CRT: Critical Race Theory as Bogeyman

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


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    Joy Reid, via Twitter:

    Open question to those who are afraid of “critical race theory” (which isn't being taught in K-12 schools; it's a course offering in law schools, but you clearly are conflating it with the #1619Project.) What do you WANT taught about U.S. slavery and racism? Nothing? Or what? [1↱]

    Currently, most K-12 students already learn a kind of Confederate Race Theory, whereby the Daughters of the Confederacy long ago imposed a version of history wherein slavery was not so bad and had nothing to do with the civil war, and lynchings and violence never happened. [2↱]

    Is this about continuing to teach Confederate Race Theory? And continuing to omit things like the founders owning slaves, or the facts about the mass extermination of the indigenous? Are you insisting that those things continue to be omitted? If so, why? [3↱]

    Or is it about adding more empty praise to the teaching of history and completing the sanitization of history that already is the case? If so, why? How does that make children smarter? And don't you think kids will eventually find out the facts anyway? Would love a response. [4↱]

    It's not unrelated to her discussion with Jelani Cobb, the prior evening, for MSNBC↱:

    JOY REID: I hate to have to reiterate this every time we talk about this, Jelani, but can you make out why something that is taught literally in law school only is suddenly the cause of the right? There's no teaching of it in elementary school. It's in law school, but can you explain it?

    JELANI COBB, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It's really clearly this legislation is aimed at protecting your fifth grader, and the classes they'll choose between torts and contract law, and, you know, whatever they decided they'll take that semester, maybe advanced legal theory in there as well.

    But, you know, honestly, I think that this is all a canard, you know, because one, critical race theory is being taken out context and true enough, critical race theory which began in legal academia has impacted, you know, other fields. You know, sociology, history and so on.

    But it's not like fifth graders or eighth graders or seniors in high school who are going to be signing up for these courses. It's a theoretical approach to questions of litigation relating to race and civil rights in the United States and how inequality has persisted.

    Now, the most ironic part of this is that everything they're saying is an object lesson in exactly what critical race theory holds, which is that people have used the language of civil rights in order to undermine the idea of civil rights. And so they are simply switching out of the aggrieved party to say that white people are now under the thumb of black people, and that they need some sort of legal protection, or mechanism to ensure that white people are not further marginalized.

    And if you're looking at the critical race theory, you -- the only acceptable comment is, si.

    Or, as one commenter observed↱, "that school segregation was ended because Thurgood Marshall used what today we call 'Critical Race Theory' by showing that systematic racism in 'separate but equal' led not only to unequal outcomes, but also inherent racial bias (including in the Black students)." We should note, accordingly, that fifty-eight years before that, when the Court established "separate but equal", the dissenter, who also happened to be the former slave owner, was the one who foresaw its failure. That is to say, what would become "Critical Race Theory" was a matter of duh! to the former slave owner asked to consider the viability of "separate but equal". In fact, CRT is so very duh that it only has a special name because our society was, and remains, so mean-spirited that someone actually needs to spell it out.

    Meanwhile, we might check in with the American Bar Association↱:

    CRT is not a diversity and inclusion “training” but a practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society that emerged in the legal academy and spread to other fields of scholarship. Crenshaw—who coined the term “CRT”—notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation.

    The underlying function of the traditionalist complaint against Critical Race Theory intends to question whether history has any relevance to the present, even pretending offense that the mere fact of time passing does not automatically make something irrelevant. The rightist fever pitch against Critical Race Theory is the latest iteration of an ongoing American political dispute about the nature of historical revisionism.

    In the moment, I'm looking through some old notes on Loewen, back to 2003↗; the episode from 2010↗, when Texas conservatives sought to tamper with history curricula, stands out; there were even a couple occasions last↗ year↗, having to do with a 2006 interview↗ discussing the teaching of history to black students. Reid's suggestion of Confederate Race Theory certainly rankled some rightist feathers, but refers to a well-observed range of circumstances. Much like Texas, 2010, the current conservative blither and bawl against Critical Race Theory is an attempt to overcompensate for their own imaginations, to create a false pretense of adding balance by skewing the scales.

