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What, exactly, is CRT?

So, I see threads asking why there is CRT hysteria, and see threads mocking people for opposing CRT.

What I don't see is a hard concrete steel-manned definition of CRT.

For me to know if it is as good or as bad as people say, I think I need to know more about what it is.

So, what exactly is it?
 

Trausti

Contributor
1997

For Black Scholars Wedded to Prism of Race, New and Separate Goals

Critical race theorists, who are on the faculty at almost every major law school and are producing an ever-growing body of scholarly work, have drawn from an idea made popular by postmodernist scholars of all races, that there is no objective reality

Critics of critical race theory, like Prof. Suzanna Sherry of the University of Minnesota law school, contend that it defies common sense and abandons intellectual principles in an effort to promote the political standing of blacks in society.

CRT rejects objective reality, is anti-empiricism, and is just self-serving bullshit.
 

Swammerdami

Squadron Leader
Staff member
From Wikipedia:
... the basic tenets of CRT include that racism and disparate racial outcomes are the result of complex, changing and often subtle social and institutional dynamics rather than explicit and intentional prejudices on the part of individuals. CRT scholars also view race and white supremacy as an intersectional social construction which serves to uphold the interests of white people against those of marginalized communities at large. In the field of legal studies, CRT emphasizes that merely making laws colorblind on paper may not be enough to make the application of the laws colorblind; ostensibly colorblind laws can be applied in racially discriminatory ways. A key CRT concept is intersectionality, which emphasizes that race can intersect with other identities (such as gender and class) to produce complex combinations of power and disadvantage.

At Google Ngrams you will see that the phrase was rare until 1990, then books on the topic began appearing and usage increased linearly: Today it is three times as common as it was in 2000.


Google Ngrams will show you excerpts from old books that have the phrase, but some of those showings appear to be newer books misdated.
 

Elixir

Content Thief
Today it is three times as common as it was in 2000.

I bet it is more than twice as common in 2021 as it was 2020.
January 6th left right wing extremists casting about for something to attack for persecuting white people, and CRT was the best they could do.
 

southernhybrid

Contributor
CRT is a rather old academic theory from the 70s, regarding systemic racism in the US. From my understanding, it was initially used to instruct law students so, I assume, when they were representing Black clients they would understand the racist elements in the system. That's just my interpretation from the little I've read about it. It's just been dusted off the shelf and discussed more openly recently.

But, in today's crazy world, CRT is a symbol, grossly exaggerated by the far right, hoping to use it to defeat Democrats in the midterms. They are portraying CRT as a commonly taught theory used in public schools, to indoctrinate white children to be full of guilt, as all white people, including that cute little 5 year old blonde girl, are responsible for every racist act towards Black people since the time of slavery. Of course, that's made up propaganda. CRT isn't even taught in the public schools, but the Repugs have believed the lies and their dear leaders are passing laws against teaching it in public schools. Oh, the horror. We can't tell our children the darker side of American history. We must white wash the dark side of US history, and proudly rent our minds to the US flag, while chanting....USA....USA.....USA.

At least that's how I see it. Opinions may vary.
 
Thank you Swammerdami for actually taking the time to start to answer the question. There are points there I am interested in exploring further a little later.
 
...mocking people for opposing CRT.

Claiming that is what is going on without mentioning all the propaganda shows a bit of a one-sided perspective. I have been planning to make a separate thread on the propaganda portion of the anti-anti-racism movement and will do so shortly so you can at least see what CRT is NOT in addition to your question of what it IS.
 

Ford

Contributor
CRT is a rather old academic theory from the 70s, regarding systemic racism in the US. From my understanding, it was initially used to instruct law students so, I assume, when they were representing Black clients they would understand the racist elements in the system. That's just my interpretation from the little I've read about it. It's just been dusted off the shelf and discussed more openly recently.

