As critical race theory (CRT) invades school curricula, critics sound warnings. Is it “just diversity training,” as its defenders say? Or is it more sinister, as the critics claim?
In examining CRT, it is perhaps more important to look at its purpose rather than its content. Fortunately, there exists a wealth of literature in which its creators describe its goal, so we don’t have to read minds or guess their inner thoughts.
CRT is a 1970s outgrowth of critical theory, developed by the Frankfurt School, a German think tank that greatly influenced American intellectuals.
One of its leading figures was Dr. Herbert Marcuse. In the 1920s, when it became increasingly clear that Marxism was failing, Karl Marx was convinced that the working class of the West would embrace communism and revolt against the bourgeoisie upper class. But workers largely rejected the ideology, especially in America. They rather liked capitalism.
Leftists called this “the crisis of Marxism.” Marcuse provided a solution: Communism could not be achieved on economic grounds. Instead, it had to be achieved through cultural transformation.
Capitalism was too beneficial to dislike, and therefore children and students needed to be trained to hate every part of a capitalist society. The strategy was to criticize every aspect of the West. It became known as “critical theory” – the ancestor of all later versions that critiqued sex roles, racism, gender, and so on. This endeavor has also been called cultural Marxism.
Only when the entire culture had been trained to hate every corner of capitalism could the utopia of communism be achieved.
The content of any critical theory was irrelevant to the Frankfurt School. The only important criterion was that it effectively undermined capitalism. It is purely a means to an end: to destroy the West.
Black Lives Matter leaders refer to themselves as “trained Marxists,” and the kind of Marxism they are trained in is CRT. The purpose of the organization is not primarily to improve the lives of blacks but to destroy capitalism.
That is why on its website, you find statements such as:
“Colonialism, imperialism, capitalism, anti-Blackness, and other forms of white supremacy kill Black people across the globe.”
These are not arbitrary assertions but ideas taken straight out of CRT doctrine.
Critical Race Theory
The primary idea in CRT is that capitalism is fundamentally racist at its roots. Capitalism, in turn, is a white invention. Therefore, to eliminate racism from society, “whiteness” must be eradicated. It may sound hyperbolic, but on July 18, 2020, a student government candidate at Stanford University, Gabrielle Crooks, said in a tweet that “yes, I think white people need to be eradicated.”
Similarly, sociologist Dr. Johnny E. Williams tweeted that “whiteness is terrorism” and later wrote an op-ed to defend his views.
The New York Times’ 1619 Project reimagines history and identifies the arrival of the first African slaves in America as the actual founding of the United States. The premise is that the United States is fundamentally and irreparably a white supremacist system built on slavery, racism, and stealing land from people of color.
These and similar statements are the fruits of CRT. That is why children in many schools now are being taught that people with white skin are born evil and that reason, math, and literacy are “white” forms of knowledge designed to oppress people of color.
One might argue that teaching such material to vulnerable children in their formative years causes irreparable psychological damage, but that may not matter if your goal is the destruction of capitalism.
Read more from Caroline Adana.