April 6, 2021
Written by a concerned parent
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a divisive and discriminatory discipline that is overwhelming school systems across the country.i It incorporates race as a central theme for every academic subject starting as young as kindergarten. It is not a question of whether racism, discrimination and prejudice exist. They do, and they are absolutely wrong and should be stopped. Promoting, racial, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity and inclusion is important. However, diversity and inclusion initiatives should focus on bringing people together and not dividing them. There are now an overwhelming number of examples from all over the country that illustrate that rather than improving race relations and equality, CRT is doing the opposite and causing great harm. School boards and employers need to consider alternatives to CRT that focus on bringing people together rather than driving them apart.
CRT is a method used to examine society and culture through a lens solely based on race and power and its assumptions are treated as absolutes – not as theories, as the name implies, but as universal facts about individuals – and it is forced on employees and students.ii At its core, CRT maintains that:
- if you are white, you are inherently, unavoidably, systemically racist.
- if you are white and you don’t believe you are racist, it is only because you are subconsciously racist and don’t know it.
- if you are white, you are an oppressor, which means you are a white supremacist.
- If you are white, you can and should be discriminated against, to further “equity.” This is not considered racism. Rather, it is called “anti-racism.”
This is what is taught in schools (k-12 and college) and in the workplace when CRT is adopted.iii
There are numerous alarming examples of problems with this training and education.
- Recently Coca Cola employees were trained to be “less white.”iv
- Teachers in Buffalo, NY were trained that “America is built on racism” and that “America’s sickness” leads some whites to believe that black people are “not human,” which makes it “easier to shoot [them] in the back seven times if you feel like it.”v
- Elementary school children in California were asked to openly state where they identify on a scale of “8 white identities” from “white supremacist” to “white abolitionist.”vi
- Kindergarteners in Buffalo, New York were required to participate in a lesson on “racist police and state-sanctioned violence” which involved showing images of black children who have died. The middle school students were taught that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism.”vii
- A California third grade math teacher asked students (seven and eight year olds) to create an “identity map” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family
- structure, and other characteristics. The teacher explained that the students live in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speaker[s],” who, according to the lesson, “created and maintained” this culture in order “to hold power and stay in power.”viii
- In New York, an elementary school child came home to tell her parents that she had been taught that “all people with lighter skin don’t like people with darker skin and are mean to them.” The parent was horrified as he tried to explain “…that’s not how we feel in this family.”ix
- In Nevada, a biracial high school student refused to self-identify as a white supremacist. He was harassed and punished for it. They flunked him and he could not graduate. His black mother sued the school.x
- A California mother commented that her son’s high school is “making [her] son feel like a racist because of the pigmentation of his skin.”xi Another parent questioned “How does focusing a spotlight on race fix how kids talk to each other?”xii
- Arizona’s state education department is conducting an internal review after it was revealed the department’s “equity toolkit” suggests racism develops in children as young as three months old.xiii
Every day, more and more troubling examples are coming to light because people across political party lines are starting to speak out.
Unlike other theories, which can be studied and accepted, modified, or rejected, CRT’s beliefs are absolute. The Critical Race Theorist’s approach is best stated by Professor Ibram Kendi, a prominent CRT leader. Kendi’s belief is that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”xiv He believes that racial discrimination, if it creates “equity” is “anti-racist” and should be used. What better system than this could you devise to ensure that racism will endure forever?
Around the country, there are increasing numbers of examples that show that rather than improving race relations, CRT is creating a resegregation that has led to increased divisiveness, discrimination and the death of free speech. Resegregation is reversing the enormous strides that our country has made to eliminate segregation. Schools have begun to separate students and staff by racial groups in order to “help address discrimination and ‘white privilege.’”xv Parent-teacher meetings in Los Angeles are segregated by race (white parents only meet with white teachers, black parents only with black teachers, etc) as part of its “Inclusive Excellence Racial Equity” initiative.xvi Graduation ceremonies are now segregated. Beyond separating staff, students, and parents into racially exclusive affinity groups, an Illinois school district also carried out classroom exercises that separated seventh and eighth grade students into different groups based on race. The Department of Education found that the school district violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.xvii Is renewed racial segregation progress?