But, in today's crazy world, CRT is a symbol, grossly exaggerated by the far right, hoping to use it to defeat Democrats in the midterms. They are portraying CRT as a commonly taught theory used in public schools, to indoctrinate white children to be full of guilt, as all white people, including that cute little 5 year old blonde girl, are responsible for every racist act towards Black people since the time of slavery. Of course, that's made up propaganda. CRT isn't even taught in the public schools, but the Repugs have believed the lies and their dear leaders are passing laws against teaching it in public schools. Oh, the horror. We can't tell our children the darker side of American history. We must white wash the dark side of US history, and proudly rent our minds to the US flag, while chanting....USA....USA.....USA.

At least that's how I see it. Opinions may vary.

I'd say you've got it about right. CRT is the latest in a flurry of bogeymen being thrown at the wall by the right. Previously it was trans athletes in schools. OMG, your daughter is going to have to compete with a trans kid for a slot on the volleyball team! Before that it was trans people generally. OMG, your daughter is going to be raped in a bathroom by a trans person. Now it's OMG your child (after they've been passed up for that team and raped in a bathroom) is going to be taught about the Chinese Exclusion Acts! Run for the hills!
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
So, I see threads asking why there is CRT hysteria, and see threads mocking people for opposing CRT.

What I don't see is a hard concrete steel-manned definition of CRT.

For me to know if it is as good or as bad as people say, I think I need to know more about what it is.

So, what exactly is it?

Concrete it is not; it's more a very general paradigm of thought that has evolved over the last forty or so years through a network of publications by scholars starting arguably with the work of Derrick Bell and a loose network of his students and collegaues at Harvard and other elite American universities, especially Kimberle Crenshaw of UCLA. Its principal ideas are that the social theory of racism implicit in the social planning and legal framework of anti-racism employed through the 1960s (ie., that racism is primarily an individual choice made by socially dysfunctional persons primarily due to scientific ignorance on their part) was inadequate to address deeper, systemic forms of white supremacy that had been hard-baked into American law from the country's founding. CRT tends to focus on systemic, especially legal systems of racial discrimination, and has generally encouraged acceptance and synthesis of burgeoning areas of ethnic studies such as intersectionality theory and social contructivist models of semiotic study. CRT originated in the legal field, but had immediate implications in higher education, in part because the limited nature of tenured university appointments was a critical point of concern and activism for Bell and his students. CRT has thus been well known to those in the academic legal profession as well as to university administrators generally since about the mid-90's. Also around that time, other social sciences started taking an interest in the framework and occasionally interweaving it with the other major theoretical models of the day, for instance, within political science, sociology, and anthropology. CRT also has a historic though indirect connection to the discipline of Ethnic Studies and attempts to install the same at American universities.

All this should be carefully distinguished from what is meant by CRT in contemporary political dialogue; since 2019, essentially any potentially controversial material on race has been at risk of the accusation from the American political Right. This was exacerbated by the publication of the 1619 Project, a journalistic meta-project aimed at educating the public on the history of American slavery, published in connection with the quatercentenary of the advent of Transatlantic slave market. A number of the people who worked on the project also considered CRT to be a major guiding theoretical principle in their research, leading to the accusation that the project "is CRT". Most conservatives believe that a primary tenet of CRT is race essentialism, the idea that race is a biological reality inextricably connected to your personality and beliefs, and that individual Whites should therefore be held personally responsible for the existence of white supremacy, regardless of their views or actions. Whites, in short, cannot help but institute racism, as it is in their blood rather than their mind that the impulse to discriminate arises. While this has nothing to do with the academic school described above and in fact directly contradicts its core idea of race as a social construct, if you don't understand the accusation that is being leveled, nothing about the resulting controversy will make any sense.
 

Lumpenproletariat

Veteran Member
CRT: The Tulsa massacre of 1921 should be included in the history books.

anti-CRT: Such an event should be excluded from the record, especially from any school curriculum.
 

untermensche

Contributor
There is one thing we know for certain.

