Let’s talk about CRT — Critical Race Theory, in the news now because (primarily) conservatives don’t want it taught in the schools their children attend.
But to discuss it, we have to understand it. What is it?
I have looked around what I’ve found reminds me of the fable of the three blind men describing an elephant. The man touching its side said it is like a wall. The man holding its trunk said the elephant is like a snake. The third man holding the tail said the elephant is like a rope.
A general definition of CRT comes from the Associated Press, which is itself suspect. I say that because it has made several strange decisions — such as banning the term “illegal immigrant,” and dictating that Black should be capitalized when referring to African-Americans. I have explained this earlier.
Anyway, back to CRT:
AP says that proponents of CRT, which “seeks to reframe the narrative of American history,” believe that federal law has preserved the unequal treatment of people on the basis of race and the country was founded on the theft of land and labor.
There are other versions, such as the ones at the other extreme that can be expressed as “hate whitey,” “whitey is a racist,” and “the U.S. is racist.”
This is a big subject, and I have to do this in two installments.
First, a broad background of the foundation that makes CRT even possible.
We start with what is clearly an agenda of the Far Left — to destroy Americans’ pride in, and love of, their country. They call that “reality.” With that love gone, Americans can be shaped into something else, something more malleable, perhaps, more open to following, and obeying.
Let’s look at two pieces of evidence.
There was The New York Times 2019 publication of The 1619 Project, which demands we accept the entirely atrocious and fictitious idea that “America” actually “began” with the arrival of the first slaves in that year.
This is not history, it is hysteria. And historians challenged its false narrative.
Third-graders know the USA’s “birth certificate” actually was the Declaration of Independence in 1776 — at least until progressives can purge that from the history books. The Declaration is a document, it is a fact, and it is the indisputable proof of the birth of a new nation. That’s why England went to war to kill it.
The 1619 Project would have you believe the War of Independence was fought basically to maintain slavery and retain white supremacy. Taxation, quartering of soldiers, obstruction of justice, and political oppression had nothing at all to do with it. The 1619 Project asks you to ignore, or to disbelieve, the Declaration of Independence, which actually lists the grievances of the colonists.
The 1619 Project blames a nonexistent USA, rather than imperial Britain, for the introduction of the evil of slavery.
That makes as much sense as jailing me because my great-great-great grandfather stole a cow.
1619 seeks to build a wall of white guilt, specifically American guilt.
Here is the Times’ justification, in a single sentence of mind-numbing length: “Out of slavery — and the anti-black racism it required — grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system, its diet and popular music, the inequities of its public health and education, its astonishing penchant for violence, its income inequality, the example it sets for the world as a land of freedom and equality, its slang, its legal system and the endemic racial fears and hatreds that continue to plague it to this day.”
This is a classic word salad containing every progressive shibboleth from rhubarb to nuts.
There is no logic; it is an abstract, all-encompassing grievance that will be accepted only by masochists yearning to luxuriate in their own victimhood.
In every culture there are the self flagellates. The 1619 Project empowers them.
But an earlier book beat 1619 to the punch. That would be Marxist Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present.”
It is a “history of the United States,” but it begins in 1492.
1492? There was no “United States” then, so why 1492?
To give Zinn an opportunity to throw shade on Christopher Columbus, who never even set foot in North America. Columbus discovered the Americas, not the United States of America, but Zinn is hoping you won’t notice the false bottom in the podium when he pulls the (racist) white bunny out of his silk top hat.
I devoted a long column to documenting the Marxist historian’s duplicity, including his admission that he works more with opinion than fact.
In “1984,” George Orwell imagined a government that routinely rewrote history, erasing unfashionable views. Kind of like what Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are doing today — but they are private companies, not the government, so it is “OK”?
CRT does not exist in intellectual isolation. The Far Left has laid a foundation for it. But what is it?
I will go into that tomorrow.