A Welcome Backlash against Critical Race Theory | National Review

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(NATIONAL REVIEW) – Recent weeks have brought welcome pushback against the spread of critical race theory (CRT) and related dogmas of division in our nation’s schools.

Contrary to what many of CRT’s advocates often claim, the theory is about more than just teaching kids to “think critically” about the role that race has played in American history. It’s the conceptual apparatus of a self-avowedly activist political movement seeking to renovate the American social order from root to branch using state power.

CRT is a subdiscipline of the broader academic school of critical theory. According to one of critical theory’s pioneers, the German thinker Max Horkheimer, a theory is critical to the extent that it helps “to liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them” and “to create a world which satisfies” their “needs and powers.”

As CRT’s most recognized proponent, Ibram X. Kendi, puts it:

The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. . . . The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.

In practice, CRT leads to rank racialism. As Christopher Caldwell noted in his recent cover story for National Review, Kendi helped lead the opposition against the selection process for the elite Boston Latin School, the Boston Latin Academy, and the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. Relying heavily on testing, the schools had been giving a disproportionate number of their 205 seats to Asian applicants. Caldwell reported that, “With COVID as a pretext, equity advocates set up a new system to fill the spots based on zip codes and grades, a plan that will result in a 24 percent reduction in Asians, an 18 percent reduction in whites, a 50 percent increase in blacks, and a 14 percent increase in Hispanics.”

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