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19 hours ago, caleb1633 said:

The assessment of James Lindsay as a general hoaxster is specious. He contrived a hoax that was purposeful and brought to light something that needed to be exposed. Stetson Kennedy pranked the KKK in the 1940s and played a significant role in marginalizing their influence. To stonewall the merits of Lindsay's work because he's an atheist, a mathematician, former massage therapist, or because he a played a hoax on academic journals to convey a point is a weak attempt at defamation. If anything, it shows how shoddy the academics who write for these journals are; that a mathematician could produce papers that were better than many of those who are trained Critical Theorists.

It's part of a larger picture.  He's an unqualified, unserious, uneducated (on the subject matter) and unChristian person being used as a primary resource for how Christians ought to think about how to engage society on cultural and social issues through a biblical lens.

 

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As far as the SBC, the resolution specifically states, "Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences." So they endorse using CRT, so long as there is no "misuse of the insights gained from critical race theory, intersectionality, and any unbiblical ideologies that can emerge from their use when absolutized as a worldview." 

Let's deal with the totality what it says rather than cherry picking things to argue against.  Here is the entirety of Resolution 9 from last years SBC annual meeting:

https://pastorjonbeck.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/sbc-resolution-9-critical-race-theory.pdf

 

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Okay, I will be fair in this. The SBC is not endorsing all of CRT, just the "good" parts of it; however, that doesn't provide a lot of CRT that can actually be utilized. There are *some* kernels of truth and valuable insights that can be gleaned from CRT—particularly in its original form when some of the problems it identified were more accurate of the state of society in the 1970s—but those insights run out pretty quickly before becoming a destructive tool; and the school of thought certainly doesn't match up with Andre E. Johnson's statement in the article that there are "no contradictions between the study of critical theory and Christianity, despite claims by critics that CRT conflicts with the Christian gospel."

They aren't "endorsing" any of it.  CRT was a point of discussion and some controversy and the resolution intended to address it - and clearly stated that like many other "secular" frameworks and analytical tools that may have elements that fall under General Revelation ("truthful insights found in human ideas that do not explicitly emerge from Scripture and reflects what some may term “common grace”"), whatever may be gleaned from it as useful or helpful in understanding racial dynamics are subordinate to Scripture.  In other words, one can use it filtered through the teachings of the Bible and keep what aligns with Scriptural teaching and discard what does not.  

This is not any different than any number of other frameworks, tools, or ways of thinking that the church has uncontroversially been able to use as needed over the centuries.

 

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Antonio Gramsci, a prominent Critical Theorist himself wrote, “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”

Yeah.... Not anti-Christian at all.

This is an association fallacy.  First, no one was arguing that Critical Theory or Critical Race Theory are Christian in origin or that all (or even most) of the concepts therein are Christian in nature.  But more to the point - what a "noted Critical Theorist" thinks about socialism and how it should take down Christianity tells us nothing about whether there's anything useful or helpful to be gleaned from CRT - things that do align with biblical teaching.  Saying that CRT might have some useful components to it isn't tantamount to an endorsement of socialism, much less an endorsement of what this particular socialist thinks about Jesus and Christianity.  

 

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Critical Theory in general does not hold the church or Christianity in high regard. There are a million things that are anti-Christian about Critical Theory and CRT. The rest of the stuff Johnson said in that article about Critical Theory and CRT was either dishonest or distorted. The author is also guilty of appealing to authority by automatically crediting Christian scholars who study Critical Theory as the beacons of truth on this topic.

There are a lot better means of secular analysis available to the church than CRT. Critical Theory and Christianity do not merely exist in tension towards one another: they are directly at odds in almost every facet possible. Endorsing the use of CRT at all by the SBC is essentially playing with fire.

Well, they didn't endorse it.  To read that resolution and make this claim is to persist in intellectual dishonest argumentation.

And I find it ironic and funny that the same people who can't seem to admit that you can take a secular theory or framework and utilize only the parts that comport with Scripture and discard the rest are so eager to follow the lead and accept the arguments from an avowed atheist without batting an eye.  I mean, if you can find some if not all of what he has to say on spiritual and biblical matters related to CRT and race useful, how are you not able to take that same approach with CRT?

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If you believe that racism is evil, as we all should, then telling white people that they're all racist is essentially calling an entire group of people "evil." They do this:   “All white pe

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22 hours ago, TitanTiger said:

It's part of a larger picture.  He's an unqualified, unserious, uneducated (on the subject matter) and unChristian person being used as a primary resource for how Christians ought to think about how to engage society on cultural and social issues through a biblical lens.

 

Let's deal with the totality what it says rather than cherry picking things to argue against.  Here is the entirety of Resolution 9 from last years SBC annual meeting:

https://pastorjonbeck.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/sbc-resolution-9-critical-race-theory.pdf

 

They aren't "endorsing" any of it.  CRT was a point of discussion and some controversy and the resolution intended to address it - and clearly stated that like many other "secular" frameworks and analytical tools that may have elements that fall under General Revelation ("truthful insights found in human ideas that do not explicitly emerge from Scripture and reflects what some may term “common grace”"), whatever may be gleaned from it as useful or helpful in understanding racial dynamics are subordinate to Scripture.  In other words, one can use it filtered through the teachings of the Bible and keep what aligns with Scriptural teaching and discard what does not.  

This is not any different than any number of other frameworks, tools, or ways of thinking that the church has uncontroversially been able to use as needed over the centuries.