    And by that context, the rightist wail against Critical Race Theory raises a bogeyman sosobra in order to have something to burn. It's easy enough to remember that history matters, and if it didn't, supremacists wouldn't work so hard to distort and subvert historical discourse.


    @erikmbaker. "Just saw someone claim that CRT caused the Holocaust only to get an angry reply challenging him to prove the Holocaust actually happened and I think that means it’s time to log off for the day". Twitter. 12 June 2021. 13 June 2021.

    @JoyAnnReid. "Open question to those who are afraid of 'critical race theory' (which isn’t being taught in K-12 schools; it’s a course offering in law schools, but you clearly are conflating it with the #1619Project.) What do you WANT taught about U.S. slavery and racism? Nothing? Or what?" (thread) Twitter. 11 June 2021. 13 June 2021.

    George, Janel. "A Lesson on Critical Race Theory". American Bar Association. 12 January 2021. 13 June 2021.

    Jetty, Mike. "History Through Red Eyes: A Conversation with James Loewen". Phi Delta Kappan, v. 88, n. 3. November, 2006. 13 June 2021.

    MSNBC. "Transcript: The ReidOut, 6/10/21". 10 June 2021. 13 June 2021.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Author Soraya McDonald↱ observes:

    [There] is so much rhetoric that exists for the purpose of obscuring truth:

    "race card"
    "partial birth abortion"
    "activist judges"
    "biological male/female"
    the blurring of the boundaries of Critical Race Theory to mean "anything about race unflattering to white people"

    And this is an easy critique of Bogeyman-CRT, such as we might find in angry lamentations↗ grouping ideas like "systemic racism", "microaggression", and "critical race theory", for general complaint. And "of course"↗ they know what Critical Race Theory is or else they "wouldn't have mentioned it".

    Toward that last, Joy Reid's recent critique seems relevant:

    What the CRT hysterics are essentially saying — literally without knowing what Critical Race Theory is — is that teachers must not ask whether we have arrived, via slavery and its aftermath, at an unequal society. And even if we have, it's only fair that we freeze it there. [1↱]

    Apparently these people want teachers to teach that the founders of this country were racial innocents, who despite all but seven of them owning slaves had a secret, hundred-year plan to end the practice that enriched them and their families even after their deaths, using a WAR. [2↱]

    They want storytime not history; despite the fact that thanks to Confederate socialites, American students since the civil war were taught a "lost cause" perversion of history that excused the insurrection, buried the truth about massacres and left people ignorant about our past. [3↱]

    And they are now willing to use REALLY BIG GOVERNMENT to dictate to teachers what to teach; to enforce North Korea-style "Patriotic History" — in public schools paid for by taxpayers, including taxpayers of color — that muffles the past to shore up white Americans' "nationalism." [4↱]

    So what's next? Do we go back to fighting about whether teachers are allowed to discuss evolution? What if a teacher has a discussion about the George Floyd protests BLM or 1/6? Will they be fired? Are they serious about forcing teachers to be body cammed? What country is this??? [5↱]

    Someone on this platform called this bizarre CRT gambit the "1984 Project." That's not a bad description. Turn on your body cams, teachers. Patriotic History only. No discussion of things that make conservatives unhappy. We have always been at war with East Anglia. [6↱]

    And one last time for those in the back: CRT is only taught in law schools. Zero K-12 have such a curriculum nor have they ever. The 1619 Project is NOT critical race theory. It's historical journalism & a book. Don't be taken in by very much planned, demographic panic branding. [7↱]

    There is also a joke going around Twitter, these days, reminding that, as the federal government makes Juneteenth a federal holiday, some state legislatures are passing laws that could make it illegal to teach young students why the holiday exists. It's not entirely inaccurate insofar as it goes; but even if conservatives get their way, and enforce their interpretation of history, it will still be legal to teach why Juneteenth exists, as long one lies while doing so; e.g., Confederate Race Theory, cf., Reid in #1↑ above.

