Critical race theory is infiltrating corporations, Christian organizations, and educational institutions all over American. You know it is getting bad when Dr. James Dobson addresses critical race theory as a problem and tells parents to protect their children from it. In Minnesota, the concepts of critical race theory have been taught in some locations, such as St. Paul schools, for nearly a decade. We simply did not know it. Now we are waking up to the reality of what critical race theory is and how destructive it is for individuals and organizations.
The darkness hates the light, so it is very good that critical race theory is being exposed for what it is. The light is a sanitizing agent. So it is no surprise that many organizations and educational institutions are claiming that critical race theory is not present in their school or building. I would love for this to be true; however, I experienced this tactic in our local school district when a group of parents pushed back against the racial agenda of the school. We were told that critical race theory was not taught, encouraged, promoted, or part of the curriculum. And it is true, I never heard the district mention the words “critical race theory” nor did I ever see these words in print. Instead, the school used different words to convey the exact same concepts.
Like my school district, I’m beginning to hear more and more organizations state that critical race theory isn’t present in their school or church. I thought it would be helpful to provide a quick list of terms and buzz words. If an organization is using any of these words of phrases, they may be teaching critical race theory (thanks to Kevin Roberts for help with this list).
Equity—This has replaced “equality.” Instead of ensuring that every American has an equal opportunity to succeed, equity demands equality of outcomes. Equality of outcomes is another way of saying socialism. It utilizes the same oppressor and oppression framework of critical race theory.
Implicit or unconscious bias—The relentless search to find racism in every aspect of American life. If it’s not immediately evident, look harder.
Social Justice or Restorative Justice—The belief that society must be torn down and remade in order to fully root out racism.
Systemic racism—According to critical race theory, racism is the original sin of America, and it persists everywhere to this day. Every institution is designed, “to maintain the dominance of white people in society.”
Microaggressions—These are “subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously.”
Antiracism—This is critical race theory’s go to phrase, the practical outworking of its central ideas.
White privilege—According to this doctrine, white people derive incredible benefits from being white. According to one theorist, “America needs to be honest about how race has driven every decision from education to homeownership, and everything in between.”
White fragility—This makes critical race theory non-falsifiable. Any objection to any tenet of critical race theory is said to be white fragility.
Colonialism—Jean-Jacques Rousseau would recognize this as his “noble savage” concept—it’s the notion that most human societies lived some kind of idyllic existence until explorers from the West arrived. One scholar states, “colonialism, as a project of bringing the backward races into the universal history, bridged enlightenment with modern constructions of race.” In other words, colonialism was the seedbed of race and racism. Critical race theorists demand that we decolonize—reject all that the west brought with it, including enlightenment ideals.
Identity—Everything is about what you are, not who you are.
Ally or Allyship—According to Harvard an ally is “Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice.” Critical race theorists demand nothing less of the rest of us.
Social construct—Race is made-up; it’s fiction used by oppressors to control the oppressed. Race is also real and immutable. It’s the one thing you can’t change about yourself, and it’s all that matters (see identity).
Educators or organizations may claim that they’re not teaching critical race theory, but look closer at what they are saying before you believe them.