 

This is an association fallacy.  First, no one was arguing that Critical Theory or Critical Race Theory are Christian in origin or that all (or even most) of the concepts therein are Christian in nature.  But more to the point - what a "noted Critical Theorist" thinks about socialism and how it should take down Christianity tells us nothing about whether there's anything useful or helpful to be gleaned from CRT - things that do align with biblical teaching.  Saying that CRT might have some useful components to it isn't tantamount to an endorsement of socialism, much less an endorsement of what this particular socialist thinks about Jesus and Christianity.  

 

Well, they didn't endorse it.  To read that resolution and make this claim is to persist in intellectual dishonest argumentation.

And I find it ironic and funny that the same people who can't seem to admit that you can take a secular theory or framework and utilize only the parts that comport with Scripture and discard the rest are so eager to follow the lead and accept the arguments from an avowed atheist without batting an eye.  I mean, if you can find some if not all of what he has to say on spiritual and biblical matters related to CRT and race useful, how are you not able to take that same approach with CRT?

First I will give you kudos for making by far the best argument I've seen in favor of CRT. It far surpassed anything that the MSM has stated since the discussion on this topic began a few months ago. However, I still disagree. I could spend some time on the technicalities of what "endorse" actually means, or Lindsay's qualifications, the value of satire, etc. But I think that doesn't really get down to the brass tax of this issue, which is: What does the SBC, any institution, or society as a whole stand to gain from using CRT as a form of education?

 

This never just stops with using a few of the tools to aid in addressing an issue. Social Justice scholarship began with good intentions in universities. Black Studies, Queer Studies, Women's Studies, etc. all started in an effort to highlight the contributions of these groups to society and to de-stigmatize the members of those groups. However, once the same tools that formed CRT were applied to these studies, they quickly turned from celebrating women to vilifying men, and from celebrating black people to demonizing whites. Disciplines intended to de-stigmatize suddenly began to re-stigmatize. Applying the tools of Marxism, Critical Theory, and Post-Modernism to any sociological issue will always inevitably metastasize and create a pit of vipers. 

 

CRT's ideological precursors are clear and its goals are equivalent to that of those precursors: to deconstruct and dismantle everything it touches. A wake of destruction occurs virtually everywhere that these ideas take hold, all in search of an elusive utopia; a search which has never and will never end without a descent into dispair and authoritarianism. Even if CRT were true—that all white people are racist and all people of color, LGBT, and women are oppressed—it is still profoundly unhelpful. It is not an ideology in pursuit of reform, unification, or progress. It isn’t a solution for justice. It’s a solution for endless ongoing division. So even if there are "good" aspects that we can glean from it, there is still no claim Critical Race Theory can make that cannot be made better by approaching it in some other way than Critical Race Theory. Marxism and its derivatives have an abysmal track record of helping societies, and a tremendous track record of destroying them. I fail to see how this could play out any different.

 

Thank you for the discussion. I appreciate the intellect behind your opinion, even if I disagree.

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On 7/13/2021 at 4:27 PM, TitanTiger said:

 

Too late:

On 7/13/2021 at 5:59 PM, caleb1633 said:

The assessment of James Lindsay as a general hoaxster is specious. He contrived a hoax that was purposeful and brought to light something that needed to be exposed. Stetson Kennedy pranked the KKK in the 1940s and played a significant role in marginalizing their influence. To stonewall the merits of Lindsay's work because he's an atheist, a mathematician, former massage therapist, or because he a played a hoax on academic journals to convey a point is a weak attempt at defamation. If anything, it shows how shoddy the academics who write for these journals are; that a mathematician could produce papers that were better than many of those who are trained Critical Theorists.

 

As far as the SBC, the resolution specifically states, "Critical race theory and intersectionality alone are insufficient to diagnose and redress the root causes of the social ills that they identify, which result from sin, yet these analytical tools can aid in evaluating a variety of human experiences." So they endorse using CRT, so long as there is no "misuse of the insights gained from critical race theory, intersectionality, and any unbiblical ideologies that can emerge from their use when absolutized as a worldview." 

 

Okay, I will be fair in this. The SBC is not endorsing all of CRT, just the "good" parts of it; however, that doesn't provide a lot of CRT that can actually be utilized. There are *some* kernels of truth and valuable insights that can be gleaned from CRT—particularly in its original form when some of the problems it identified were more accurate of the state of society in the 1970s—but those insights run out pretty quickly before becoming a destructive tool; and the school of thought certainly doesn't match up with Andre E. Johnson's statement in the article that there are "no contradictions between the study of critical theory and Christianity, despite claims by critics that CRT conflicts with the Christian gospel."

 

Antonio Gramsci, a prominent Critical Theorist himself wrote, “Socialism is precisely the religion that must overwhelm Christianity. … In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches, and the media by transforming the consciousness of society.”

 

Yeah.... Not anti-Christian at all. Critical Theory in general does not hold the church or Christianity in high regard. There are a million things that are anti-Christian about Critical Theory and CRT. The rest of the stuff Johnson said in that article about Critical Theory and CRT was either dishonest or distorted. The author is also guilty of appealing to authority by automatically crediting Christian scholars who study Critical Theory as the beacons of truth on this topic.

 

There are a lot better means of secular analysis available to the church than CRT. Critical Theory and Christianity do not merely exist in tension towards one another: they are directly at odds in almost every facet possible. Endorsing the use of CRT at all by the SBC is essentially playing with fire.