    McDonald's easy critique, among other aspects, highlights a number of terms used in a paradoxical way; these are all terms deployed in the service of protecting the rights of one to injure the rights of another. Sometimes I might remind that function matters, and this is an example.

    But this stake, the rights of the one to injure the rights of another, is very nearly the core of the CRT bogeyman; it is the glaring, obvious retort to any number of both-sides equivocations. "Race card", for instance, is an especially potent example: While there are, in history, examples of human beings improperly claiming or inaccurately claiming particular discrimination based on ethnicity, the general appeal denouncing the "race card" was also often applied in hopes of dismissing concerns about genuine and observable problems. As it works out, "race card" thus becomes a fallacious accusation intended to dismiss the implications of what can be discerned within a Critical Race Theory framework. In that form, complaining that someone has pulled the race card is, functionally, to fear or disdain the point that history matters.


    What "Critical Theory" does can be applied in different aspects. Here is a critical theory consideration that does not have to do with race:

    • A few years ago, the Ninth Circuit returned a disappointing result, that it was legal to keep paying women less according to a salary history known to be prejudicial. The result is not simply immediate-term deprival and dengration of societal access, it also affects future assessments, including retirement and subsistence benefits. As a generation's daughters emerge into the workforce, the cycle starts anew; they will be paid less, and some political analysts will argue this is not "because they are women", but because that is what the historical indices indicate. The critical theory question would be whether past wage discrimination against female workers in history affects wage and benefit assessments for female workers today.​

    Writing for the American Bar Association, Janel George↱ observes that "CRT transcends a Black/white racial binary", and the existence of CRT "branches, including LatCrit, TribalCrit, and AsianCRT". Feminism generally includes elements of these critiques in its considerations of intersectionality, and there is also a particular application of CRT within feminism; in our moment, though, the actual intersection has to do with critical theory.

    And akin to recent complaints about Critical Race Theory, we might wonder how it is that asking whether historical discrimination has any effect on people today is intended to morally indict all men, or compel men to feel badly about themselves for being men.

    George explains:

    CRT grew from Critical Legal Studies (CLS), which argued that the law was not objective or apolitical. CLS was a significant departure from earlier conceptions of the law (and other fields of scholarship) as objective, neutral, principled, and dissociated from social or political considerations. Like proponents of CLS, critical race theorists recognized that the law could be complicit in maintaining an unjust social order. Where critical race theorists departed from CLS was in the recognition of how race and racial inequality were reproduced through the law. Further, CRT scholars did not share the approach of destabilizing social injustice by destabilizing the law. Many CRT scholars had witnessed how the law could be used to help secure and protect civil rights. Therefore, critical race theorists recognized that, while the law could be used to deepen racial inequality, it also held potential as a tool for emancipation and for securing racial equality.

    The ABA article goes on to discuss "Education and CRT", including a tale running through Detroit amid the Great Migration, ca. 1940, on into the twenty-first century and the Gary B litigation resolved last year, but George's narrative ties that story to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education, which in turn "was the culmination of over a century of legal challenges to segregated schooling and second-class citizenship and far from a natural occurrence or inevitable result of racial progress". The thing about Brown, though, is that the tale in Detroit leads to Milliken v. Bradley, twenty years later. George explains:

    In exempting the surrounding suburban districts from the desegregation plan, the Court held that they were not required to be part of the desegregation plan because district lines had not been drawn with "racist intent" and the surrounding suburbs were not responsible for the segregation within the city's schools. The Court left Detroit to desegregate within itself. In his prescient dissent, Thurgood Marshall observed, "The Detroit-only plan has no hope of achieving actual desegregation .... Instead, Negro children will continue to attend all-Negro schools. The very evil that Brown was aimed at will not be cured but will be perpetuated."