These frothing conning Republicans claiming to be upset by it don't have the slightest idea what it is.

It's enough that they know that it riles up white independents.

It riles up those weaklings that do stuff like read.

Sadistic pleasure in making others upset is as good as it ever gets for a Republican sycophant.

That's all they are in the game for.

Their "leaders" promise to take their benefits away.

And they cheer because it makes people mad.
 
Among those answers that stick to answers, I'm getting the word "systemic" a lot.

Among those answers that are not answers at all, I'm getting the word "smear" a lot.
 

Lumpenproletariat

Veteran Member
So, what exactly is it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory
It is the current "look squirrel" from Repugs.

Most of the above wiki is either anti-CRT critique, or it is incoherent babble, decorated in academic jingo, with mostly names of scholars and journals, but saying nothing of substance.

Here are some parts which seemed to say something:

Standpoint epistemology: The view that a member of a minority has an authority and ability to speak about racism that members of other racial groups do not have, and that this can expose the racial neutrality of law as false.

This seems to say that the "minority" has the truth, and others must keep their mouth shut and just listen to this "minority" member preach to them, because only this "minority" member has any understanding, and all others must have this truth spoon-fed to them because they're too unenlightened to be able to speak any truth themselves. So they must agree automatically with anything the "minority" member says about what's wrong with the law and how it must be changed, and not disagree with what this member preaches to them, because others "do not have" the "authority and ability" to speak about it which only this "minority" member has.


Structural determinism: Exploration of how "the structure of legal thought or culture influences its content", whereby a particular mode of thought or widely shared practice determines significant social outcomes, usually occurring without conscious knowledge. As such, theorists posit that our system cannot redress certain kinds of wrongs.

What "theorists"?

This seems to say that our "system" or "structure" of thinking cannot address certain social outcomes or "wrongs" which are to be redressed, and so we must abolish our current thinking entirely, perhaps do away with science or logic or any "structure" we currently follow that guides our thinking. But this does not answer how these "theorists" telling us this are not themselves part of the "structure" or "system" which cannot redress the wrongs.

So CRT then might be a substitution of one incapable "structure" for another, or it's just part of the current incapable "structure" or "system" which occurs "without conscious knowledge" and can't redress anything.


Empathetic fallacy: Believing that one can change a narrative by offering an alternative narrative in hopes that the listener's empathy will quickly and reliably take over. Empathy is not enough to change racism as most people are not exposed to many people different from themselves and people mostly seek out information about their own culture and group.

This seems to say that racism is incurable, because everyone ignores any "narrative" trying to change them and just remains in their own prejudice. So CRT = racism is permanent and unchangeable through any kind of communication (including communication from the CRT theorists, so that CRT inherently refutes itself or condemns itself as a failure).


Non-white cultural nationalism/separatism: The exploration of more radical views that argue for separation and reparations as a form of foreign aid (including black nationalism).

This seems to demand separation of anything non-White and funding of it by Whites.


Internalization
Karen Pyke documents the theoretical element of internalized racism or internalized racial oppression, whereby victims of racism begin to believe in the ideology that they are inferior to whites and white culture, who are superior. The internalizing of racism is not due to any weakness, ignorance, inferiority, psychological defect, gullibility, or other shortcomings of the oppressed. Instead, it is how authority and power in all aspects of society contribute to feelings of inequality.

This seems to say that White authority and power are automatically internalized by non-Whites in all aspects and believed by them, including White CRT theory (but no non-White CRT theory), because non-Whites are incapable of forming any belief other than that imposed by the authority and power of White culture. So any non-White theory/ideology cannot be internalized by them, but only White ideology, as non-Whites are inherently incapable of receiving or internalizing anything from non-Whites.