Another serious criticism of CRT is it disempowers and demeans people and children of color. Examples include:
- The Smithsonian African American Museum posted a “whiteness” graphic as part of its “Talking About Race” portal that attributed traits such as “self-reliance,” “hard work,” “delayed gratification,” “being on time,” “politeness”, “reliance on the scientific method,” and “the nuclear family” as features of “white culture.”xviii It was intended to be critical of “white culture,” but was slammed as condescending, racist, unfair to black people and an example of “the bigotry of low expectations for black people.”xix
- Ian Rowe, former CEO of a network of schools in New York City and the Bronx that focused on low-income, black and Hispanic children, found that CRT messaging about systemic racism was “damaging and disempowering” to his students of color.xx He states “many of our parents…faced racial discrimination and other challenges…[b]ut they knew that their children could lead a life on their own terms, even in the face of structural barriers, with three key ingredients: strong family support, teachers with high expectations who are empowered with a curriculum teaching character-based strengths like integrity and resiliency, and a strong sense of personal agency—the belief that you can be master of your own destiny.”xxi
- Ndona Muboyayi returned to her hometown of Evanston, Illinois in 2018 with her children so they would receive the empowering, racially inclusive education she remembered. Instead, they experienced a curriculum she deemed disempowering, divisive, and ill-suited to help students of color succeed. Her children were taught about white supremacy, white privilege and that all white people were rich and racist. Her kids had always been proud of who they were and then they started to question themselves. Her son had wanted to be a lawyer since he was eleven, but after being exposed to CRT said “[b]ut Mommy, there are systems put in place that prevent black people from accomplishing anything.”xxii She responded “that’s what they are teaching black kids…this is what [white people have] done to you and your people. The narrative is, ‘You can’t get ahead.’”xxiii Muboyayi, a member of the NAACP and the Congolese Community of Chicago, decided to run for the school board to remove the Black Lives Matter in School curriculum that was put into place to combat racism. She is now among its most outspoken critics. She attributes her willingness to talk openly to the fact that she is self-employed because other parents are too afraid to speak out.xxiv
The hallmarks of CRT are intolerance and suppression of speech.xxv Indeed, CRT is divisive and controversial, but more frightening is that anyone who questions it is subject to ad hominem attacks, ostracism, and job loss. Employees, parents, students and friends are too scared to speak out against this because for most people the stakes are too high.xxvi They fear losing their livelihoods, their friends and most importantly, repercussions against their children. Examples across the country include:
- Jodi Shaw (a white administrator and lifelong democrat), resigned from Smith College due to the “racially hostile environment.”xxvii The past two years left her physically and mentally debilitated. She states, “I can no longer work in this environment, nor can I remain silent about a matter so central to basic human dignity and freedom.” She turned down a settlement offer from Smith College and filed a lawsuit against the school which has had national attention.xxviii
- Bret Weinstein, a self-described liberal and biology professor at Evergreen State College, was harassed, threatened and fired, after raising questions about the college’s “Day of Absence” which required white students to stay off-campus and attend race-education training while non-white students were allowed to remain.xxix
- UVM Professor Aaron Kindsvatter is facing calls for his termination after he stated that the new diversity, equity and inclusion curriculum policies (based on Ibram Kendi’s curriculum) discriminated against white people.xxx What is more alarming is that 5 years ago, Kindsvatter, also a lifelong democrat, had spoken out about his concern that he was seeing a chilling of free speech at UVM.xxxi
- University of Central Florida Professor Charles Negy was terminated because he openly questioned systemic racism after a 22-year career as a tenured professor. Left with no income, he put his home on the market to raise funds for his legal battle since the university terminated him on what he believes are unconstitutional grounds.xxxii Even more frightening, GoFundMe deleted his account to raise money for legal fees.xxxiii
- David Shor, a white data analyst for the progressive analytics firm Civis, was fired after tweeting a link to a study about peaceful vs. violent protests written by Omar Wasow (who is black) at Princeton. Shor was accused of being insensitive to the public mood in the wake of George Floyd’s death and upsetting people of color.xxxiv
- In Virginia, a group of teachers and parents compiled a blacklist of parents who disagreed with the school’s teaching of CRT, in an effort to attack, humiliate and harass them online. Their actions are currently being investigated by the police.xxxv The parents against CRT who were doxxed created a fundraiser on GoFundMe and again, GoFundMe took down the fundraiser without a clear explanation.xxxvi
- In North Carolina, teachers were told to ignore any parental concerns with CRT and to continue to push the ideology of anti-racism directly to students. They were told that parents are an obstacle to social justice.xxxvii
CRT and Asian-Americans and biracial families
A rising voice against CRT are Asian Americans. Under CRT, Asians are not considered “people of color” due to their economic and educational achievements – this makes absolutely no sense in the context of CRT’s racial absolutes – even though Asians are experiencing an explosion of recent hate crimes.xxxviii This incongruity when it comes to “color” is also highlighted when CRT is applied to biracial families – not only does it not work but it is damaging to biracial children and families .xxxix A Washington school district released an “equity report” in which it grouped white and Asian American students together while placing everyone else in the “students of color” category. The district only apologized after an outcry from the community’s Asian families.xl There are calls for a San Francisco School Board Member to resign because of her tweets that
Asian Americans use “white supremacist thinking” to “get ahead.” xli In Virginia, a group of Asian American parents is suing its school board and superintendent for violating the right of equal protection under the Constitution arguing discrimination against their children in pursuit of social justice.xlii In just the past few months, Asian Americans have been illustrating their alleged marginalization in schools in Massachusetts, New York, Washington, California and Virginia.xliii One Asian parent from a CA elementary school explained that CRT’s emphasis on dividing society into oppressors and oppressed based on skin color reminded him of the bloody class struggle during China’s Cultural Revolution.xliv
CRT, anti-Semitism and religion
Another troubling aspect is the anti-Semitic themes woven into CRT.xlv There have been outcries over the new California CRT curriculum because even though Jews remain the most likely victims of racist assault in the US (as of 2019 FBI data), anti-Semitism is not mentioned.xlvi As of 2019, Jews are 2.7 times more likely than blacks to be victims of hate crimes.xlvii Six million Jews were killed in WWII, yet despite this fact, according to CRT, a white Jewish person is considered a white supremacist purely for being born white. This concept is wrong and offensive. While CRT curriculums are being pushed across the country, only sixteen U.S. states require learning about the Holocaust in public schools and according to a 2018 survey by the Pew Research center, 22% of millennials have never heard of the Holocaust.xlviii If one applied CRT to religion, then everyone is inherently anti-Semitic.
