I am not an academic. I am simply an American who happens to be a white male, arguably the most maligned group in America today. I have never believed, or acted as though I believed, that someone is in any way inferior to me simply because of their race. I am not colorblind. I have eyes to see every human being for what they are. I also believe that immutable characteristics should be irrelevant in judging persons. Critical Race Theory purports to explain inequites seen in society and correct them. It claims to be the answer to racism. I am skeptical and here is why.
Critical Race Theory sees everything through the lens of race and racism. Racism underlies all of human history. All motivation and actions are, at their core, race-based. There is no such thing as altruism or just doing the right thing for its own sake as race underlies all behavior. Critical Race Theory advocates speak incessantly about race until one begins to give in to its ridiculous propositions through sheer exhaustion and desire to just make them and the issue go away. It is not unlike a whining child to whom adults give in just to shut them up. One of the most vile aspects of CRT is that it defines American history by its worst racial moments. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, red-lining, and scattered incidents of inter-racial violence or injustice are proof positive of America’s systemic and structural racism and sufficient justification to take down the entire edifice of American jurisprudence, social programs, and education. It completely ignores the abolitionist movement in which blacks and whites fought slavery, often at great personal risk. It ignores the Civil War in which over 620,000 white, military-age males, or one in ten, died to end slavery. It ignores the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to our Constitution, the Civil Rights Movement, legislation such as Brown vs Board of Education, and well-intentioned, but flawed, efforts to equalize opportunities for black and other non-white Americans such as affirmative action. It ignores the tremendous progress made in correcting the wrongs of the past and efforts to insure equal opportunity for all going forward. We still have a long way to go, but CRT acts as though no progress has been made at all. CRT pushes the virtues of diversity, equity, and inclusion or DEI. Let’s look at those.
Diversity- CRT claims to promote diversity but it is one-dimensional sort of diversity. The diversity of CRT is restricted to those non-whites that agree with the premise of CRT. All whites are racist unless they agree with CRT. Even then, they must declare and acknowledge their intrinsic racism before they are accepted into the CRT family. Blacks and others of color who disagree with CRT are excluded as racists. Diversity of thought is not tolerated as all who disagree with CRT are de facto racist. CRT promotes the false dichotomy that there is only white and non-white. You are one or the other. Skin pigmentation is everything, ignoring the fact that nearly all of us, if you go back far enough, are of mixed heritage.
Equity- This is where the roots of CRT in Marxism are most evident, perpetuating the Marxist view that divides mankind into one of two groups: oppressor or oppressed. The goal of CRT is not reform or an attempt to further humanist or Judeo/Christian values, as did the Civil Rights Movements. CRT advocates repudiate the leaders of that movement, including the Rev. Martin Luther King himself. The goal is revolution and a total destruction of the current “system”, which is intrinsically racist. This includes values such as meritocracy based on ability and hard work, the nuclear family, and free enterprise capitalism, which CRT claims simply perpetuates white privilege and white oppression. In its place will be some vaguely envisioned utopia in which whites (bourgeois) will be put in their place and everyone will share equally in the spoils of society, according to their need, not their contribution. This is nothing more than equality of outcomes and is Marxism, pure and simple. All that has been done is replace the bourgeois and proletariat with white and non-white, respectively. Every attempt in human history to transform this ideology into reality has resulted in enslavement of the population and the deaths of tens and hundreds of millions.
Inclusion- CRT elevates group identity above all else. It is not even enough to be white or black, although these are the foundational identities; you must subscribe to CRT ideology. This is why CRT advocates can call blacks who do not agree with CRT “Uncle Toms” as exemplified by President Biden’s comment to black interviewer, Charlamagne, “If you have trouble deciding between me and Trump, you ain’t black.” Individual identity does not exist in CRT. Acceptance into the CRT family requires either the right skin pigmentation or subscribing to its racist ideology. Whites are only accepted if they deny their “whiteness”, accept their undeserved white privilege, apologize for their intrinsic, universal racism, and subscribe to CRT’s premises. CRT is inclusive only to the extent that all adherents to this ideology must agree on specific tenets. These include the belief that America is systemically racist, i.e. that our laws are geared to maintaining a white privileged status quo. It maintains that individuals are defined by the group they are in, according to skin pigmentation and that being white is sufficient proof that one is racist. Ibram Kendi goes so far as to assert the self-contradictory position that to claim one is not racist is, in and of itself, a racist statement. That claim is not allowed in CRT. You are either racist or antiracist. Antiracism is a term coined by Kendi to exemplify the false dichotomy of CRT. The two are inseparable and indistinguishable, despite the assertions of some who do not understand this and believe that antiracism is simply another way of denouncing racism.
Rather than unite us, CRT will perpetually divide us according to immutable characteristics such as skin color, which is the definition of racism. According to CRT, we are judged solely on skin color and found wanting, regardless of how we may think, what we say, or how we act. Nothing matters except our skin color and willingness to accept CRT ideology as gospel. It is telling that the originator of the term “antiracism”, Ibram Kendi, will not accept any challenge to defend his position in a debate with another person of color who disagrees with him because, to disagree with him is racist, and he will not debate racists. That alone should tell you something of the intellectual bankruptcy of CRT.
Richard T. Bosshardt, MD