Institutional racism
Camara Phyllis Jones defines institutionalized racism as

differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society by race. Institutionalized racism is normative, sometimes legalized and often manifests as inherited disadvantage. It is structural, having been absorbed into our institutions of custom, practice, and law, so there need not be an identifiable offender. Indeed, institutionalized racism is often evident as inaction in the face of need, manifesting itself both in material conditions and in access to power. With regard to the former, examples include differential access to quality education, sound housing, gainful employment, appropriate medical facilities, and a clean environment.

This seems like a normal description of race discrimination as something embedded in society, but it doesn't seem to add anything new to what was already known prior to CRT, which originated in the 1970s, according to this wiki page.


Critical race theorists have also paid particular attention to the issue of affirmative action, whereby scholars have argued in favor of such on the argument that so-called merit standards for hiring and educational admissions are not race-neutral for a variety of reasons, and that such standards are part of the rhetoric of neutrality through which whites justify their disproportionate share of resources and social benefits.

This seems to say there is no such thing as "merit" or "race-neutral" standards, ever. All choices anyone makes (or anyone White) are based on race prejudice, regardless what one claims. Even any attempt to avoid prejudice and judge by merit only stems from racial prejudice and is an attempt to disguise one's inherent prejudice. So don't waste your time trying not to discriminate. Your effort to do this is itself only another lie you're telling to try to conceal your inherent racism. Including any arguments by CRT scholars (if they're White).


Other than the above excerpts, the wiki page says nothing about what CRT is. It's mostly listings of distinguished scholars, so we know who the theorists are, but not what their theory is.

Since the schools seem to be the main battleground here, maybe we need some quotes from educators who are trying to introduce CRT into the schools. What exactly are they demanding to be taught to the kids? We need to see it in their words, rather than just the slogans from their opponents, who seem to be the only ones who want to talk about it.

There would be nothing wrong with having the textbooks rewritten to include events such as the Tulsa massacre.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
That is a really weird thing you have going on, quoting a source and then commenting that it "seems to say" a bunch of stuff it obviously doesn't say. Is that because you're hoping we'll just read your parts and skip past the quoted bit that doesn't support your assertion?

If the subject is "what does this academic theory say", then talking about academic theory, scholars, and principal works associated with that theory is not "academic jingo". It's the substance at hand. Indeed, anything else is off-topic.

Since the schools seem to be the main battleground here, maybe we need some quotes from educators who are trying to introduce CRT into the schools. What exactly are they demanding to be taught to the kids? We need to see it in their words, rather than just the slogans from their opponents, who seem to be the only ones who want to talk about it.

You can't do that because there aren't any. The "battle" is an invention, conjured to scare middle-class whites into voting Republican in 2022. Educators oppose these laws because we oppose censorship and because these laws are crafted so vaguely as to stifle all conversations about "divisive topics", not because CRT has much of anything to do with primary education.
 
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marc

Veteran Member
So the threat of CRT being forced into schools is about as substantial as the War On Christmas. The threat of "Their coming to take away your guns and bibles!". What other totally imagined conflicts does the GQP repeat these days?
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
So the threat of CRT being forced into schools is about as substantial as the War On Christmas. The threat of "Their coming to take away your guns and bibles!". What other totally imagined conflicts does the GQP repeat these days?

"Political correctness", Mexican supercessionism, millions of fraudulent votes, "welfare queens", a global conspiracy to falsely data on climate change, and a liberal conspiracy to remove conservatives from university posts.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
Oh, and key Democrats are running some sort of child sex trafficking ring. George Soros and the Clintons are involved. If there's one thing that the Far Left and the Far Right can agree on, it's that Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
1997

For Black Scholars Wedded to Prism of Race, New and Separate Goals

Critical race theorists, who are on the faculty at almost every major law school and are producing an ever-growing body of scholarly work, have drawn from an idea made popular by postmodernist scholars of all races, that there is no objective reality

Critics of critical race theory, like Prof. Suzanna Sherry of the University of Minnesota law school, contend that it defies common sense and abandons intellectual principles in an effort to promote the political standing of blacks in society.

