I’m reproducing this article from Quora, with Mr. Gorski’s permission
The post above is fine for what it is but I would suggest that it omits some relevant and helpful historical background. I will summarize and include some helpful links. I encourage folks to read up so you can effectively respond to disguised Critical Race Theory (CRT) proponents.
First, a technical point to address CRT defenders’ objection that “CRT is not being taught in schools.” As a technical matter, they are telling the truth while intentionally veiling a damnable lie. And yes, this is a calling card of the Democrat left. They will deny what they are clearly doing by holding you to a literal definition of terms to distract from what they are actually doing. If you read Herbert Marcuse’s essay (link below), Repressive Tolerance, and Saul Alinsky’s, Rules for Radicals, you will understand that this is a typical tactic they employ. They will play fast-and-loose with terms while straight-jacketing you into a highly-technical rhetorical obstacle course, the end of which is a non-sequitur. To be precise, CRT is taught in formal training seminars to CRT trainers as well as in colleges to those who will be spreading this anti-intellectual poison. Consequently, actual CRT is considered to be one- or two-steps removed from your children. But it’s the same pack of lies.
So, CRT advocates will play word salad games in public to claim that you don’t really understand what CRT is and what it’s all about. In fact, your opposition to CRT is confirmation that you don’t understand it, much as your denial of your white privilege is confirmation that you are a racist. Again, like Pelosi-styled Democrats, they engage in heads-I-win-tails-you-lose rhetorical tautologies that keep their drooling media lapdogs nodding in rabid agreement, as they in turn filibuster every conservative with presumed self-evident racism/sexism/LGBTQ+-hater-ism and so forth. Among the many ironies is that the left then decries the “lack of civility” or “willingness to engage in a conversation” on these topics. Sheesh, who’d imagine not wanting to slam back a few beers with these joyless hucksters?
As I’ve shared in a previous post, CRT is a 1970s illegitimate child of the 1960s Critical Theory (CT) dreamed up by the neo-Marxists of the Frankfurt School. To be sure, neither of these ideologies remotely qualifies to be granted the legitimacy of the title, Theory, a term with well-specified qualifications and pre-conditions. Like most usurpers, the intolerant left has never held much respect for convention or standards. What the Frankfurt School engaged in was Critical Opinion, not theory. Same goes for CRT(O). In a sane world, both would be held with well-earned ridicule among serious people. That they are not says far more about us as a people, no?
To be precise, a theory is a documented hypothesis that has been repeatedly subjected to tests whose purpose is to falsify the hypothesis. That is, those who propose the idea invite skeptics to perform well-documented tests with the goal being to undermine its claims in ways big and/or small. CT/CRT, ahem, CO/CRO, have never requested formal criticism though, to be sure, robust critiques and rebuttals abound. Consequently, like Communism, these aren’t theories but manifestos.
They impose a very specific — and religiously zealous Secular Humanist worldview. To the dear reader who regards yourself as non-religious, irreligious, areligious, or some other title to dismiss yourself from the worldview debate, this is one realm where, in the words of Geddy Lee and Eric Lifeson’s song, Free Will, if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. We all embrace a worldview; there exists no one without one. The supposed rejection of so-called “organized religion” itself becomes an organized religion. Therefore, when the Bible and Judeo-Christian worldview were dis-placed from our education system in the 1950s-1970s, they were re-placed by a different religion, whose proponents wrongfully/deceitfully claimed was not a religion. This sleight-of-hand has resulted in the Establishment of Secular Humanism as our national Religion.
But I would direct your attention to Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the founding document for our system of public schools which has withstood every Constitutional challenge:
Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them. [emphasis added]
I can’t help but highlight that the framers held the Native American population in high regard and respected their autonomy, as is documented here. If you survey the history of our failure to live up to our commitments, you will find racist Democrats behind every betrayal. Alas, I digress…
The writers understood, Religion, to refer to some Christian-based non-sectarian expression or, if a state Religion was codified as it was in Connecticut at the time (Congregationalism), then schools could follow its catechism. Indeed, the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment prohibited Congress’ establishing any Christian denomination as a national Religion, while retaining free expressions and public appeals to the same. Progressives of the latter-19th century began to erode that historical framing, beginning with the likes of Christopher Columbus Langdell, Woodrow Wilson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
All this to say that today’s allegedly novel CT/CRT has a long and notorious history, and not all of it emerges directly from the likes of Marx, Engels, or Sanger. Even their ideas emerge from historically Humanist philosophers, including Petrarch, Rousseau, de Sade, Robespierre, and Robert Owen, the first person to attempt establishing a socialist commune in New Harmony, Indiana.
In summary, Critical Race Theory adopts the Oppressor/Oppressed model of the Frankfurt School’s progressive speech/economics modeling and rigorously applies it to race and, as befits its progression, gender identity, and other innovations. But the key is that it assumes there exists a power disparity between the Oppressors and the Oppressed groups that exists prima facie. This has multiple expressions, be they wealth, language, thought processes, dress, food, and so on. To be sure, to CRT advocates there exists nothing that doesn’t exhibit some element of racism (primarily), or the various other intersectional traits. They are all symbolic of either the oppressor or the oppressed. If you are a member of an immutable oppressor group, to adopt traits or expressions they determine to “belong” to the oppressed group, you have committed the crime of appropriation. Consequently, the Oppressors can only acknowledge their classification as oppressors, and the Oppressed can only engage in behaviors consistent with what the authorities claim to be consistent with the oppressed group. No reconciliation is possible, only retribution disguised as reparations.
What I’ve presented represents a high-level primer on this uniquely toxic worldview. And it must be understood as a worldview to properly appreciate why those who reject it are viewed as one of the root causes of the problem(s) their system claims to address. As a conservative, Biblical Christian, I embrace a worldview asserted by the Bible. I might just as well assert that those who reject the Biblical Gospel either don’t properly understand it or have made themselves enemies of God. However, the Bible imposes on adherents a tolerance toward so-called “outsiders”, admonishing me to engage them with a gentleness and respect that the CT/CRT worldview does not impose on its followers. See how that works?