    Furthermore, the "example of application of CRT to education in the case of Milliken illustrates how CRT recognizes the role of the law in perpetuating racial inequality". But the story goes on; Brown, Milliken, and on through Gary B, and the settlement of that latter pretty much makes clear we're not out of this mess, yet. Or, as the National Law Review put it, just last year: "Sixth Circuit Vacates Right-to-Literacy Ruling". Sixty-seven years after Brown, and still caught up in a chain of circumstance and consequence that precedes the Civil War.

    History matters.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Notes on #2↑ Above

    @JoyAnnReid. "What the CRT hysterics are essentially saying — literally without knowing what Critical Race Theory is — is that teachers must not ask whether we have arrived, via slavery and its aftermath, at an unequal society. And even if we have, it's only fair that we freeze it there." (thread) Twitter. 15 June 2021. 20 June 2021.

    @SorayaMcDonald. "The is so much rhetoric that exists for the purpose of obscuring truth: 'race card' 'partial birth abortion' 'activist judges' 'biological male/female' the blurring of the boundaries of Critical Race Theory to mean 'anything about race unflattering to white people'". Twitter. 19 June 2021. 20 June 2021.

    George, Janel. "A Lesson on Critical Race Theory". American Bar Association. 12 January 2021. 20 June 2021.

    Paulson, Colter. "Sixth Circuit Vacates Right-to-Literacy Ruling". The National Law Review. 11 June 2020. 20 June 2021.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    It seems a striking headline from Education Week, "A $5 Million Fine for Classroom Discussions on Race? In Tennessee, This Is the New Reality":

    Tennessee aims to levy fines starting at $1 million and rising to $5 million on school districts each time one of their teachers is found to have “knowingly violated” state restrictions on classroom discussions about systemic racism, white privilege, and sexism, according to guidance proposed by the state’s department of education late last week.

    Teachers could also be disciplined or lose their licenses for teaching that the United States is inherently racist or sexist or making a student feel “guilt or anguish” because of past actions committed by their race or sex.


    For those who remember lamentations about political correctness from decades past, it ought not be so surprising that we end up right where they said we would, precisely on their behalves.

    It's an example of why so many people eye so dubiously the range described by complaints against "cancel culture". In the old days, we just called this sort of stuff by its name, censorship.

    The new guidance lays out the complaint process that a current student, parent, or employee can initiate against a district if they believe an educator has violated the law, but it does not elaborate on what specifically school districts are banned from teaching, as many teacher advocates had hoped. Instead, it cites 11 broad concepts that teachers can’t teach or use materials to promote. For example, students can’t be told that they are “inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously,” or bear responsibility for past actions committed by members of their race or sex. Experts have called the language of these laws vague.

    It's kind of like the old complaint about how maybe one supports women's rights, or gay rights, but it's just too much change, too fast, and it all needs to slow down, which is why people are opposing change, and not because they actually oppose women's rights or gay rights.

    And we really do have in this an occasion to wonder at all the people who, y'know, aren't really supremacist, and even have [_____] friends, and all, but were always reliable for finding reasons to make excuses. That is: What did they think was going to happen? No, really, when the unjust complained, "O! the tyranny that dirupts my tyranny!" why were there always so many notatyrants standing by to nod sagely and suggest that it makes a good point about free speech.

    The only reason we wouldn't have seen this coming is that we are supposed think better of people. It's like weird complaints about the paternalism and consdescension of rejecting supremacism; there is, in some cases, pretty much no manner of disagreeing with supremacism that isn't somehow offputting to the strangely delicate sensitivities of supremacists who expect everyone else to suck it up and take it like a man. Compared to history, there isn't really any properly competing comparison; it's a pretty lopsided juxtaposition: Function matters, and if we were somehow supposed to believe that diversity was some manner of tyranny, then someone ought to address the coincidence of this complaint not only coming from the traditionalism that, historically, has inflicted against others—that is, the tyranny of our societal traditions—but being so pointedly exemplary of what complaints about political correctness and cancel culture pretended to fear.