Furthermore, CRT violates the fundamental principles of Christianity which are to love thy neighbor as yourself and to show no partiality.xlix CRT does exactly that; it discriminates and enforces partiality in the name of “equity.” Children inherently know partiality is wrong and unfair and the new California CRT curriculum can be so damaging that teachers are warning that additional counselors will be required to help students deal with the trauma of its content. In fact, the CRT curriculum itself even makes this suggestion.l Shouldn’t we judge each other by the content of our character rather than the color of our skin? Clarence Jones, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s speechwriter, implored Gov. Newsom: “It is morally indecent and deeply offensive to learn that this distorted narrative is being held up by the State of California as a model…It will inflict great harm on millions of students in our state.”li
Alternatives to CRT
Teaching about diversity, inclusion, racism and racial injustice is important. However, CRT is divisive and is causing great harm around the country. Employers and school boards should consider alternatives to CRT that focus on bringing people together rather than dividing them. Critics argue that CRT initiatives “perpetuate racial stereotypes.”lii Are children (and adults for that matter) subject to CRT concepts learning the path to “social justice,” as is the goal stated with these programs, or are they experiencing increased mental trauma, anger and division? Black author Steve QJ notes, “[t]hese children aren’t learning to look beyond superficial differences. They aren’t learning the importance of treating others with compassion. They’re being taught,
at eight years old, that the most fundamental aspects of who they are will forever mark them as ‘oppressor’ or ‘oppressed’. They’re learning to think of each other as a collection of labels instead of complex human beings. They’ll likely carry the hangover of this ‘education’ for the rest of their lives.”liii
One leading alternative to seriously consider is 1776 Unites. 1776 Unites is an all-black nonpartisan and intellectually diverse alliance of writers, thinkers, and activists focused on solutions to our country’s greatest challenges in education, culture, and upward mobility. Ian Rowe, mentioned above, is one of its founding members. 1776 Unites holds views across the political spectrum that share a common concern for the health of our civic life and a focus on pragmatic, outcomes-based policies that transcend partisanship and groupthink. They acknowledge that racial discrimination exists and they work toward combatting it, but they are opposed to the discriminatory practices of CRT. They have already developed a high school curriculum that is available now and is being used in high schools across the country and are in the process of creating a kindergarten through middle school curriculum. Another alternative is the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism (FAIR).
CRT is damaging our country and unless we actively unite against it and replace it with an alternative dedicated to bringing people together, race relations will only get worse. Speak up, speak out and let your elected officials and school boards know that CRT has no place in our schools, the workplace or our country. If you want to get involved in actively countering CRT, sign 1776Action’s (a different organization than 1776 Unites) pledge and enroll in their newsletter.