CRT rejects objective reality, is anti-empiricism, and is just self-serving bullshit.
That one is truly ironic. CRT is many things to many people but it is the bete noir of conservatives.
 

Gun Nut

Veteran Member
Today it is three times as common as it was in 2000.

I bet it is more than twice as common in 2021 as it was 2020.
January 6th left right wing extremists casting about for something to attack for persecuting white people, and CRT was the best they could do.

I don't know half of CRT half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of it half as well as it deserves.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
1997

For Black Scholars Wedded to Prism of Race, New and Separate Goals

CRT rejects objective reality, is anti-empiricism, and is just self-serving bullshit.
article said:
Critical race theorists, who are on the faculty at almost every major law school and are producing an ever-growing body of scholarly work, have drawn from an idea made popular by postmodernist scholars of all races, that there is no objective reality. Instead, the critical race theorists say, there are competing racial versions of reality that may never be reconciled.
Trausti seems to completely miss the point here... probably why he ellipsed it away. They aren't rejecting "objective reality". There are things that are quite objective, like the sun and the stars. The question is whether experiences within the US are objective, and more specifically in the US among races.

It isn't even objective among white people. How the wealthy perceived the Great Recession in 2008 was different that how the unwealthy perceived the Great Recession in 2008. Yet, the Great Recession was the same actual event. How the law impacts the wealthy verses the proles or how tax law impacts the wealthy verses the proles, there are any number of different experiences based on your rung of the economy. Makes me think of Paltrow's infamous food stamp challenge fail. And we haven't even delved into how race then falls into it, from inertial systematic racism to snowballing consequences of previous racism.

That this is considered preposterous is more indicative of narcissism of others than anything else.
 

Trausti

Contributor
You can't do that because there aren't any. The "battle" is an invention, conjured to scare middle-class whites into voting Republican in 2022. Educators oppose these laws because we oppose censorship and because these laws are crafted so vaguely as to stifle all conversations about "divisive topics", not because CRT has much of anything to do with primary education.

Um, okay.
 

Torin

Super Moderator
Staff member
So, I see threads asking why there is CRT hysteria, and see threads mocking people for opposing CRT.

What I don't see is a hard concrete steel-manned definition of CRT.

For me to know if it is as good or as bad as people say, I think I need to know more about what it is.

So, what exactly is it?
You should read a primer on Critical Race Theory written by a scholar if you want an accurate exposition you can rely on. This is a political debate forum, and nobody here is likely to be a scholar of Critical Race Theory, so it's not a great place to ask. Even if everything an internet rando tells you about CRT is completely accurate, you do not actually know that.
 

ZiprHead

Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05
 

Playball40

Veteran Member
Oh, and key Democrats are running some sort of child sex trafficking ring. George Soros and the Clintons are involved. If there's one thing that the Far Left and the Far Right can agree on, it's that Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself.

Don't forget the vaccines are dangerous.
 

Toni

Contributor
You can't do that because there aren't any. The "battle" is an invention, conjured to scare middle-class whites into voting Republican in 2022. Educators oppose these laws because we oppose censorship and because these laws are crafted so vaguely as to stifle all conversations about "divisive topics", not because CRT has much of anything to do with primary education.

Um, okay.

This post ^^ seems like a self-own to me.
 
For me to know if it is as good or as bad as people say, I think I need to know more about what it is.

Ironically, you don't need to know what CRT is to comment on how it is being used as a rhetorical tool in media circles today.

Anyone can see "hey, they're using this term to mean something bad" without knowing what the term is.

I wish more people in this thread had taken to trying to describe CRT, instead of telling me how certain other people are all wrong about it.