 

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23 hours ago, caleb1633 said:

First I will give you kudos for making by far the best argument I've seen in favor of CRT. It far surpassed anything that the MSM has stated since the discussion on this topic began a few months ago. However, I still disagree. I could spend some time on the technicalities of what "endorse" actually means, or Lindsay's qualifications, the value of satire, etc. But I think that doesn't really get down to the brass tax of this issue, which is: What does the SBC, any institution, or society as a whole stand to gain from using CRT as a form of education?

 

This never just stops with using a few of the tools to aid in addressing an issue. Social Justice scholarship began with good intentions in universities. Black Studies, Queer Studies, Women's Studies, etc. all started in an effort to highlight the contributions of these groups to society and to de-stigmatize the members of those groups. However, once the same tools that formed CRT were applied to these studies, they quickly turned from celebrating women to vilifying men, and from celebrating black people to demonizing whites. Disciplines intended to de-stigmatize suddenly began to re-stigmatize. Applying the tools of Marxism, Critical Theory, and Post-Modernism to any sociological issue will always inevitably metastasize and create a pit of vipers. 

 

CRT's ideological precursors are clear and its goals are equivalent to that of those precursors: to deconstruct and dismantle everything it touches. A wake of destruction occurs virtually everywhere that these ideas take hold, all in search of an elusive utopia; a search which has never and will never end without a descent into dispair and authoritarianism. Even if CRT were true—that all white people are racist and all people of color, LGBT, and women are oppressed—it is still profoundly unhelpful. It is not an ideology in pursuit of reform, unification, or progress. It isn’t a solution for justice. It’s a solution for endless ongoing division. So even if there are "good" aspects that we can glean from it, there is still no claim Critical Race Theory can make that cannot be made better by approaching it in some other way than Critical Race Theory. Marxism and its derivatives have an abysmal track record of helping societies, and a tremendous track record of destroying them. I fail to see how this could play out any different.

 

Thank you for the discussion. I appreciate the intellect behind your opinion, even if I disagree.

I appreciate the civil response.  I think without retracing all of the things I said in response, my words at the end summarize where I'm at on this tempest in a teapot:

And I find it ironic and funny that the same people who can't seem to admit that you can take a secular theory or framework and utilize only the parts that comport with Scripture and discard the rest are so eager to follow the lead and accept the arguments from an avowed atheist without batting an eye.  I mean, if you can find some if not all of what he has to say on spiritual and biblical matters related to CRT and race useful, how are you not able to take that same approach with CRT?

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I fail to see any distinction between the claim that "we are all racist" vs. "we are all sinners".  (Not that I accept that CRT actually claims that.)

Obviously, CRT in general, is not incompatible with Christianity.  (One could say the same about Marxism.) 

This hysteria about it is totally irrational.

 

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7 minutes ago, TitanTiger said:

I appreciate the civil response.  I think without retracing all of the things I said in response, my words at the end summarize where I'm at on this tempest in a teapot:

 

And I find it ironic and funny that the same people who can't seem to admit that you can take a secular theory or framework and utilize only the parts that comport with Scripture and discard the rest are so eager to follow the lead and accept the arguments from an avowed atheist without batting an eye.  I mean, if you can find some if not all of what he has to say on spiritual and biblical matters related to CRT and race useful, how are you not able to take that same approach with CRT?

No worries. As a true liberal, I believe in open and honest debate. Truth is the north star to me, so I'm not here as a tribalist that's unwilling to be swayed by logic and reason. 

As far as your last statement, I generally agree when it comes to most topics. I think what makes CRT different is what occurs every time this type of ideology takes root. Plenty of serious atheists are extremely pro-religion on empirical grounds. It might be irrational, but people aren't rational and religion certainly can help (though it can also obviously be destructive itself). The ideas that Lindsay is selling the church aren't atheist ideas or ideas rooted in atheism. He's simply educating the church on what all of the Woke stuff means, not selling them in an ideology based in atheism; whereas to pull ideas from CRT is to pull ideas derived from Marxism. I also have never seen atheism destroy cultures like Marxism pretty much always does. No one would ever suggest the church should pull material from the writings of Kevin Strom (white nationalist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier, and white separatist) or ideas from "Mein Kampf." Marxism has been every bit as destructive as those ideologies.

My bottom line is, of all the secular ideas you can pull from, this is one of the worst that the church or any organization could choose. MLK Jr. made probably the most eloquent defense anyone has ever made about the right way in which to treat other human beings, and those ideas allowed arguably the greatest—albeit imperfect and sometimes ugly—progress in race relations the world has ever seen. His intent was to empty the social significance of racial categories, and instead said "I am a man." CRT fundamentally rejects this notion and instead places social significance back into racial categories.

If CRT is the antithesis of the principles that led to the greatest racial progress in human history (Civil Rights Movement and the liberal order), then does it suffice to say that it could very well lead to a rapid regression in race relations?

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First, let me say that Delores Huerta was way out of line when she said "Republicans hate Latinos".  That's a legitimate cause for backlash.,

Having said that, I think Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to demonize such "minority pride" programs as "anti-American" for political reasons, at least in the long term.  It only reinforces the image that Republicans are for white nationalism.

And our history is our history.  We cannot fulfill what is hopefully our destiny - which is to live up to our founding documents literally (instead of mythologizing them) - without acknowledging that history.

