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Saturday, May 01, 2021

Prager U: What is "critical race theory"?


[VIDEO] James Lindsay who is a founder of New Discourses tells us about this idea that maybe some of us have heard about for over the past year. Just at a glance it seems particularly destructive and race obsessed:

Critical Race Theory holds that the most important thing about you is your race. The color of your skin. That's who you are. Not your behavior. Not your values. Not your environment. Your race.

In Critical Race Theory, if you are a member of a "minoritized" racial group—their term, not mine—you are a victim of a system that is rigged against you, a system that doesn't want you to succeed. On the other hand, if your race is "privileged," you're an exploiter—whether you intend to be or not.

Critical Race Theory begins from the assumption that racism occurs in all interactions. To see how this works, consider this thought experiment: Imagine you own a shop, and two customers enter at the same time—one white and one black. Who do you help first? If you help the black person first, Critical Race Theory would say you did so because you don't trust black people to be left alone in your store. That's racist. If you helped the white person first instead, Critical Race Theory would say you did so because you think blacks are second-class citizens. That's racist, too.

That's Critical Race Theory. It can find racism in anything, even if it has to read your mind to do it.

That sounds about right in a nutshell. Racist dog whistles, racist symbols, and just very strange conclusions. A person has privilege and is therefore an exploiter by nature. Not by actions, by nature.

You hear things about a white person being forced to admit they're a racist even if by their actions they're not. A white person is a white supremacist even though they're actions show otherwise and they may not actually identify as such.

On the other hand the minoritized are always victims of the privileged and the system created by those who have privilege needs to be burned down. And that statement could be taken in so many ways it becomes a very scary process especially as it has been for the past year.

As Mr. Lindsay states near the end of this video:

Ironically, not since the Aryan obsession in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, or South African Apartheid in the second half of the 20th century, has a social movement been so obsessed with race.

 Critical Race Theory is, then, in a very real sense, a counter-American Revolution. But that's a positive, not a negative, to those who subscribe to the theory.

Isn't that a bit scary. I'm sure this started off very well-intended, however, who out there is wondering if there is an endgame to this. Will there be a good outcome to this latest "race obsession"? 

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