    Even thirty years ago, complaints about political correctness weren't really about free speech; rather, they were about enforcing traditional prejudice and privilege. And all those times some liberal paternalism and feminist condescension hurt someone's feelings by observing reality—e.g., noting the totally not supremacist wag chorus tendency to echo supremacist excuses—really do remind that we absolutely ought not be surprised that it goes this far.

    And that's the thing: Yeah, sure, we're probably supposed to think better of people; it's a pretty awful, accusing expectation, after all. But there really isn't any reason, at this point, to continue pretending some sort of baffling mystery about it all. Indeed, the notasupremacist pretense of mystery has, itself, never really been mysterious; they're supremacists, and it's just some customary courtesy other people are expected to show.


    Pendharkar, Eesha. "A $5 Million Fine for Classroom Discussions on Race? In Tennessee, This Is the New Reality". Education Week. 3 August 2021. 4 August 2021.
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    It seems that racist always focus on race.
    Who benefits from this?
  9. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Which racists are you referring to?
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    too many to list
    and many who I do not even know
    when I was registering my sons at the local grade school here in iowa one of the questions on the form was
    so I wrote "human"
    (I thought---and still do--that just asking the question showed racist tendencies-----it should not matter)
    sideshowbob likes this.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Dan Rather↱ makes the point in the way that, these days, it seems only he can:

    Oh. And while we’re rewriting American history might as well erase the whole Civil War. So uncomfortable and pretty much a buzzkill.

    If we take a moment to juxtapose the pretense of the proposed Tennessee rules against the delicate sensitivities of tough-talking suprmacists to the other, it's easy enough to see the implications.


    Anecdotally, because the reason why I have this tale at my fingertips is obscure; symptomatic, not merely coincidental, but still obscure.

    I happened across an old episode in which someone complained that someone else was "name-calling". And, once upon a time, this was actually a point we tried to enforce at Sciforums; it runs, Attack the argument, not the person.

    To consider that dispute, well, sure, it might be fair to say the argument the one made was perverse and creepy. As a behavioral choice, he may even have acted perverse and creepy. And, yes, in its way, that does cover language by which the one was in the moment a creepy pervert. That last counts for something, sort of; compared to the occasion in question, it's also true the complainant had brought fighting words, and, yes, there is a certain grotesqueness about the one's behavior. The creepy behavior is also the behavior of a creep, but that doesn't necessarily translate properly in every version of English; and it certainly did require at least some degree of perversity, though like the question of cruelty in comedy, we can certainly argue about how that is invested.

    Still, let me please simplify: It's from over seven years ago°. The simple answer is to observe that this example occurred over seven years ago, and even then, the distinction between "attacking the argument" and "attacking the person" had already degraded, in this community, well past meaninglessness.

    That is, even at that point in Sciforums history, it really wouldn't have mattered if the other had formulated that part of the retort against the argument itself. Toward that, even more obscure is a separate but related episode about how easy it is to hurt some people's feelings. And that's actually the point.


    What I recall is a particular once upon a time, but it is hardly unique compared to the vast realm of social media. And in living practice, there is, among men who consider themselves feminist and want to do their part, a quiet neurotic struggle about the point at which we take our Captain Machimso masculinist brothers aside, rattle their cages, and demand to know why they are such effing pussies. In the first place, we're supposed to know better. To the other, it wouldn't work, anyway. After all, look at how easily those masculinist feelings are hurt. The one thing we don't want to do is treat them as they treat others; we already know it hurts their feelings.

    And if it is easy enough to know of someone in my own life who is both offended by the prospect that he might show any supremacist sympathies and would seem to have some trouble believing that anyone could be supremacist and not know it, well, right, it's not exactly uncommon that someone feels that way.

    Consider McDonald on "anything about race unflattering to white people", or the critical-theory application to wage discrimination, in #2↑ above.