i Oct 2020, Christine Rosen, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/christine-rosen/you-will-be-re-educated/; 1-15-21, Dr. Carol Swain, https://1776unites.com/essays/critical-race-theorys-toxic-destructive-impact-on-america/
iv 2-25-21, Marium Del Rio, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/366132
vi 2-26-21, Bill Maher on Race Education, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pabbzNjZ2s
vii 2-23-21, Marlo Safi, https://dailycaller.com/2021/02/23/buffalo-public-schools-anti-racism-lesson-plans-christopher-rufo/
viii 1-17-21, Michael F. Haverluck, https://onenewsnow.com/education/2021/01/17/3rd-graders-told-to-rank-themselves-on-power-and-privilege
ix 3-9-21, Bari Weiss, https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-miseducation-of-americas-elites
x 3-15-21, Niara Savage, https://atlantablackstar.com/2021/03/15/lawsuit-biracial-high-school-student-receives-failing-grade-in-sociology-class-after-refusing-to-attach-aspects-of-identity-to-oppression-and-dominance/
xiv 10-12-20, https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-the-cure-for-racism-really-more-racism-11602535839; Oct 2020, Christine Rosen, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/christine-rosen/you-will-be-re-educated/;
xv 3-7-21, Bion Bartning, https://www.wsj.com/articles/dividing-by-race-comes-to-grade-school-11615144898; 3-7-21, Carl Campanile, https://nypost.com/2021/03/07/education-dept-curbs-decision-on-race-based-affinity-groups/
xvi 2-1-21, Steve QJ, https://level.medium.com/dear-woke-allies-your-assistance-with-racism-is-no-longer-required-c29207c46606. Steve QJ writes: “[White parents will meet with White teachers, Black parents will meet with Black teachers, Latinx parents with Latinx teachers. I presume that interracial families will need to separate in the name of progress. If a child had an idea this asinine, it would be easier to cope. You could explain in clear, age-appropriate language why racial segregation is not the best path to “inclusive excellence.” You could point out that while some parents may have issues directly related to their race, preventing other parents and teachers from hearing them is likely to make those problems worse. You could remind them in your gentlest, most tender-hearted voice that classifying people by race promotes racism, rather than — what was it again? Oh yes, INCLUSIVE EXCELLENCE AND RACIAL EQUITY!”
xviii 7-17-20, Valerie Richardson, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jul/17/smithsonian-african-american-museum-remove-whitene/;
xxii 4-3-21, Conor Friedersdorf, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/black-lives-matter-curriculum-has-unintended-lesson/618501/
xxv 7-31-20, Andrew A. Michta, https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-captive-mind-and-americas-resegregation-11596222112
xxvi 3-9-21, Bari Weiss, https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/the-miseducation-of-americas-elites ; 3-16-21, Luke Rosiak, https://www.dailywire.com/news/loudoun-teachers-target-parents-critical-race-theory-hacking
xxvii 2-19-21, Bari Weiss, https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/whistleblower-at-smith-college-resigns; CRT is not typically covered by the main stream media, but in a rare example, the New York Times also wrote about this https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/smith-college-race.html. Read the open letter to Smith College from 1776 Unites dated 3-22-21, https://1w0fe2xxzk22uds8evxwow10-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/1776-Unites-Open-Letter-to-Smith-College.pdf
xxix Oct 2020, Christine Rosen, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/christine-rosen/you-will-be-re-educated/;
xxxii 1-27-21, Adam Goldstein, https://www.thefire.org/ucf-is-killing-academic-freedom-to-punish-tweets-it-didnt-like/
xxxiv Oct 2020, Christine Rosen, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/christine-rosen/you-will-be-re-educated/;
xxxv 3-17-21, Kelly Sadler, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/mar/17/loudoun-county-teachers-blacklist-dox-parents-crit/; 3-16-21, Luke Rosiak, https://www.dailywire.com/news/loudoun-teachers-target-parents-critical-race-theory-hacking
xxxviii 3-9-21, Helen Raleigh, https://www.newsweek.com/asian-americans-emerging-strong-voice-against-critical-race-theory-opinion-1574503
xxxix 12-23-20, Frank Shubert, https://www.ifamnews.com/en/breaking-first-ever-lawsuit-against-critical-race-theory-indoctrination-filed-in-nevada/
xli 3-22-21, Isa Peralta, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/sf-school-board-member-said-201450957.html
xlii 3-26-21, Asra Q. Nomani, https://www.yahoo.com/news/asian-american-students-target-backs-110155770.html
xliv 1-13-21, Chris Rufo, https://www.city-journal.org/identity-politics-in-cupertino-california-elementary-school
xlvi 2-4-21, Dominic Green, https://www.thejc.com/comment/analysis/jew-hate-is-forced-on-the-kids-of-california-1.511521; 11-16-20, Charles Fain Lehman, https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/jews-led-hate-crime-targets-in-2019/
xlvii 11-16-20, Charles Fain Lehman, https://freebeacon.com/latest-news/jews-led-hate-crime-targets-in-2019/
Xlviii 4-1-21, Christopher Ross, https://addisonindependent.com/news/students-petition-holocaust-curriculum
xlix Romans 2:11, James 2:8-9
lii 3-7-21, Bion Bartning, https://www.wsj.com/articles/dividing-by-race-comes-to-grade-school-11615144898; 3-7-21, Carl Campanile, https://nypost.com/2021/03/07/education-dept-curbs-decision-on-race-based-affinity-groups/