by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
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.” …
… 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.”
CRT, the philosophy motivating such discriminatory actions, shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nation’s schools. Fortunately, some communities and elected officials are acting to prevent its insinuation into curricula. …
… We hope this is just the beginning of the efforts to protect schools from this noxious ideology.