    Is it true that a man's salary offer is, by habit, higher than the woman who would be doing his job? In these United States, it is likely true. If it is true, does that make him feel bad? And to what degree is that bad feeling his own infliction upon himself? And does he teach it to his son? Does the history of wage discrimination make his son feel badly about being a boy?

    And have you heard the one about chasing out the black people and putting a lake where they used to live? What if the history of Lake Lanier, or Central Park↱ makes some white person feel badly about being white?

    Those ought to be silly questions, I know. But the delicate sensitivities of certain supremacists have long relied on wider sympathy in order to carry on as they have. And inasmuch as Dan Rather's joke ought to be just some manner of pretentious, effete joke, we might also consider Reid, in #1↱, on "Confederate Race Theory".

    Because, what do we think happens next? If we teach the traditionalist American history that shames nonwhites, well, that, too, ought to be disqualified under the Tennessee rule, but there also remains a question of what anyone actually expects to happen next. Does the whole thing drown in litigation, resulting in the usual equivocation of shaming uppity minorities for making such a litigious mess, while traditionalists seethe at being disrupted and distill further into conspiracism? Or is there a clear judicial outcome, whereby these rules are stricken for being absurd, resulting in traditionalists seething at the disruption and distilling further into conspiracism?

    The Tennessee question is a disaster, and we might consider that function matters, and what the vectors of intent actually mean. Not only is this precisely the sort of thing conservatism has long prophesied of liberal deviltry, bringing to bear the very thing they told people to fear, it is also done in order to shield people from the truth.


    My generation learned the story of Abigail Adams reminding her husband, John, to, "Remember the ladies", and I don't seem to recall them teaching what he actually said in reply. The man who would become the second President of the United States, in a response I have before described↗ as just filthy, fears "Despotism of the Peticoat", and in the closing lines simply leaves a large blank space instead of condescending to write any word acknowledging women.°° And that was well after the good Christians of Boston had already made the point when, upon complaining of an uppity woman disagreeing with a preacher and discovering that she was correct, banished Anne Hutchinson from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

    With a history like that, we can only wonder, by the time we get to wage equality in the twenty-first century, which anti-feminists will be crying about how they're supposed to feel bad for being men.

    And, seriously, when we learn the history of how Americans treated the slaves, and how Americans treated the tribes, and just how much Americans loathe women, yes, we're supposed to feel badly about it. We're supposed to be horrified and repulsed.

    Those who do not learn from the tragedies of history? Well, hell, why don't we just outlaw that kind of learning, right?

    Look, if a person feels badly for being white, or male, or Christian, or somehow being a beneficiary of injustice, that is entirely their own. That other people should have to suffer just so someone else doesn't have to feel badly about the others who suffer ought to make the point.


    ° ... and, sure, the only reason why I have this example right at hand is as fascinating, if we ever get around to it, as it is obscure, but separate from our present moment.

    °° 14 April 1776:

    "I begin to think the Ministry as deep as they are wicked. After stirring up Tories, Landjobbers, Trimmers, Bigots, Canadians, Indians, Negroes, Hanoverians, Hessians, Russians, Irish Roman Catholicks, Scotch Renegadoes, at last they have stimulated the [_____] to demand new Priviledges and threaten to rebell."

    @DanRather. "Oh. And while we’re rewriting American history might as well erase the whole Civil War. So uncomfortable and pretty much a buzzkill." Twitter. 5 August 2021. 5 August 2021.

    Adams, John. "John Adams to Abigail Adams, 14 April 1776". Adams Family Correspondence, eds. L. H. Butterfield et al. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963. 5 August 2021.

    Ruffin, Amber. "Beyond Tulsa: The Secret History of Flooding Black Towns to Make Lakes". The Amber Ruffin Show. 25 June 2021. 5 August 2021.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Don't you think it's more racist to try to ignore history and erase the history of blacks and other minorities in the US and pretend none of it ever happened?

    Don't you think it's more racist to pretend racism does not exist by ignoring history, thereby deafening the collective ears to the continued racism that has persevered in society today?

