Readers Write: Why critical race theory is a problem

Readers Write: Why critical race theory is a problem

With critical race theory coming to public attention on Long Island as a result of the recent controversy in Great Neck, many are encountering this ideology for the first time.

There are many things that one might assume about an ideology that is claimed to be anti-racist that are not, in fact, true about CRT.

For example, one might assume that CRT is the 21st century continuation of the civil rights movement, pushing the country further down the path toward fully living up to the values on which it was founded.

In reality, CRT entails a rejection of Martin Luther King’s dream of a world in which people would not be judged by the color their skin.

In the words of Ibram X. Kendi, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

Many CRT proponents reject the notions of equality, meritocracy, and objectivity. And let’s be clear: They do not merely point out that we have often failed to fully live up to these ideals. Rather, they believe that they are merely fictions used to justify white supremacy and hence not goals toward which we should strive.

With CRT supporters accusing those who oppose their ideology of engaging in censorship, one could easily assume that they are advocates for free speech. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In practice, when CRT is taught in schools or the workplace, there is generally a tacit threat that those who disagree will be punished.

Take, for example, the case of Gabrielle Clark, who is currently suing a charter school in Nevada. Her son, who is a student there, was required to classify himself as oppressed or oppressor as part of a “Sociology of Change” course that is required of all students. Solely because he refused to do so, he was given a failing grade for the course and denied the opportunity to graduate.

Based on this story, one might guess that Clark was white. In fact, she is African-American, and her son is biracial. We have the right to know if this sort of abuse is happening in our schools here on Long Island and, if so, to demand that it stop.

It would seem logical that a theory devoted to fighting racism would be opposed to anti-Semitism and anti-Asian racism.

To the contrary, CRT and the policies that it promotes often make these prejudices worse. It has been well-documented by this point that Asians are treated even worse than whites under affirmative action.

Last year, I had the pleasure of attending a talk by a so-called “anti-racism educator” who told her audience that antisemitism began with the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, thereby erasing over a millennium of Jewish history.

In a broader sense, the sort of scapegoating that CRT entails is far too similar to antisemitic tropes.

For example, blaming us for slavery because we are white is no better than blaming us for the crucifixion because we are Jewish. In either case, we are being used as scapegoats for things that other people’s ancestors did long before our time.

We are fortunate enough to live in a free country, and the First Amendment protects the right of those who support CRT to express their views.

However, there is a need for legislation to ensure that those of us who disagree cannot be fired or denied access to an education on account of our views.

Furthermore, citizens are entitled to a say in the curriculum at schools that are funded with their tax dollars.

It is perfectly reasonable to demand that students should not be instructed that CRT is the clear and uncontroversial truth and punished if they question or disagree with that premise. Parents Defending Education should be commended for having the courage to raise awareness of this important issue.

David Golub

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