The hint of an education on race and racism I received in medical school involved a historical overview of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and retired eugenics practices. As I rotated on the wards, race came up again as a vague tool to help narrow a diagnosis. New Black patient with severe headache, blurry vision? Think hypertensive crisis.
I wasn’t taught why hypertension might be more prevalent in the Black American population. (Hint: Genetics is not the answer.)
I was never taught that Black newborns delivered by a white doctor are more likely to die than those delivered by a Black doctor. Or that federally sanctioned redlining in the 1930s still increases the odds…
It has also galvanized those who worry applying that lens will teach children to hate America or divide the nation by emphasizing our differences. This viewpoint has come to the fore amid a surge of controversy over critical race theory (CRT), a decades-old academic framework that scholars use to interrogate how legal systems—as well as other elements of society—perpetuate racism and exclusion.
Critical race theory is an ideology which maintains that the United States is a fundamentally racist country and that American institutions such as the Constitution, property rights, color blindness, and equal protection under the law are vestiges of white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalist oppression—all of which must be overthrown in the name of “antiracism.” Ultimately, critical race theory and “antiracism” policies would deepen racial divisions and undermine the very institutions that are essential to addressing poverty and inequality across all racial groups.
But more broadly, to your point, I don’t think that America has figured out how to talk about race. I don’t think that the kind of world more broadly is able to talk about sort of imperialism and the history of colonialism in a way that is kind of consistent with what actually happened.
Advocates and media circle the wagons and try to conceal the truth about a pernicious ideology.
It’s more of a religion. Its practitioners reject the idea of evaluating the merits of competing ideas.
The development of critical race theory by legal scholars such as Derrick Bell and Crenshaw was largely a response to the slow legal progress and setbacks faced by African Americans from the end of the Civil War, in 1865, through the end of the civil rights era, in 1968. To understand critical race theory, you need to first understand the history of African American rights in the U.S.
A concept developed by academics in the 1970s has triggered political debate and controversy in everything from school curricula to workforce trainings
Ms. Steenman, in Tennessee, says that “there are lots of lessons to learn in history,” including slavery and Jim Crow. But she worries about where the emphasis falls. “There’s mistakes that we’ve made, but there are also redemptive elements. When you only teach the mistakes and not redemption, [students] will be ashamed of their country,” she says.
The debate about critical race theory has become circular and maddening because the phrase itself has been unmoored from any fixed meaning.
As a sociologist who confronts the issue of racism by showing through research how racism affects the choices and chances of individuals, I believe the only way to confront systemic racism is to confront the systems and structures that uphold it. And to do that means telling a complete history.
A wiser response to problematic elements of what is being labeled critical race theory would be twofold: propose better curriculums and enforce existing civil rights laws.
The development of critical race theory by legal scholars such as Derrick Bell and Crenshaw was largely a response to the slow legal progress and setbacks faced by African Americans from the end of the Civil War, in 1865, through the end of the civil rights era, in 1968. To understand critical race theory, you need to first understand the history of African American rights in the US
Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.
Watching the news or browsing social media, it would be easy to think that critical race theory is a complicated, controversial, or new idea.
But critical race theory, created four decades ago by legal scholars, is an academic framework for examining how racism is embedded in America’s laws and institutions.
But if racism is a foundational reality, and not just a personal prejudice, then much bigger changes have to be made – and more is required of white people than personal innocence.
There is no better argument in favor of CRT than the fallout from COVID-19, which unfolded in real time, exposing a broken system as people of color were disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
Critical Race Theory is essential for understanding developments in this burgeoning field, which has spread to other disciplines and countries. T