 

P.S.:

This article contained a one sentence description of CRT which I found compelling:

"At its core, critical race theory is an academic concept that looks at history, law and political science through the lens of race; a main tenet is that disparate racial outcomes are the result of institutions, not merely individuals, perpetuating racism. "

That sounds like a worthy thesis that is worthy of debate at the high school level and above.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, caleb1633 said:

If CRT is the antithesis of the principles that led to the greatest racial progress in human history (Civil Rights Movement and the liberal order), then does it suffice to say that it could very well lead to a rapid regression in race relations?

False premise.

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1 hour ago, homersapien said:

First, let me say that Delores Huerta was way out of line when she said "Republicans hate Latinos".  That's a legitimate cause for backlash.,

Having said that, I think Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot by trying to demonize such "minority pride" programs as "anti-American" for political reasons, at least in the long term.  It only reinforces the image that Republicans are for white nationalism.

I am also concerned that they may over-correct on this.

And our history is our history.  We cannot fulfill what is hopefully our destiny - which is to live up to our founding documents literally (instead of mythologizing them) - without acknowledging that history.

I agree. The 1619 Project is every bit as much of a revisionist history as white Jesus is lol.

P.S.:

This article contained a one sentence description of CRT which I found compelling:

"At its core, critical race theory is an academic concept that looks at history, law and political science through the lens of race; a main tenet is that disparate racial outcomes are the result of institutions, not merely individuals, perpetuating racism. "

I have no issue with this statement, unfortunately the analysis of those things is made through the cynicism of Marxism/Critical Theory and Post-Modernism, and with this nihilism one can easily conclude that our country is irredeemable when it comes to the subject of race. The monumental progress that occured post-Civil Rights Era tells another story that offers a greater hope for the future of race relations. Why abandon the vehicle of progress that has brought about so much success? Sure it isn't perfect, and sure there's still residual effects, all of which should be identified and addressed; however, anything Marxist will always exacerbate the ills of society rather than ameliorating them.

That sounds like a worthy thesis that is worthy of debate at the high school level and above.

I don't mind CRT being something that is discussed in academia, but with a couple of caveats:

 

1. Not at the High School level. College level, I'll agree to. Our public education should prioritize traditional theories over cynical philosophical concepts. Critical Race "Theory" should be considered merely a hypothesis. It does not deserve the title of "Theory" since it can't be falsified any more than creationism, witchcraft, or astrology—all of which I am against being taught in public schools. If a private school wants to teach CRT, alchemy, witchcraft, astrology, and Critical Election Theory (about the 2020 election lol) then that's fine by me. When Russians are learning Algebra and Chemistry in late elementary school/early middle school, and the Chinese are years ahead of us on many defense technologies, perhaps we need to refocus our efforts on some of the hard disciplines that have brought great success to virtually all who have chosen to utilize the tools they provide.

2. If CRT allowed dissent, I'd be more on board with it. Right now, if a white person refuses to "admit their racism", that's a sign that their "white fragility" won't allow them to "admit their racism." That's cult-like thinking. If Einstein's Theory of Relativity can be challenged, then so can any other academic topic. Right now the zealots of CRT approach anyone who disagrees with them like the church did Galileo when he questioned their scientific understandings.

 

^^Good discussion.

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2 minutes ago, caleb1633 said:

^^Good discussion.

Please point out where I said the 1619 project was "revisionist".

In fact, the "controversy" about 1619 Project is a great example of how modern Americans want to avoid our actual history instead of dealing with it honestly

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1 minute ago, homersapien said:

False premise.

I disagree. If the Civil Rights Movement fought to end segregation and judging someone based on immutable characteristics alloted to them by chance, and CRT has us reinstituting segregation and judging someone based on immutable characteristics alloted to them by no fault of their own, would those things not be the opposite of each other?

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Just now, homersapien said:

Please point out where I said the 1619 project was "revisionist". 

I didn't say you did. I was only agreeing that we need to teach actual history, not revisionist, and used The 1619 Project as one such example.

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5 minutes ago, caleb1633 said:

^^Good discussion.

I guess you also support the recent efforts in Tennessee to protect our high school kids from vaccinations, much less Marxism. :rolleyes:

Can't have that! 

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3 minutes ago, caleb1633 said:

I didn't say you did. I was only agreeing that we need to teach actual history, not revisionist, and used The 1619 Project as one such example.

What exactly is "revisionist" about it?

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5 minutes ago, caleb1633 said:

I disagree. If the Civil Rights Movement fought to end segregation and judging someone based on immutable characteristics alloted to them by chance, and CRT has us reinstituting segregation and judging someone based on immutable characteristics alloted to them by no fault of their own, would those things not be the opposite of each other?

CRT doesn't have me - or anyone else, including the government - "reinstituting segregation".  :rolleyes:

But the idea is perhaps worthy of learned discussion.  It's not taboo or forbidden as you seem to think.

 

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3 hours ago, homersapien said:

I fail to see any distinction between the claim that "we are all racist" vs. "we are all sinners".  (Not that I accept that CRT actually claims that.)

Obviously, CRT in general, is not incompatible with Christianity.  (One could say the same about Marxism.) 

But this hysteria about it is totally irrational.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, homersapien said:

What exactly is "revisionist" about it?