    Ask yourself this..

    Who do you think benefits from CRT?

    Most importantly, who stands to lose if one studies or examines society and how racism and race affected society in the past and how it does today?

    CRT is a pretty big mirror, isn't it? It's been around for years... By which I mean people have been studying this and teaching this for years in the US.. Question you should be asking is why people are making such a fuss about it today and now..

    And then consider who are the ones actually worried about it being taught.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Cartoonist Barry Deutsch↱ observes:

    CRT opponents: We're not trying to prevent teaches from teaching that racism existed in American history! Perish the thought!

    Also CRT opponents: How dare you teach about Ruby Bridges!

    He is actually referring to the Education Week article we considered in #4↑. As Pendharkar explained:

    Tennessee's state department has already started to receive complaints of violations of the law.

    In June, the Williamson County chapter of the national group Moms for Liberty, a group advocating for "parental rights," wrote to Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn objecting to a lesson about Ruby Bridges, the first Black child to desegregate an elementary school in Louisiana, which they said made white students in the class feel uncomfortable.

    "Targeting elementary age children with daily lessons on fighting past injustices as if they were occurring in present day violates Tennessee law and will sow the seeds of racial strife, neo-racism (and) neo-segregation," Robin Steenman, the chair of the Williamson County chapter of Moms for Liberty wrote in the complaint.

    Think of it this way: The point about "parental rights", as near as anyone can tell, is is the same argument we've been hearing for decades about music kids listen to, the books in libraries, and the movies and television people watch. We hear about it in lamentations about sex education, homosexuality, the human rights of women, and birth control. That is to say: For the last thirty-five years, there has been something of a taboo in mainline American society about identifying this aspect of our society by its name. Someone I know recently came out as a person who apparently believes he cannot be supremacist if he doesn't know he is, or says he isn't, and so on. It's kind of the same cover these American bigots run under; calling them fascists or bigots was, over the years, impolite, because it was just unfair to assume that these people would ... well, do stuff like this. It's kind of like my joke about Godwin's Law, that only remains a joke because some people really don't get it: The implications of Godwin's Law fall apart when there are actual Nazis at the table. Whether or not someone deems it "polite" to observe bigotry in another's outlook or behavior does not change the fact of whether that attitude or conduct is bigoted.

    We've always known this white supremacist bigotry exists and wields influence in American society, but we weren't supposed to talk about it because it might hurt a bigot's feelings. You know, like we hear about liberal paternalism and condsecension driving people to extremism.

    As it is, there are many who have in the past said this or that about free speech, and as these reorient to tsk and mutter, hem and haw, or even try to outright denounce the Tennesseean censorship of history, will need to explain why they ever supported such attitudes in the first place.

    After all, expecting others to suffer in order to not hurt the feelings of the cruel is what it is, and when they do their part to comfort the bigoted like that, they also do their part to advance the bigotry. Just remember: In American discourse, yes, we knew these supremacists were around and afoot, and let's face it, the expectation that the rest of us should tiptoe around their feelings is actually part fo the supremacism. We're always supposed to believe this isn't what they're doing until they do it; the collaborators who helped them take it this far are just as guilty.

    Because, really, for Americans who lived through this, it's not so much that they have reached a tacit standard, but that we blew through it a long time ago. The idea runs, basically: 「¿Could you please not?」 What this means is that you're looking at someone and saying: Look, I get that you're not [_____], but just this once, for instance, could you please not act as if you are?

    If you're not a white supremacist, could you please not act as if you are?

    This is, of course, an inappropriate question: It might make someone who doesn't know they're a supremacist feel badly. It might hurt the feelings of someone who insists they're not supremacist. And just hew to that standard, over and over and over again, for years, and of course we eventually find ourselves here.

    It's easy to perceive the immediate hypocrisy described in Barry Deutsch's tweet; it is also important to recognize there is nothing new about this.


