Critical Race Theory, Part III: Should CRT Be Taught in School?

Now that we’ve looked at what Critical Race Theory is and why many people resist it, it’s time to tackle a question my lawyers have advised me not to answer.

Part III: Should Critical Race Theory be taught in school?

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Critical Race Theory, Part II: Why the Pushback?

(For the visually-challenged and auditorally-inclined, I had two podcasts over the weekend. The first marked Memorial Day by commemorating the 82nd anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation, and the second was the podcast version of last week’s opening post on Critical Race Theory. I’ll record Part II this week when I have some free time, which occurs, as all parents know, during our children’s hour of karate.)

In Part I of this series, I risked career suicide just to enlighten a handful of readers about Critical Race Theory. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so. I risked my job for you. FOR YOU!

If I had to boil Part I’s 3500 words down to just one hundred, it identified CRT as one of many critical theories that asks us to re-think something about society that we assumed to be true. In CRT’s case, it challenges the notion that systemic racism died with Jim Crow back in the Fifties and Sixties. Instead, Critical Race Theory posits that we’re still living with the effects of slavery and Jim Crow, effects that are actually sustained by our supposedly color-blind legal system, housing practices, and more. CRT identifies white people — the US’s “dominant group” — as partakers in this systemic racism, especially if we’re not doing anything to remedy the problem. In other words, we don’t need to behave racist on the individual level to still be part of a systemically racist society. CRT, like other critical theories, proposes that since it’s in the dominant group’s interest to continue the prevailing system, little gets done to solve it, as it is the dominant group that sits at the levers of power. Because white people aren’t harmed by income inequality, discriminatory sentencing, and racist housing patterns, it behooves them to either ignore the problem or explain it away. (Okay… so that was 200 words. Not bad by PPFA standards!)

So that’s what Critical Race Theory is, more or less. It’s a framework to re-analyze American society, particularly for people studying law but also as food for thought for the rest of us less intelligent people. And like any critical theory, it builds into itself a prediction that there will be pushback from dominant groups who benefit from prevailing paradigms and therefore frame the theory in negative ways.

I think we’d agree that prediction was 100% correct. The negative reaction has been palpable. Might it also have been justified?

Perhaps so.

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PPFA Does CRT, Part I: What IS Critical Race Theory?

I’m an amateur writer, a mediocre historian, a bothersome pundit, a lousy podcaster, and a tenured, periodically effective high school history teacher who works neither in Florida nor Texas. Does anyone else like this exist?

If not, there might not be anyone who’s as barely qualified, considerably eager, and hopefully free to tackle the reputationally dangerous topic of Critical Race Theory.

Buckle up.

Continue reading “PPFA Does CRT, Part I: What IS Critical Race Theory?”