What is Critical Race Theory? Is it correct ? Is it a threat?
Definitions of critical race theory vary but seem well represented by the Encyclopaedia Britannica: a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of color. Critical race theorists argue that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist in that they function to create and maintain social, economic and political inequalities between whites and non-whites, particularly those who are not whites. African Americans.
This is consistent with claims made in pro-critical race theory books I have read, for example, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson and “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy MacLean. .
By this definition, Critical Race Theory is factually incorrect and a poor explanation of reality. Yet it is a mistake to overcorrect and pretend that there is no racism because there is. But, let’s take a look at the critical theory of race.
Contrary to critical race theory, race is a biological reality, for example, blood groups, skin colors, and hair patterns vary. For example, racial differences are used convincingly by Robin Walker in “When We Ruled: The Ancient and Mediaeval history of Blank Civilizations” to show that key phases of ancient Egypt were dominated by black people, not by black people. people with lighter skin tones as the movies usually show. There is no evidence that intelligence has racial differences; Consider for example “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. The race exists; racism is wrong.
The central assertion of critical race theory is that the United States is uniquely and consistently racist.
American racism is neither unique nor worse than elsewhere. History shows that racism, tribalism, “fear of the other” have been universal. Slavery and racism were present at the founding of the United States because they were universal. Native African blacks traded in slaves before the Arabs arrived in Africa; The Arab slave trade predates the European slave trade. Slavery and racism were not confined to Africa and blacks. I do not know of any part of the globe historically free from these horrors.
Rather than being just bad, the US and UK have led the way. For example, we waged a murderous and destructive civil war that ended slavery. How many other nations have done this?
American racism exists; I saw him even though I am a white man. It must be more widespread than I noticed. But we have largely purged it of our laws and our institutions. Racial differences in outcomes, say unemployment, do not prove systemic racism – but I’ll need another column to answer that claim.
Critical race theory is itself racist. In and of themselves, mere bans on teaching critical race theory are inadequate and perhaps counterproductive, because bans do not defeat it. It must be overcome by logic, data and by treating people as individuals. We have made so much progress in moving from treating people as groups (races, biological genders, sexual orientation, gender identity) to treating people as individuals. Why go back?
Steve Piet is a nuclear engineer who worked at Idaho National Laboratory for 31 years.