In August of 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous speech dreaming of a day when his children would be judged for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. This speech allowed Dr. King’s principals of friendship, justice and love to unite our country and pass the Civil Rights act of 1964. These concepts have come to define the classic approach to racial justice which seeks to unite all people in the quest for justice and equality.
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His classical philosophy celebrates the courage of living a principled life and recognizes the importance of personal friendships and understanding in developing racial unity. His intention was to defeat injustice, not people. Importantly, the classical approach chooses love and cooperation over division. These are the principals that can serve to bring positive change to the world.
Recently a new theory has been promoted in the struggle for equality. Critical Race Theory (CRT) holds that institutional authority is predicated on race. It asserts that school policies and curriculum serve to oppress or marginalize all other groups. The theory promotes group identities over individual rights and promotes equity of group outcomes as a misguided means to achieve (what it sees as) justice. The logical fallacies of this concept are quickly exposed since true justice must account for the actions of an individual rather than any affiliation with a group.
In fact, a review of the academic documents supporting Critical Race Theory quickly reveals that CRT believes that race be continually addressed in any interactions with the world, to perceive all conditions as racist and therefore never to truly overcome racism. It actively rejects the concept of “color blindness” which allows people to be judged as individuals independent of group identity .
Critical Race Theory’s assertion that only racism causes unequal group outcomes is a gross misinterpretation of justice. This new definition sees all acts as racial injustice and will only serve to increase racial division. CRT’s rejection of all authority as oppressive or racist and its division of people by identity group guarantee that its implementation will degrade racial relations and unity rather than promoting actual justice.
The contrast between these approaches could not be more stark. It is imperative that we continue to pursue Dr. King’s eloquent and inspiring classical approach as outlined in our Amendment to Warrant Article 15.