    @barrydeutsch. "CRT opponents: We're not trying to prevent teaches from teaching that racism existed in American history! Perish the thought! Also CRT opponents: How dare you teach about Ruby Bridges!" Twitter. 6 August 2021. 6 August 2021.

    Pendharkar, Eesha. "A $5 Million Fine for Classroom Discussions on Race? In Tennessee, This Is the New Reality". Education Week. 3 August 2021. 6 August 2021.
  15. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Let me put this one back to you.
    Who do you think benefits from CRT?

    When I see CRT
    my first thought is
    Cathode Ray Tube
  16. Bells Staff Member

    Why can't you answer the question?

    And why do you attempt to change the subject yet again?

    Does discussing racism historically and currently and how it intersects with society make you uncomfortable? Because you have thus far attempted to change the subject, diminish it, you've displayed your own privilege by saying how you put human down for your son's ethnicity on a form (something black people and minorities do not get the luxury of doing) and you tried to dodge the actual subject matter altogether.

    Why? Perhaps critical race theory is something you should acquaint yourself with.. Might make answering such questions a bit easier for you.
  17. WillNever Valued Senior Member

    The argument against "CRT" is unimportant and a vehicle used by American conservatives to push their idiotic culture war in order to compensate for their lack of rational policy positions. That is all there is to say.
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    I do not know.
    I suspect that no-one benefits from CRT

    This gets subjective---which means that you must needs supply a starting point.
    Who do you think benefits from CRT?
  19. Bells Staff Member

    You don't know who benefits, but you think that no one benefits..


    Who do you think would benefit from looking inwards and outwards, historically and through to the present when it comes to the country's racist past and present?

    And perhaps that's the issue.

    Remember when you said this:

    Consider what that meant historically in the US?

    And then consider why you think it helps or benefits no one to learn about how racism shaped the US and continues to shape the US, how it affects policy, laws and the application of policies and laws within the US.

    See, you have the luxury of being able to put "human" on a form in Iowa. You have the luxury of being able to exist as you choose to exist. Black people and minorities do not have that luxury as much as you do.

    Racism is entrenched in the US.. In every field, from the moment a child is born, through how that child grows up and becomes an adult and eventually dies. If that child is non-white, they will experience racism in some way, shape or form. That is guaranteed. And that is because racism exists in every aspect of life in the US and elsewhere. So it would benefit that brown or black child, for society to be able to reflect on history, and understand how racism played a role in shaping the country up to that point, and to try to change the trajectory going forward.

    It's interesting that you can't answer that question, but you already determined that no one benefits from it. That privilege is good, yes?

    The people it benefits are the victims, past and present, of your country's historical policies and laws and how they have infected current policies and legal practices across the board and the result is continued racial discrimination and bias in all levels of society.

    Perhaps you should try and actually answer the question now. It's actually not that hard.
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    In order to understand the framework of Critical Race Theory, or who it benefits and how they gain by it, we must actually pay attention to, and accept as valid and reliable, what people of color are saying about racism in these United States.

    Remember, please, what you're telling people about yourself when ignorance is your shield.
  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Anyone who wishes to better understand the structural components to racism in the US.

    However, privileged white men definitely do not benefit from CRT - because it destroys their illusions that there is really no racism, and therefore black people deserve whatever they get. (i.e. they have problems because they are just plain unfaithful and irresponsible, and black fathers walk out on their families, and so their kids have no fathers.)
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    What's funny about this is that CRT is an academic exercise, not much different than CLS (critical legal studies) - and has been studied in the US for going on 50 years now. Up until a year ago no one other than academics cared about it. I heard about it once or twice from a friend who is a philosophy professor, but that's it.

    But after the last election, republicans have been in desperate need of wedge issues. And after some searching, they found one - CRT. They have now presented it as the worst thing since reparations.
  23. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    I suspect that everbody benefits from CRT... well... except for racists who just cant see past ther nose.!!!
  24. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

    Up until about a year ago, they weren't teaching a university academic exercise to children as fact.

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