Barbara Kay: America is not a racist country and critical race theory is redundant

Senator Tim Scott refutes the now widely held belief that racism is America’s defining characteristic

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On April 28, US President Joe Biden delivered his first speech to Congress. It will be remembered less for its content than for the heavy words in response from black Republican Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott.

“Listen to me clearly,” Scott said. “America is not a racist country.” He didn’t say there was no racism in America. Scott himself encountered racist behavior and said so. But he refutes the now widely held belief that racism is America’s defining characteristic. He sternly berated those who use race as “a political weapon,” saying, “It is wrong to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates for the present.” It was a glove thrown with a sound that could be heard across the land and beyond. Enough with Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the anger, guilt, resentment and divisions it engenders, many observers have heard Scott say.

Scott backed up his optimism with facts: “Right before COVID, we had the most inclusive economy in my life. The lowest unemployment rate on record for African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans. … Wages were rising faster for the poorest 25% than for the richest 25%. He called for “common sense and common ground” to unite Americans because even though Joe Biden is “a good man”, national success “will not come from Washington plans.”

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As might be expected, Scott’s exhortations, rooted in classic liberal principles of personal action, equal opportunity, and optimal individual freedom, met with hostility from CRT acolytes. Scott noted that he had endured taunts from “Uncle Tom and the N-word” before just for being a black Republican. Following his speech, “Uncle Tim” followed a trend on Twitter, and a Texas County Democratic Party chairman called Scott an “Oreo” in a Facebook post (he later apologized for it).

When the hearts of influential CRT ideologues who claim to be dedicated to eradicating a social evil are not cheered, but embittered by good news, be warned. They are revolutionaries who, through a narrative of perpetual white supremacy and perpetual black oppression, the more alarmist and divisive the better, seek continued disruption rather than reform and nation-building. But their tactics, as Scott observed, do not benefit black people. Rather the opposite.

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In a recently published Manhattan Institute report, titled “The Social Construction of Racism in the United States,” University of London policy professor Eric Kaufman observes that concern over racism has increased even as racist attitudes and behavior have decreased. Kaufman found that ideology, along with social media and advanced education, are causal factors in heightened perceptions of racism.

Additionally, CRT can be counterproductive to black self-esteem. For example, Kaufman found that reading a passage from CRT author Ta-Nehisi Coates “results in a significant 15-point drop in the belief of black respondents that they are in control of their lives.” He infers from his findings that CRT is “a bad choice for policy makers looking to improve outcomes in the black community.” Kaufman concludes: “The results of my survey indicate that up to half of the racism reported can be ideologically or psychologically conditioned, and the increasing proportion of Americans saying racism is a significant problem is largely socially constructed. . “

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The CRT-based diversity training, now de rigueur in all institutional areas – corporate, government, educational and more – perpetuates these negative results. At least, that’s the conclusion that Columbia University sociologist Musa al Gharbi came to following a comprehensive review of the data for Heterodox Academy in November 2020.

Training programs, says al Gharbi, are “extremely ineffective” in achieving stated goals: “Generally speaking, they do not increase diversity in the workplace, they do not reduce harassment or discrimination, they do not lead to greater intergroup cooperation and cohesion – therefore they do not increase productivity. He even quotes a study concluding that “many of those responsible for ensuring compliance with these training programs recognize them as ineffective.”

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Diversity programs adopt a double standard that bounces negatively on the institutions that adopt them, says al Gharbi. For example, members of historically marginalized groups are seen as important and worthy, while whites, characterized as inherently malicious, are compelled to validate them. The result is that “many members of the dominant group walk away from the training believing [they] … Are not valued in the institution… reducing their morale and productivity. This report is worth reading in its entirety because it exposes the multiple deficits of received wisdom on diversity training.

To their credit, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris chose discretion as the best part of their courage to meet the challenge of Tim Scott. Perhaps they have quietly educated themselves on the wrongs perpetuated by CRT activism. Both, in media interviews, although covered in qualifying remarks, repeated the magic words. “I don’t think America is a racist country,” Kamala told Good Morning, America on ABC. “I don’t think America is racist,” Biden told NBC’s Today.

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In their arguably calculated agreement with Scott, Biden and Harris have sent an undeniable signal to their far-left wing, for whom the words “racism” and “systemic” are inextricably linked, that they prefer a non-ideological approach to this. loaded question. That Biden and Harris have decided to go the extra mile by repudiating even the word “racist” to describe the nation is a concession to be savored for all rational people who are eager to see progress in race relations, but not at the expense of race relations. truth and mutuality. the respect.

Tim Scott’s “America is not a racist country” may not have the global impact of Ronald Reagan’s “Tear down this wall”, but in the present internal cold war any potentially significant breach in the wall of stone crossing a culturally torn America should be recorded as a blessing.

  1. An American couple's frustration with the rekindled ideology in their child's school led to the recent creation of the Foundation against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR), a non-partisan organization.

    Barbara Kay: Birth of a new resistance: parents mobilize to fight against the awakened ideology

  2. John metcalf

    Barbara Kay: In the progressive age, even literary critics are not safe

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Twitter: @BarbaraRKay

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