Critical Race Theory is all the rage these days.

In both the figurative and literal senses.

Big Education, aka the NEA, the AFT. and other such organizations, is all-in on teaching CRT to schoolchildren. They’re also committing resources to opposition research, since this embrace of CRT isn’t sitting well with many parents and politicians. About half the states in the nation have either initiated or enacted legislation prohibiting the teaching of this (as well as things like the 1619 Project) in public schools.

I’ve already shared my views on CRT and its being taught in public schools. Today, I look at this ‘backlash to the backlash,’ wherein the Left is counterpunching the resistance to inculcating this terribly divisive and racist “theory” in our children. That b2b, if I may engage in a Malapropish appropriation, takes the form of “those who oppose CRT don’t understand CRT,” “they’re prohibiting us from teaching about the history of racism in America,” and “Republicans are stupid.”

The first is projection, the second is a lie, and the third is a classic trope of the political Left.

I’d consider it a safe bet that a pretty large number of those who support Big Education’s plans re CRT don’t actually know what CRT really is. It is a derivative of Critical Theory, which was developed by communist intellectuals in Frankfurt in the 1930s (for a great history and analysis, I highly recommend this article) in response to the failure of their grand socialist vision to sweep the world in the prior decades. CRT modifies the Marxist angle of sowing societal division by pitting class against class, into one that pits race against race. It teaches racism (to judge someone by skin color), instructs us that the entirety of our social fabric is one designed to perpetuate race divisions, and posits that the only remedy is a tear-down and rebuilding along socialist ideals.

How many CRT proponents understand this? How many know it’s a variant of Marxism? Far too few, I suspect, because if they did, many would back down from that advocacy. Or, perhaps many of them know some of this, but choose to engage in denial of some sort, simply because their political foes oppose it and therefore they must support it.

So, they mush up the definition of CRT into a general “teach kids about racism in America’s past.” As if of slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement are not on current history curricula, or a constant topic in our public debates.

The adjunct to this ‘CRT is merely about teaching that racism exists’ is that the anti-CRT laws ‘prohibit teaching kids about racism.’ Blatantly false. The laws prohibit teaching racism itself, i.e. that we are to factor skin color into our thinking when we assess others. All this is pure Orwellian doublethink and newspeak, where truths are lies and war is peace.

Therein lies one of the insidious cornerstones of Critical (fill-in-the-blank) Theory:

It’s long on criticizing, and short on concrete remedies.

On purpose.

Point out a problem (they always exist – there is no utopia), inflate and exaggerate it, accuse those who don’t agree that it’s of epic scale of some form of “-ism” so they shut up, and be vague about remedies. Without concrete remedies to parse, people are prone to imagine their own ideals, filling in the deliberate blanks, and rendering the Critical Theorist resistant to challenge.

CRT is no different. Its public definition varies with the situation, even as its actual definition is kept quiet. Tell parents that they’re bad people for opposing this ‘teaching about racism’ while telling their kids to judge each other by pigmentation, to believe that our nation was deliberately designed to preserve racism, and to support a Marxist restructuring of our society.

There is a fundamental divide between those who believe in liberty and the aspirational goals of America, and those who embrace CRT. It’s not going to be resolved via compromise, and ceding more educational authority to these race-baiters is exactly the wrong thing to do. Governors like DeSantis have it right:

The woke class wants to teach kids to hate each other, rather than teaching them how to read, but we will not let them bring nonsense ideology into Florida’s schools.

If someone tells you that if you oppose CRT you don’t understand it (aka “Republicans are stupid”), ask for their definition, then watch the fumfer, equivocation, and mush-mouth. You’ll not be disappointed.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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