Critical Race Theory Deserves Close Consideration | Notice

For the publisher,

In response to Ranjit Dighe’s column “Critical Race Theory and Cynic Alarmists” in the July 16 edition of the Palladium-Times:

First: The term Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not a derogatory mark applied by opponents. It reflects the association of CRT with critical theory in general, a Hegelian / Marxist framework for the critique of society. CRT is a critical theory that critiques society from a racial dynamics perspective. There are other critical theories that base their critiques on, for example, gender or class, as opposed to race. The CRT is not a “false problem” invented by white supremacists.

Second: The fact that an academic theory has been obscure tells you nothing about whether the theory is benign. Hopefully we can agree, at least hypothetically, that an obscure academic theory can end up proving disastrous for society.

Third: People oppose CRT for all kinds of reasons, with all kinds of motivations and with varying degrees of thoughtfulness. Denigrating any opposition to the CRT on the basis that this is what the Fox News pundits are doing, or that the Proud Boys also oppose it, or such an ad hominem argument does not get to the root of the matter. This is to dismiss CRT’s legitimate concerns because some people set fire to buildings in Wisconsin last summer.

Of course, there are bastards who hate the CRT, but there are also people who have thoughtfully and carefully challenged the CRT, people whose interest in racial issues is not just academic. As an example, you could take Glenn Loury, who teaches economics at Brown University. I’d be curious if Dr Dighe is familiar with the work of academics like Loury, or projects like 1776 Unites – an African-American response to Project 1619.

Fourth: If you want to convince people who have concerns about CRT, don’t treat them like dummies and ignore the real issues that have arisen in connection with CRT. No one should be allowed to support former President Donald Trump regardless of the parody that happened on Capitol Hill last January. Likewise, you cannot speak sympathetically of the “demonstrations” and “demonstrations” that took place last summer without taking into account the violence, looting and riots that accompanied these demonstrations. At least acknowledge the possibility that the reason public opinion surrounding last summer’s protests is so divided isn’t because half the country is made up of bastards and rednecks – but because the whole country has watched American cities literally burn down.

Don’t dismiss people who understandably suspect there might be a link between the CRT and these riots. Falling back on a ‘No Real Scotsman’ argument only makes your case more hollow.

Gabriel Wingfield


About Leslie Schwartz

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