Getting it right on Critical Race Theory

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One of the most controversial issues involving education over the past two years has been the subject of Critical Race Theory (CRT). In today’s politically correct “cancel culture,” even discussing minor criticism of CRT can get one labeled a “racist.” Reactions from CRT supporters to even minimal criticism routinely spills over into chaotic ad hominem attacks.

Despite these challenges, on the state level, elected and appointed officials are starting to take a long overdue and critical look at CRT. And as a result several states have banished it from K-12 curricula. In some cases, there have been spirited debates culminating in legislation to ban the use of CRT and other divisive concepts in public schools. Florida is a notable example. Other states have fallen short in addressing CRT; Alabama was unable to pass a ban on CRT in its recent legislative session.

One state’s education department, however, has moved proactively and decisively to ensure that CRT stays out of its K-12 curricula without legislation being required. Louisiana’s Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley has moved impressively to ensure that social studies students in his state are taught the complete, unvarnished truth about American history:

We did not shy away from some of the most challenging points in American history, in fact, we went above and beyond to capture those moments in history when we needed to self-correct, but at the same time, we weren’t going to allow for any form of indoctrination to be a part of these standards.

Brumley correctly identifies CRT as, not a form of education, but, rather, indoctrination disguised stealthily as education.  All of this isn’t just an academic exercise. It’s extremely important that we as a nation get this right.

Because CRT isn’t just an educational fad. There is ample evidence for those willing to search for it of CRT’s toxic Marxist origins, which are designed to divide America by starting with our children to build a lasting, shameful, negative legacy. It is fundamentally Marxist in its origins and orientation, as researchers have extensively documented. Christopher Rufo writes:

Critical race theory is an academic discipline, formulated in the 1990s, built on the intellectual framework of identity- based Marxism. Marxist scholars in the West simply adapted their revolutionary theory to the social and racial unrest of the 1960s. Abandoning Marx’s economic dialectic of capitalists and workers, they substituted race for class and sought to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based on racial and ethnic categories. [1]

Indeed, Critical Race Theory stems from a whole line of Marxist philosophy popularized in academic circles dating back to the 1930s as Heritage’s John Butcher and Mike Gonzalez have pointed out:

The origins of Critical Theory can be traced to the 1937 manifesto of the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt, colloquially known as the Frankfurt School. One of the first examples of what has come to be called the Western Marxist schools of thought, the Institute modeled itself on the Moscow-based Marx-Engels Institute.[2]

Today, CRT has been used to divide and shame innocent children based on their skin color, something that is itself inherently racist:

Critical race theory (CRT) is a philosophy founded by law professors who used Marxist analysis to claim that America is “systemically racist.” Reflecting its Marxist origins, CRT asserts that to achieve the unification of the working class, whites must recognize their white privilege and renounce it.[3]

And that matters because America waged a half-century long conflict, the Cold War, to prevent Marxism from dominating and ruling the world, at the cost of the lives of some 80,000 Americans, who made the ultimate sacrifice to form the bulwark against Marxist ideology.

The effort to impose Marxism through indoctrination and subversion is just as much a threat today as it was at the height of the Cold War. CRT’s toxic origins are designed to divide and demoralize America, to convince her children that their country is not worth defending or supporting, and to ultimately sow divisions of race and identity to cause civil unrest and discord. Ultimately it seeks to achieve through manipulation of our youth, what the Soviets could not achieve through force of arms.

We thought we banished Marxism to the ash bin of history with the fall of the Soviet Union, but Marxists inside academia here in America kept it alive by applying it to race instead of class:

Hopefully CRT will be eliminated everywhere in America. If your school district still allows it, you are justified in proclaiming it anti-American and pro-Communist. You should not shy away from doing so.


[1] Critical Race Theory: What it is and How to Fight it” Imprimis, Volume 50, Number 3, March 2021, Page 2.

[2] Critical Race Theory, the New Intolerance and its Grip On America, Jonathan Butcher and Mike Gonzalez, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 3567, December 7, 2020. Page 3.

[3] Critical Race Theory: Knowing it when You See it and Fighting it when You can. Heritage Foundation, Page 2 and Page 8.

Christopher Holton
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