The key point I took from the few who actually worked on defining it is that it describes "systemic" problems. As my politics are focused on the individual, "systemic" means little to me unless convinced otherwise. Still, I've heard many people say "systemic" before CRT became a big issue. Is there anything special about CRT versus anyone else who talks about systemic racism?
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
For me to know if it is as good or as bad as people say, I think I need to know more about what it is.

Ironically, you don't need to know what CRT is to comment on how it is being used as a rhetorical tool in media circles today.

Anyone can see "hey, they're using this term to mean something bad" without knowing what the term is.

I wish more people in this thread had taken to trying to describe CRT, instead of telling me how certain other people are all wrong about it.

The posts that do this (like mine) are generally ignored. People like fighting more than they like learning, and I get tired of investing long periods of time carefully writing posts I know will be disregarded, or picked through for a "wham" passage to fixate on.

But it's also the case that in the present situation, understanding CRT is a fringe issue tangential to the present political debate, which is about the aesthetics, not the content, of Critical Race Theory. So it's sort of confusing to ask "What is CRT"? It's necessarily to clarify "to whom", because different parties are describing wildly different ideas by the same name.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
The key point I took from the few who actually worked on defining it is that it describes "systemic" problems. As my politics are focused on the individual, "systemic" means little to me unless convinced otherwise. Still, I've heard many people say "systemic" before CRT became a big issue. Is there anything special about CRT versus anyone else who talks about systemic racism?

Such conversations were really not taken seriously in the American legal profession until 15 years of CRT scholarship forced recognition of the issue.
 

Worldtraveller

Veteran Member
The key point I took from the few who actually worked on defining it is that it describes "systemic" problems. As my politics are focused on the individual, "systemic" means little to me unless convinced otherwise. Still, I've heard many people say "systemic" before CRT became a big issue. Is there anything special about CRT versus anyone else who talks about systemic racism?

Such conversations were really not taken seriously in the American legal profession until 15 years of CRT scholarship forced recognition of the issue.
Also, one can't separate systemic issues from individual issues. That's sorta the point. The way JH uses this here implies that they are unrelated, or that addressing systemic issues won't help individuals, when the opposite is the case.

One can focus on the individual all you want, but individuals are all living with the 'system' that is being downplayed or ignored (usually for political reasons).
 

SimpleDon

Veteran Member
You can't do that because there aren't any. The "battle" is an invention, conjured to scare middle-class whites into voting Republican in 2022. Educators oppose these laws because we oppose censorship and because these laws are crafted so vaguely as to stifle all conversations about "divisive topics", not because CRT has much of anything to do with primary education.

Um, okay.

This post ^^ seems like a self-own to me.

As is the handwringing over the post-modernism concept of "no longer do objective facts exist." This is the basis of most of what passes for support for modern conservative positions, which are based on lies. People who live in glass houses shouldn't start rock fights.

The lie that you have to believe about CRT ending life as we know it, or at the minimum, destroying proper patriotic secondary and primary education, is the one that the government is trying to replace white males with females and other genetically inferior people. This goes hand-in-hand with the lie that the economy is a zero-sum game where everyone who gets ahead means that others have to be knocked back.
 

Lumpenproletariat

Veteran Member
Is there some foul play going on with CRT?

"something rotten in Denmark"? etc.


So, I see threads asking why there is CRT hysteria, and see threads mocking people for opposing CRT.

What I don't see is a hard concrete steel-manned definition of CRT.

For me to know if it is as good or as bad as people say, I think I need to know more about what it is.

So, what exactly is it?
You should read a primer on Critical Race Theory written by a scholar if you want an accurate exposition you can rely on.

There probably is no such "primer" other than something from a CRT-debunker. No one so far has given any. And everything claiming to tell us what CRT is (other than CRT-refuter-debunkings) contains mostly gibberish and lists of names of CRT "scholars" but not saying what their conclusions are; or if they do pretend to say the conclusions, it's in language which seems intended to confuse anyone trying to figure it out, or language intended to discourage any clarification.