I should correct myself. The 1619 Project is somewhere between Historical Revisionism and Historical Negationism. It presents a historically innacurate reinterpretation of American history to further the narrative that our country is fundamentally racist.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/605152/

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22 minutes ago, homersapien said:

CRT doesn't have me - or anyone else, including the government - "reinstituting segregation".  :rolleyes:

But the idea is perhaps worthy of learned discussion.  It's not taboo or forbidden as you seem to think.

 

Lol in defense of segregation? Really? And if CRT isn't what's behind recent instances of racial segregation, what is? Liberalism? Nah, it fought to end that. Conservativism? Nah, not that either. Perhaps the same ideology that criticized the Brown vs. Board of Education decision??? You seem to have this view of CRT that paints it as far more innocent than it is, and it's usually based on a wave top definition of it. I wish it was as innocent as you make it out to be, but  it's not. I have to wonder if you'd feel differently if it wasn't Republicans who were fighting against it.

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On 7/16/2021 at 3:45 PM, caleb1633 said:

Lol in defense of segregation? Really? And if CRT isn't what's behind recent instances of racial segregation, what is? Liberalism? Nah, it fought to end that. Conservativism? Nah, not that either. Perhaps the same ideology that criticized the Brown vs. Board of Education decision??? You seem to have this view of CRT that paints it as far more innocent than it is, and it's usually based on a wave top definition of it. I wish it was as innocent as you make it out to be, but  it's not. I have to wonder if you'd feel differently if it wasn't Republicans who were fighting against it.

First, I was not defending segregation, which is something I suspect I have a lot more experience with than you do.  Apartheid is no way to reconcile racism.

I was referring to things like historically black colleges which arguably offer some advantages to those who attend them.  I think it's also interesting to review instances of centers of black commerce - such as Tulsa - which was wiped out by white racism.  What are the implications of that?

Secondly, show me where CRT explicitly promotes segregation.  You keep making such comments without references.  In fact, I'd like to know exactly what documents you are using to define CRT. (Not speeches or comments made by supposed proponents, but original documents.) 

And it's not my fault that Republicans are so attracted to conspiracies. Hell, they now think government efforts to encourage vaccinations are some sort of government conspiracy. This is a classic example of irrational fear, an apparent specialty of Republicans.

I can fully appreciate and basically agree with the conclusion we are fundamentally a racist society. This is demonstrated by our history as well as modern statistics on wealth. And it's only natural to conclude that this racism is institutional as much as personal. It has been this way from the beginning. 

The question is whether or not we are capable of doing better.  I think we are, but it likely won't happen until there is a high degree of interracial marriage.

 

 

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A reasoned discussion on CRT:

What Is Critical Race Theory, and Why Is It Under Attack?

By Stephen Sawchuk — May 18, 2021
 

Just what is critical race theory anyway?

Critical race theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.

A good example is when, in the 1930s, government officials literally drew lines around areas deemed poor financial risks, often explicitly due to the racial composition of inhabitants. Banks subsequently refused to offer mortgages to Black people in those areas.

Today, those same patterns of discrimination live on through facially race-blind policies, like single-family zoning that prevents the building of affordable housing in advantaged, majority-white neighborhoods and, thus, stymies racial desegregation efforts.

CRT also has ties to other intellectual currents, including the work of sociologists and literary theorists who studied links between political power, social organization, and language. And its ideas have since informed other fields, like the humanities, the social sciences, and teacher education.

This academic understanding of critical race theory differs from representation in recent popular books and, especially, from its portrayal by critics—often, though not exclusively, conservative Republicans. Critics charge that the theory leads to negative dynamics, such as a focus on group identity over universal, shared traits; divides people into “oppressed” and “oppressor” groups; and urges intolerance.

Thus, there is a good deal of confusion over what CRT means, as well as its relationship to other terms, like “anti-racism” and “social justice,” with which it is often conflated.

To an extent, the term “critical race theory” is now cited as the basis of all diversity and inclusion efforts regardless of how much it’s actually informed those programs.

One conservative organization, the Heritage Foundation, recently attributed a whole host of issues to CRT, including the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, LGBTQ clubs in schools, diversity training in federal agencies and organizations, California’s recent ethnic studies model curriculum, the free-speech debate on college campuses, and alternatives to exclusionary discipline—such as the Promise program in Broward County, Fla., that some parents blame for the Parkland school shootings. “When followed to its logical conclusion, CRT is destructive and rejects the fundamental ideas on which our constitutional republic is based,” the organization claimed.

(A good parallel here is how popular ideas of the common core learning standards grew to encompass far more than what those standards said on paper.)

Does critical race theory say all white people are racist? Isn’t that racist, too?

The theory says that racism is part of everyday life, so people—white or nonwhite—who don’t intend to be racist can nevertheless make choices that fuel racism.

Some critics claim that the theory advocates discriminating against white people in order to achieve equity. They mainly aim those accusations at theorists who advocate for policies that explicitly take race into account. (The writer Ibram X. Kendi, whose recent popular book How to Be An Antiracist suggests that discrimination that creates equity can be considered anti-racist, is often cited in this context.)

Fundamentally, though, the disagreement springs from different conceptions of racism. CRT puts an emphasis on outcomes, not merely on individuals’ own beliefs, and it calls on these outcomes to be examined and rectified. Among lawyers, teachers, policymakers, and the general public, there are many disagreements about how precisely to do those things, and to what extent race should be explicitly appealed to or referred to in the process.

