles and coverage have cited our maps.
The contrast between the massively-funded institutionalized UCLA project and our project is a metaphor for CRT battle generally — pro-CRT activists have the full weight and resources of academia, major foundations, and corporations behind them. By contrast, the parents movement is under-funded and grassroots.
I explored this contrast in an interview with Fox News digital, which it posted in both a news story and video, UCLA database reveals well-funded push for critical race theory, argues Cornell law professor. Here’s an excerpt, click the link to read the whole article:
The difference between two databases, both designed to track critical race theory, reveals the institutional and financial support strength behind CRT in schools and corporate America, argued William Jacobson, a Cornell Law School professor and founder of CriticalRace.org
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law in August launched its “CRT Forward Tracking Project,” a database that will allow users to “track attacks on critical race theory” at the “local, state and federal levels.”
Launched over a year ago, CriticalRace.org houses a database that tracks critical race theory in higher education, private schools and medical schools.
The database is a “resource for parents and students concerned about how Critical Race Theory, and implementation of Critical Race Training, impacts education,” according to the website.
Jacobson told Fox News Digital the difference between the two databases was a “metaphor” for critical race theory broadly in the United States.
“The popular wisdom, if you only read The New York Times and The Washington Post, is that anti-CRT groups are so well funded, there’s all sorts of dark money flowing to them, things like that. The reality is actually the opposite,” he said.
Jacobson highlighted the institutional weight and funding behind UCLA’s database, as opposed to CriticalRace.org, which is affiliated with the popular website Legal Insurrection, and is run on a “shoestring” budget.
“That’s really how the parents’ movement and the anti-CRT movement operates. It’s people doing things with almost no money yet achieving amazing results,” he added.
According to a UCLA press release, the law school’s database “is funded by a $400,000 grant from Lumina Foundation’s Racial and Equity Fund and support from UCLA School of Law.”
“So what we found is there is a grassroots desire for what we are doing,” Jacobson added. “I somehow doubt that that’s true with the UCLA website. Their website is geared toward the activists, whereas ours is geared toward the general population and people who want to learn.” ….
Jacobson also highlighted how UCLA’s database has targeted local opposition to critical race theory, not just policies passed at the state and federal level.
“They are targeting the one area that is left of opposition to this, and that area is state legislatures and local school boards and state governors,” he said. “Academics is completely on board with this. Foundations are completely on board with the CRT stuff… The one place there’s pushback is in state and local governments, because those are the only institutions that have not already been captured by liberals, or the left.”
Here is my interview (as edited down to size by Fox News digital) (with a full transcript below):
[if player doesn’t load, click here]
(Transcript auto-generated, may contain transcription errors. Emphasis and hyperlinks added.)
So CriticalRace.org was started based on my experiences at Cornell University, where I’m a law professor. Which is in the summer of 2020, the school announced that it would become an anti-racism school and an anti-racism initiative. And the book that was recommended reading for the summer for the entire campus was Ibram Kendi’s had to become an anti-racist. I’d never heard of the book before. I’d never heard of him before, but it was available for free to people who were at Cornell. So I took them up on that and I began to read it and I realized this was an extremely regressive negative sort of philosophy.
His most important line that gets quoted the most is “current discrimination is justified to remedy past discrimination and future discrimination is justified to remedy current discrimination.” And I thought to myself, oh my God, that’s actually illegal and it violates the employment laws and a lot of other laws. And why is the school recommending this?
So we began to look into it and I began to see that it was pretty pervasive and that his book has become something of the, the Bible for the critical race movement on campuses. And then in September of 2020, several hundred Cornell university faculty, students, and staff signed a demand letter to the president as to what this anti-racism initiative they thought should look like. And again it called for absolutely illegal things like hiring and promotion based on race. And that’s when I realized this is not right.
And we began to look into it at Legal Insurrection Foundation, we found out that it was in so many places, it was more than an op-ed or an article someplace. And we, so we decided to create a database. And that’s what we did….
UCLA rolled out their database to track anti CRT actions around the country. And their database is distinguished from ours in, in many different ways.
The first of which is they have huge institutional power behind them. They have one of the largest university systems in the country. One of the largest public university systems, probably in the world. They have staff from UCLA law school who help them with this. They have students from UCLA law school. They have the financial backing of UCLA law school, and they also have a $400,000 grant from an entity called the Lumina Foundation. So the first thing that differs is they are extremely well funded and extremely well-resourced, as opposed to us, we’re just a small nonprofit that does this with mostly part-time help. We can’t even afford to hire somebody full time to do this.
The other distinction is theirs is a very negative sort of database. I’s meant for activism. It’s meant to give their supporters a way to fight in legislatures and things like that.
Our database started off as an informational database, that it was a tool for parents and for students who wanted to evaluate where they were going to college and could make those decisions fully informed. They may like that a school has a lot of this CRT stuff, or they may dislike it. We took no position.
What our database has turned into over time is more than a parent tool. It’s really a documentation of, in many ways, the demise of higher education under this ideology, which has a quasi-religious fervor to it on campuses. Ibram Kendi’s book is essentially the Holy Bible of that movement on campuses. And it’s enforced the way any religious cult enforces things, heretics, people who disagree, are canceled, and there are pledges of allegiance required through DEI statements. So we are now more than a resource for parents and students. We’re a resource for society documenting how deeply embedded this philosophy is on campuses.
The last thing I would say about the UCLA database is they are targeting the one area that is left of opposition to this. And that area is state legislatures and local school boards and state governors. Academia is completely on board with this. Foundations are completely on board with CRT stuff. In the billions of dollars flows to these groups on campuses every year. The one place there’s pushback is in state and local governments, because those are the only institutions that have not already been captured by liberals or the left, however you want to phrase it, people who are fully on board with pushing the CRT stuff. So they’ve identified, UCLA, the one area where there’s pushback and their map is meant to help people target that one area….
While the statistics vary. I’ve seen reputable reporting that close to 50 billion, five zero billion with a B, not million, has been pledged to various racial justice movements subsequent to George Floyd’s death. Now not all of that goes to education, but a significant percentage does. So there are foundations, well known foundations, which are literally throwing money at CRT related causes, and that doesn’t even take into account, what campuses do, campuses have funding for these programs also, and UCLA’s database is a prime example of that, which is that they seem to have no lack of resources. They’ve got multiple dozen people working on it. University administrators and staff are helping them on it, presumably they to get all those resources for free.
And this really, to me, is a metaphor for what’s going on the popular wisdom. If you only read the New York Times and the Washington Post is that anti CRT groups are so well-funded. There’s all sorts of dark money flowing to them. Things like that. The reality is actually the opposite. The pro CRT groups, the groups that are forcing students and faculty and staff to pledge allegiance to these philosophies, are extraordinarily well-funded. So if you compare the UCLA database to our database, it is something of a metaphor.
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