by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Lindsey Burke and Mike Gonzalez offer National Review Online readers ideas for taking on the dangerous ideas of critical race theory.
When President Trump said there is a determined band of hard leftists indoctrinating American children into believing their country is racist and evil, “fact-checkers” in the media jumped on it. Completely inaccurate, they claimed.
Really? Anyone who bothers to fact-check the fact-checkers can tell you the opposite: Such a campaign of disinformation is indeed underway.
Its tool is Critical Theory. You may have heard the term “Critical Race Theory” a lot recently. The president mentioned it in his speech, and the Office of Management and Budget used it, too, when it banned so-called anti-racism trainings from the federal workforce.
Critical Race Theory is an offshoot of Critical Theory, as is its brethren in Law School, Critical Legal Theory. Other offshoots are all types of ethnic and gender studies. The ensemble has been dubbed the “grievance industry.”
If you or your son or daughter is in a university, studying some form of this will be unavoidable. In fact, even children in K–12 schools cannot escape being force-fed these theories.
Simply put, Critical Theory amounts to an unremitting attack on all of America’s norms and traditions. The goal is to replace them with a “counter-narrative” that will introduce a more leftist model of governing. Critical Theory is the main philosophical school in the identity politics of today.
The concept goes back to 1937, when the second director of Germany’s Frankfurt School, Max Horkheimer, published the school’s manifesto, “Traditional and Critical Theory.” …
… Traditional theory, Horkheimer claimed, fetishized knowledge and objectivity. Critical theory, its opposite, held that there were no universal truths and man could not be objective. Instead of truths, there were competing narratives, and it was the job of the Left to impose its own. This relativism in itself was nothing less than an assault on Western civilization.