The main problem with CRT is the CRT "scholars" themselves, or their sympathizers, unable to speak clearly, or those who cite them or offer a website which is supposed to explain it, but not actually quoting from the source and explaining what it says, or what it means, and just pretending that the words are saying something coherent.


This is a political debate forum, and nobody here is likely to be a scholar of Critical Race Theory, so it's not a great place to ask.

Yes this is a good place to ask. You don't have to be a scholar or a member of the school to read what these say and then quote this to someone else and give reasons to agree or disagree with it.

Instead of giving excuses why we can't know what it is, why not just recognize that CRT is something intentionally vague and obscure, and this is why no one can pin it down, or give a succinct summary of it. What we've been given so far is mostly gibberish. Someone is deliberately being elusive, pretending to be scholarly and informative, but really is engaging in sophistry, perhaps even pseudoscience.


Even if everything an internet rando tells you about CRT is completely accurate, you do not actually know that.

Right, there's no way to know, because the genuine CRT scholarly source itself (if it exists) is mostly gibberish, and there's no way to know if it's accurate, or even what it means.

What about the following scholarly source:

Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis . . .
. . . https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05
So far this is all gibberish. It could mean something, but without further explanation it is only gibberish. And there's never any explanation beyond this "embedded in legal systems and policies" verbiage which by itself is just gibberish.

. . . a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.
This is the list-of-eminent-scholars verbiage. Giving us this list of scholars does not tell us what the theory is, nor telling us that it's from the 1970s or 80s (though there's no harm in some historical background, but limiting it to names of the theorists and the dates when they theorized does not tell us what the theory is).

All the presentations of CRT spend more space giving us these lists of names and names of institutions etc. than the "basic tenets of critical race theory" that "emerged out" of the scholarly and legal frameworks and so on.



And the above citation, when all is said and done, turns out to really be just another debunking of CRT like that of right-wing alarmists, rather than a real CRT source. E.g., it says:

All these different ideas grow out of longstanding, tenacious intellectual debates. Critical race theory emerged out of postmodernist thought, which tends to be skeptical of the idea of universal values, objective knowledge, individual merit, Enlightenment rationalism, and liberalism—tenets that conservatives tend to hold dear.

This statement is a PUT-DOWN of CRT, from a negative critic. No CRT promoter or scholar would give the above description of CRT. Postmodernism is never cited by anyone as the basis for their theory. No one ever cites postmodernism except postmodernism-bashers and -debunkers.


Why is CRT impossible to define?

In fact, maybe CRT is problematic precisely because it's like postmodernism, and also like "Trickle-Down Economics" and other schools which are known to us only from their detractors, or from enemies of the school, who publish and lecture and propagandize against the controversial school, while at the same time there is no one willing to step forth and say "I'm a postmodernist (or trickle-down economist or critical race theorist) and here is what our school teaches . . ."

The proponents of the school are AWOL while their negative critics are everywhere preaching against the hated school which is denounced as something destroying our society.

Everyone speaks as though the CRT proponents do exist, but in reality those proponents seem to be hiding somewhere, maybe ashamed to step forth and present their ideas to us. Where is there a website from them? It's absent, just like there's nothing from the postmodernists and the trickle-down economists.

Like this "You should read a primer on Critical Race Theory written by a scholar" when there is no such thing. Or
There is one thing we know for certain. These frothing conning Republicans claiming to be upset by it don't have the slightest idea what it is.
Maybe they don't, but why? Who does have an idea what it is? If the CRTers won't tell us, then how are the paranoids supposed to be corrected?

CRT is a rather old academic theory from the 70s, regarding systemic racism in the US. From my understanding, it was initially used to instruct law students so, I assume, when they were representing Black clients they would understand the racist elements in the system.