Here’s a helpful illustration to keep in mind in understanding this complex idea. In a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court school-assignment case on whether race could be a factor in maintaining diversity in K-12 schools, Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion famously concluded: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” But during oral arguments, then-justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said: “It’s very hard for me to see how you can have a racial objective but a nonracial means to get there.”

All these different ideas grow out of longstanding, tenacious intellectual debates. Critical race theory emerged out of postmodernist thought, which tends to be skeptical of the idea of universal values, objective knowledge, individual merit, Enlightenment rationalism, and liberalism—tenets that conservatives tend to hold dear.

What does any of this have to do with K-12 education?

Scholars who study critical race theory in education look at how policies and practices in K-12 education contribute to persistent racial inequalities in education, and advocate for ways to change them. Among the topics they’ve studied: racially segregated schools, the underfunding of majority-Black and Latino school districts, disproportionate disciplining of Black students, barriers to gifted programs and selective-admission high schools, and curricula that reinforce racist ideas.

Critical race theory is not a synonym for culturally relevant teaching, which emerged in the 1990s. This teaching approach seeks to affirm students’ ethnic and racial backgrounds and is intellectually rigorous. But it’s related in that one of its aims is to help students identify and critique the causes of social inequality in their own lives.

Many educators support, to one degree or another, culturally relevant teaching and other strategies to make schools feel safe and supportive for Black students and other underserved populations. (Students of color make up the majority of school-aged children.) But they don’t necessarily identify these activities as CRT-related.

As one teacher-educator put it: “The way we usually see any of this in a classroom is: ‘Have I thought about how my Black kids feel? And made a space for them, so that they can be successful?’ That is the level I think it stays at, for most teachers.” Like others interviewed for this explainer, the teacher-educator did not want to be named out of fear of online harassment.

An emerging subtext among some critics is that curricular excellence can’t coexist alongside culturally responsive teaching or anti-racist work. Their argument goes that efforts to change grading practices or make the curriculum less Eurocentric will ultimately harm Black students, or hold them to a less high standard.

As with CRT in general, its popular representation in schools has been far less nuanced. A recent poll by the advocacy group Parents Defending Education claimed some schools were teaching that “white people are inherently privileged, while Black and other people of color are inherently oppressed and victimized”; that “achieving racial justice and equality between racial groups requires discriminating against people based on their whiteness”; and that “the United States was founded on racism.”

Thus much of the current debate appears to spring not from the academic texts, but from fear among critics that students—especially white students—will be exposed to supposedly damaging or self-demoralizing ideas.

While some district officials have issued mission statements, resolutions, or spoken about changes in their policies using some of the discourse of CRT, it’s not clear to what degree educators are explicitly teaching the concepts, or even using curriculum materials or other methods that implicitly draw on them. For one thing, scholars say, much scholarship on CRT is written in academic language or published in journals not easily accessible to K-12 teachers.

What is going on with these proposals to ban critical race theory in schools?

As of mid-May, legislation purporting to outlaw CRT in schools has passed in Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Tennessee and have been proposed in various other statehouses.

The bills are so vaguely written that it’s unclear what they will affirmatively cover.

Could a teacher who wants to talk about a factual instance of state-sponsored racism—like the establishment of Jim Crow, the series of laws that prevented Black Americans from voting or holding office and separated them from white people in public spaces—be considered in violation of these laws?

It’s also unclear whether these new bills are constitutional, or whether they impermissibly restrict free speech.

It would be extremely difficult, in any case, to police what goes on inside hundreds of thousands of classrooms. But social studies educators fear that such laws could have a chilling effect on teachers who might self-censor their own lessons out of concern for parent or administrator complaints.

As English teacher Mike Stein told Chalkbeat Tennessee about the new law: “History teachers can not adequately teach about the Trail of Tears, the Civil War, and the civil rights movement. English teachers will have to avoid teaching almost any text by an African American author because many of them mention racism to various extents.”

The laws could also become a tool to attack other pieces of the curriculum, including ethnic studies and “action civics”—an approach to civics education that asks students to research local civic problems and propose solutions.

How is this related to other debates over what’s taught in the classroom amid K-12 culture wars?

The charge that schools are indoctrinating students in a harmful theory or political mindset is a longstanding one, historians note. CRT appears to be the latest salvo in this ongoing debate.

In the early and mid-20th century, the concern was about socialism or Marxism. The conservative American Legion, beginning in the 1930s, sought to rid schools of progressive-minded textbooks that encouraged students to consider economic inequality; two decades later the John Birch Society raised similar criticisms about school materials. As with CRT criticisms, the fear was that students would be somehow harmed by exposure to these ideas.

As the school-aged population became more diverse, these debates have been inflected through the lens of race and ethnic representation, including disagreements over multiculturalism and ethnic studies, the ongoing “canon wars” over which texts should make up the English curriculum, and the so-called “ebonics” debates over the status of Black vernacular English in schools.

In history, the debates have focused on the balance among patriotism and American exceptionalism, on one hand, and the country’s history of exclusion and violence towards Indigenous people and the enslavement of African Americans on the other—between its ideals and its practices. Those tensions led to the implosion of a 1994 attempt to set national history standards.

A current example that has fueled much of the recent round of CRT criticism is the New York Times’ 1619 Project, which sought to put the history and effects of enslavement—as well as Black Americans’ contributions to democratic reforms—at the center of American history.

The culture wars are always, at some level, battled out within schools, historians say.

