by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jonathan Butcher writes for the Martin Center about bad news at a major public university in Arizona.
The hiring of a critical race theorist to teach music is yet another offering from academics at the temple of the woke. Little good it will do students or individuals and communities interested in rejecting racial prejudice.
In July, Arizona State University officials hired a music professor to train K-12 music teachers, emphasizing that the new professor is a specialist in critical race theory. Music instruction is secondary—the university’s press release announcing the new hire stresses that the instructor wants to give future music teachers “reliable tools beyond teaching the music,” and she is committed to “progressive work” on how the issues of “race, class and culture impact educational equity in music education.”
Using critical race theory to teach music will not help efforts to fight racial bias, however, because so-called “antiracists’” goal is racial discrimination.
It was only a matter of time before ASU, the nation’s 7th-largest university, experimented with the anti-racist crusade in music. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald explains in City Journal that the League of American Orchestras released a “Statement on Racial Discrimination” after George Floyd’s tragic death in 2020 saying that it “acknowledges, accepts responsibility for, and apologizes for the role it has played in perpetuating, excusing, and participating in systemic discrimination based on race within the orchestral field.” At Julliard, school officials created a blacks-only Zoom space for “healing,” Mac Donald says.
Music joins a long list of academic subjects, professions, government agencies, and private enterprises from which critical race theorists demand penance; otherwise participants are labeled racist. ASU had already injected the theory into its other areas of study (ASU added a critical race theory course back to its law school last year).
Critical race theory is not simply a historical perspective on race and law in America. The theory is a worldview rooted in Marxism. …