So CRT really does exist -- it's not a paranoid delusion -- but maybe it's so obscure that we can't find the CRTers themselves to tell us what it is, because they're a tiny clique of specialist academics not publishing anything for the general public. But even so the above says that CRT is used to decide real legal cases, so why shouldn't a CRTer somewhere step forth and defend the theory against this assault from so many critics? Why don't we hear from them? All we're getting is someone telling us to go get a primer or other official CRT source, and yet there is doesn't seem to be any, because the experts are AWOL.

So, maybe what we're hearing about this is paranoia, from the CRT-bashers, but how can they be blamed for their paranoia, if the ones they're bashing are all in hiding instead of stepping forth to present their great new insights to the general public? If they act sinister, how can we blame those who are saying "Something stinks here!"???
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
That is such a weird claim to me. Basically you're saying "it can't be a real academic school of thought, people can only describe it in terms of scholars, books, and technical language". Well, yeah. Duh. What else were you expecting? Several posts have discussed the content, not just form of the school, but if these were couched in terms you didn't understand or found too obscure, that's probably because we're trying to explain something that isn't exactly entry-level. There are plenty of concrete applications of CRT, but none of those "are CRT". What CRT is, is that loose collection of ideas, expressed in those books, by those people, in those terms. Yes, it is really a theoretical school, not a political slogan. Though it has inspired much political action, art, and scholarly study, it is at is core a loose collection of academic ideas and assumptions, none of which actually originated in CRT so much as coaslescing there to solve a particular set of challenges in American law and eventually the social sciences.

Also, the experts are AWOL? What does that even mean? Alas that Derrick Bell cannot come back from the dead to educate you, but Kimberlé Krenshaw has been a straight up media darling, over the last few months. If you've mananged to not get CRT right from the horse's mouth, you've been watching the wrong kind of news methinks.
 

TSwizzle

Contributor
CRT, just another new age religion. Utterly incoherent to bamboozle and confuse the flock. It’s defined in the same way as the holy trinity, incoherent mumbo jumbo but people like to pretend they get it.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
CRT, just another new age religion. Utterly incoherent to bamboozle and confuse the flock. It’s defined in the same way as the holy trinity, incoherent mumbo jumbo but people like to pretend they get it.

What is it that you find difficult to understand, specifically? Complicated and incoherent are different things. CRT is not necessarily simple, but it is coherent.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Cathode RY Tube?

I listed to a black academic on NPR who wrote a book about it. It depends on who you listen to. It can sound like awareness of American history and appreciating of how we got to this point, or it can sound like black vengeance and reverse racism. The latter is what conservatives are responding to.

The idea that blacks built built the county singlehandedly and whites just sat back, I have heard this.

or me it is an imbalanced view that goes from the old racist perspective by majority white to an equally unbalanced view with n no positives itives for what was was the majority culture.

To me it just sounds like a talking point for blacks.

There were local news reports of it being taught in public schools in the region. Part of it was allegedly sending kids home to aggressively root out racism in the white family. Creating a white self loathing in kids.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
CRT, just another new age religion. Utterly incoherent to bamboozle and confuse the flock. It’s defined in the same way as the holy trinity, incoherent mumbo jumbo but people like to pretend they get it.

What is it that you find difficult to understand, specifically? Complicated and incoherent are different things. CRT is not necessarily simple, but it is coherent.

If it were, I would imagine that people could show the incoherence through argument. I'm just seeing accusations without substance, and without understanding the basic principles.
 

Politesse

Sapere aude
CRT, just another new age religion. Utterly incoherent to bamboozle and confuse the flock. It’s defined in the same way as the holy trinity, incoherent mumbo jumbo but people like to pretend they get it.

What is it that you find difficult to understand, specifically? Complicated and incoherent are different things. CRT is not necessarily simple, but it is coherent.

If it were, I would imagine that people could show the incoherence through argument. I'm just seeing accusations without substance, and without understanding the basic principles.

Usually, when I ask, they just post memes. Or video clips of some sensitivity training they find opprobrious. I find this incoherent.
 
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