“It’s because they’re nervous about broad social things, but they’re talking in the language of school and school curriculum,” said one historian of education. “That’s the vocabulary, but the actual grammar is anxiety about shifting social power relations.”

 

https://www.edweek.org/leadership/what-is-critical-race-theory-and-why-is-it-under-attack/2021/05

Edited by homersapien
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A good discussion on CRT historically speaking and how it is being taught today.

 

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On 7/16/2021 at 3:39 PM, caleb1633 said:

I should correct myself. The 1619 Project is somewhere between Historical Revisionism and Historical Negationism. It presents a historically innacurate reinterpretation of American history to further the narrative that our country is fundamentally racist.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/605152/

A few errors - if they are corrected - hardly constitute "revisionism".  I completely agree with the following statement made by Sean Wilentz, from the Atlantic piece:

"The specific criticisms of the 1619 Project that my colleagues and I raised in our letter, and the dispute that has ensued, are not about historical trajectories or the intractability of racism or anything other than the facts—the errors contained in the 1619 Project as well as, now, the errors in Silverstein’s response to our letter. We wholeheartedly support the stated goal to educate widely on slavery and its long-term consequences. Our letter attempted to advance that goal, one that, no matter how the history is interpreted and related, cannot be forwarded through falsehoods, distortions, and significant omissions. Allowing these shortcomings to stand uncorrected would only make it easier for critics hostile to the overarching mission to malign it for their own ideological and partisan purposes, as some had already begun to do well before we wrote our letter."

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On 7/17/2021 at 1:51 PM, homersapien said:

First, I was not defending segregation, which is something I suspect I have a lot more experience with than you do.  Apartheid is no way to reconcile racism.

I was referring to things like historically black colleges which arguably offer some advantages to those who attend them.  I think it's also interesting to review instances of centers of black commerce - such as Tulsa - which was wiped out by white racism.  What are the implications of that?

Secondly, show me where CRT explicitly promotes segregation.  You keep making such comments without references.  In fact, I'd like to know exactly what documents you are using to define CRT. (Not speeches or comments made by supposed proponents, but original documents.) 

And it's not my fault that Republicans are so attracted to conspiracies. Hell, they now think government efforts to encourage vaccinations are some sort of government conspiracy. This is a classic example of irrational fear, an apparent specialty of Republicans.

I can fully appreciate and basically agree with the conclusion we are fundamentally a racist society. This is demonstrated by our history as well as modern statistics on wealth. And it's only natural to conclude that this racism is institutional as much as personal. It has been this way from the beginning. 

The question is whether or not we are capable of doing better.  I think we are, but it likely won't happen until there is a high degree of interracial marriage.

 

 

1) I'm not sure what Apartheid has to do with this.


2) There have been a litany of examples of racial segregation in some form that have occurred since CRT began taking root. See the Evergreen instance in 2016, see Columbia University graduations, see many of these corporate trainings where they divide people up by race, see universities where they have safe spaces where white people aren't allowed. It happens.


3) Historically black colleges still allow other racial groups in, so it isn't exactly an example of segregation on any level.

4) I have quoted the hell out of CRT's literature. Virtually every time you've asked me to do it, I have. That's where most of my opinions on this matter come from: the actual literature.

5) This is not a conspiracy theory. If anything, CRT is a conspiracy theory, believing that all of society is working to oppress everyone who's not a straight white cis male.

6) America is not fundamentally racist. We have a racist history, but the progress has been phenomenal since then. Many statistics can be cited to show this. For instance 7 of the 8 most successful ethic groups in the U.S. are considered minorities. Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are all more successful than white Americans.

7) Yes we can do better, and we were. CRT is not the path the progress.

As passionate as I am about fighting this cancerous ideology, I have concluded that I will not have any success in doing so with you, no matter how compelling an argument I make. I can't continue hashing it out on here as I have more important things to do than spinning my wheels with someone online who absolutely will not be open to anything I have to say on this subject. I've made my points on CRT many times over throughout this thread. If you actually want answers to your questions on it, feel free to go back and read what I've already said.

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Critical Theory

First published Tue Mar 8, 2005

Critical Theory has a narrow and a broad meaning in philosophy and in the history of the social sciences. “Critical Theory” in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School. According to these theorists, a “critical” theory may be distinguished from a “traditional” theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating … influence”, and works “to create a world which satisfies the needs and powers of” human beings (Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 246]). Because such theories aim to explain and transform all the circumstances that enslave human beings, many “critical theories” in the broader sense have been developed. They have emerged in connection with the many social movements that identify varied dimensions of the domination of human beings in modern societies. In both the broad and the narrow senses, however, a critical theory provides the descriptive and normative bases for social inquiry aimed at decreasing domination and increasing freedom in all their forms.

It is Marxist, in fact a Marxist Tool, to describe everyone as enslaved to Capitalism. CRT is just one of a dozen branches of CT, that is all. Can it do some good in this instance? Yes, I think so. Will there be over reactions by a few? Yes, humans always act like humans. 

