A Historian’s View of Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project, Part 3

Posted on August 9, 2021


Over the past few weeks, we have taken a look at the origins of the critical race theory now so popular among some sectors of the American population, pundits, and politicians among them. Today let’s tackle the theory itself.

We are taking a look at the theory largely because it is based on an interpretation of history, and I am a professional historian and we need a professional look, rather than an opinion from a drop-in politician, reporter, journalist, or any other curious onlooker, from a Black Lives Matter communist to a Trump capitalist. We are in a national crisis and as we move to solve it, we need to be as clear as possible where we came from—history—to understand where we are and, even more important, where we want to go.

So, what is the critical race theory?

It is basically a rejection of the principles of liberty and freedom which underlay the making of our country, from when the first Englishmen arrived in Virginia and New England in the early seventeenth century to today. And, in the place of those principles, which include individualism, self-control, the power of the vote, liberty, personal responsibility, true equality, freedom, a devotion to Christianity, and a host of other principles derived from those, the CRT puts race at the center of our history, with tangents such as systemic racism, white fragility, black entitlements, and the 1619 project as the proof offered of its true vision of America. Historians of national repute have debunked the 1619 Project as patently false.

Why is CRT being promoted? There are three goals; to bring its promoters to power, two, to expand the power of the State, and three, to replace the traditional sources of personal responsibility to factors beyond the control of individuals, principally race.

Blame is central to CRT.

The traditional white rulers in the nation are held to account for ruling the country by systematically exploiting African people, first introduced as slaves in 1619, held in bondage until the Civil War, and then through laws and institutions, think Jim Crow, segregation, etc., until the 1960s.

What is happening today, from indoctrinating first graders to rioting and burning in the cities, is directly attributable to the CRT agenda. In the colleges and universities, it is thinly disguised as programs and divisions of “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” with the emphasis on equity.

Equity is not the same as equality. Equity demands two things. One, all students, regardless of race, sexual preference, gender, ethnicity (Hispanics, Asians, etc.), intelligence and other factors (grades, IQ, etc.) be admitted to higher education. Two, equity demands an equal outcome for all students regardless of their intelligence, background, study, work habits, and other traditional factors that govern outcomes in higher education. In other words, equity replaces excellence as the standard in determining not only admissions, but also outcomes such as grades, achievements, graduation, etc.

The theory is that everyone is exploited in some form or another by white racists. Rather than advancement being based on achievements and excellence, it is based on race alone.

Some races have triumphed over others, and now the system–Diversity, Equity and Inclusion–will make it right. And since all races—African American, Hispanics, Asians, Africans, etc.—have been exploited by whites, now whites will be stripped of their privileges and everyone will be equal in the world envisioned by the Wokes, or those who have “awakened” to the existence of white privilege and racism.

If this sounds like something envisioned by such as Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Karl Marx, and Fidel Castro, you are right. Socialism/Communism expects all to be subjects of and obedient to the State which will determine everything in your life.

And whites, in a subset of the Woke theory called “white fragility,” can’t deny they are racist since denial is simply a subconscious measure that affirms their racism. Or the more you deny it, the more it confirms the truth of your racism. You can’t escape it.

That the Wokes are themselves indulging in racism is so transparently clear that one has to wonder at their process of thinking if their logic and/or ideology can be called thinking.

Children as young as five and six years old are being taught about institutional racism, cultural humility, and at the higher grades the history of marginalization and institutional racism, implicit bias, and other tropes from the Woke curriculum. As one web site noted, “forget a fundamental understanding of reading, writing, math or civics, La Crosse [Wisconsin] would rather make their teachers and students experts in political correctness instead.” (https://www.maciverinstitute.com/2021/05/critical-race-theory-in-wisconsin-k12-education/ )

What you have read above just runs over the surface of how out society and lives are being undermined by the Woke generation that is promoting the end of America as most of you know it. There are movements right here in Alabama working to bring down this incredibly destructive ideology. Right now, for example, there are bills being prepared for our State Legislature to forbid CRT from being administered and taught in our schools. Stand by for more.

Published as “So, what is the critical race theory,” in The Tuscaloosa News, Sunday August 8, 2021