What is Critical Race Theory and why does it make white conservatives uncomfortable?
In the conservative American media these days, besides the usual partisan opposition to what liberals and progressives embody within the Democratic Party, there is also an encouraging skepticism towards critical race theory ( CRT) as the next vicious liberal who defeats America.
The theory has been mentioned numerous times on Fox News over the past few months, and particularly on the network’s top-rated show, the eponymous name Tucker Carlson Tonight, CRT has come under fire in connection with an alleged program. replacement of whites – the reactionary conclusion that liberals and progressives want to make whites either become the minority ethnic group or be encompassed by overwhelming minorities.
In the final months of his bumpy presidency, Donald Trump singled out CRT as a liberal agenda to divide the United States. He sometimes called it racist. The obsession with the subject is not only in the United States as in the United Kingdom too, the Conservative government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken steps to mitigate what he considers to be the negative repercussions of the studies.
While Connecticut and California have passed bills encompassing aspects of CRT to be taught in schools, other states like Idaho are seeking to ban CRT in schools. The division over where you can and can’t learn CRT over the next few years is bound to be very political. But what is critical race theory?
CRT is best understood as a lens with which to look at the world rather than as a field of study or a defined field. CRT assumes that American social and political life, or the social and political life of Western society in general, is rooted in assumptions that have also given rise to racial consciousness. By this, supporters of the CRT such as Kimberle Crenshaw and Derrick Bell believe that Western society is necessarily white supremacist, in the sense that Western society has been structured from the humanity of those who shared whiteness. The structures that these white people built were meant to perpetuate their species and defend their ways.
The introduction of other peoples, especially blacks into white society, even for over half a millennium has been marred by the fact that the defense of Western civilization would not allow its way of life to be upset by non-whites. The CRT theorists imagine that overthrowing Western civilization does not constitute the destruction of Euro-American life. Rather, what they mean by overthrowing Western civilization is to critically address how this civilization was built on the maxim of the goodness of whiteness and the wickedness of others.
As such, post-classical European history, from the Renaissance to the consensus that has shaped the world since 1945, is under critical scrutiny. It is a period of over 500 years that CRT advocates believe whiteness was designed, constructed and militarized. While conservatives generally blame liberals for critical race theory, it helps to understand that classical liberalism and even neoliberalism are not spared by the CRT.
There are some CRT professors who may be Marxists, but thought itself is not Marxist. If anything, other critical social and economic theories such as Marxism, post-structuralism, and post-modernism are seen as ineffective on the agenda. CRT concerns power relations and questions Western civilization and / or whiteness and everything that has arisen from it.
CRT has been brewed by predominantly black American academics for over 40 years, although some supporters are Asian and Hispanic.
From there, it is quite clear that the CRT is embarrassing white conservatives and even some liberals and progressives. Usually Americans debate taxation, gay and civilian rights, crime, military spending, budget deficits, etc. There is neither will nor imagination to question Western civilization itself and put whiteness on the stand.
The necessary conditions demanded by race theorists, including intersectionality, the suspension of Western-origin rationalization, and the mandatory centering of minority racial narratives, also threaten the individual rights-based society founded on European Enlightenment principles. .