Critical Theory in the narrow sense has had many different aspects and quite distinct historical phases that cross several generations, from the effective start of the Institute for Social Research in the years 1929–1930, which saw the arrival of the Frankfurt School philosophers and an inaugural lecture by Horkheimer, to the present. Its distinctiveness as a philosophical approach that extends to ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of history is most apparent when considered in light of the history of the philosophy of the social sciences. Critical Theorists have long sought to distinguish their aims, methods, theories, and forms of explanation from standard understandings in both the natural and the social sciences. Instead, they have claimed that social inquiry ought to combine rather than separate the poles of philosophy and the social sciences: explanation and understanding, structure and agency, regularity and normativity. Such an approach, Critical Theorists argue, permits their enterprise to be practical in a distinctively moral (rather than instrumental) sense. They do not merely seek to provide the means to achieve some independent goal, but rather (as in Horkheimer’s famous definition mentioned above) seek “human emancipation” in circumstances of domination and oppression. This normative task cannot be accomplished apart from the interplay between philosophy and social science through interdisciplinary empirical social research (Horkheimer 1993). While Critical Theory is often thought of narrowly as referring to the Frankfurt School that begins with Horkheimer and Adorno and stretches to Marcuse and Habermas, any philosophical approach with similar practical aims could be called a “critical theory,” including feminism, critical race theory, and some forms of post-colonial criticism. In the following, Critical Theory when capitalized refers only to the Frankfurt School. All other uses of the term are meant in the broader sense and thus not capitalized. When used in the singular, “a critical theory” is not capitalized, even when the theory is developed by members of the Frankfurt School in the context of their overall project of Critical Theory.

It follows from Horkheimer’s definition that a critical theory is adequate only if it meets three criteria: it must be explanatory, practical, and normative, all at the same time. That is, it must explain what is wrong with current social reality, identify the actors to change it, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation. Any truly critical theory of society, as Horkheimer further defined it in his writings as Director of the Frankfurt School’s Institute for Social Research, “has for its object [human beings] as producers of their own historical form of life” (Horkeimer 1972b [1992, 244]). In light of the practical goal of identifying and overcoming all the circumstances that limit human freedom, the explanatory goal could be furthered only through interdisciplinary research that includes psychological, cultural, and social dimensions, as well as institutional forms of domination. Given the emphasis among the first generation of Critical Theory on human beings as the self-creating producers of their own history, a unique practical aim of social inquiry suggests itself: to transform contemporary capitalism into a consensual form of social life. For Horkheimer a capitalist society could be transformed only by becoming more democratic, to make it such that all conditions of social life that are controllable by human beings depend on real consensus in a rational society (Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 250]). The normative orientation of Critical Theory, at least in its form of critical social inquiry, is therefore towards the transformation of capitalism into a “real democracy” in which such control could be exercised (Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 250]). In such formulations, there are striking similarities between Critical Theory and American pragmatism.

The focus on democracy as the location for cooperative, practical and transformative activity continues today in the work of Jürgen Habermas, as does the attempt to determine the nature and limits of “real democracy” in complex, pluralistic, and globalizing societies.

As might be expected from such an ambitious philosophical project and form of inquiry, Critical Theory is rife with tensions. In what follows I will develop the arguments within Critical Theory that surround its overall philosophical project. First, I explore its basic philosophical orientation or metaphilosophy. In its efforts to combine empirical social inquiry and normative philosophical argumentation, Critical Theory presents a viable alternative for social and political philosophy today. Second, I will consider its core normative theory—its relation to its transformation of a Kantian ethics of autonomy into a conception of freedom and justice in which democracy and democratic ideals play a central role (Horkheimer 1993, 22; Horkheimer 1972b [1992, 203]). As a member of the second generation of Critical Theory, Habermas in particular has developed this dimension of normative political theory into a competitor to Rawlsian constructivism, which attempts to bring our pretheoretical intuitions into reflective equilibrium. In the third section, I will consider its empirical orientation in practical social theory and practical social inquiry that aims at promoting democratic norms. A fundamental tension emerges between a comprehensive social theory that provides a theoretical basis for social criticism and a more pluralist and practical orientation that does not see any particular theory or methodology as distinctive of Critical Theory as such. In this way, the unresolved tension between the empirical and normative aspects of the project of a critical theory oriented to the realization of human freedom is manifest in each of its main contributions to philosophy informed by social science. Finally, I examine the contribution of Critical Theory to debates about globalization, in which the potential transformation of both democratic ideals and institutions is at stake.

Edited by DKW 86
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On 6/24/2021 at 8:28 PM, homersapien said:

Some of those people you quote are saying outrageous things.  Others are making defensible arguments. 

I am not familiar with any of them and I don't know if any of these people can or should be seen as representing critical race theory.   Certainly they didn't all author the original academic papers - dating back to the mid 70's - that can be defined as the founding papers that created CRT.  They appear to be rhetorical comments that may or may not be supported by these "founding papers".

Unless you can show the links between these statements and these "originating" papers that represent the idea of CRT academically, these comments simply represent rhetorical statements which may or may not be classified as representative of the theory.

Otherwise, this is like cherry picking statements from the 60's made by radical activists - such as the Black Panthers - and insisting that represents the civil rights movement.

So no, I am not going to defend this "crap".  (And in my opinion it is crap.)

I think CRT is a graduate level thesis which is unlikely to be applied in 1-12 education at all, other than maybe presenting it for what it is - a theory of race relations.

Meanwhile, it has been appropriated by the right wing as a political tool and it is being being flogged to incite irrational fear. 

In my opinion, the assertion that such an academic theory is going to be used to brainwash or somehow pervert the psychology of our children is hysterical. 

It smacks of a watered down QAnon.

 

 

I am glad you admit that CRT is “ crap”.

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