Come Together to Inspire, Interact, Influence, and Impact.

x
Notifications
Log Out? Are you sure you want to log out?
Log Out

In 60 Seconds: Critical Race Theory

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory is an academic discipline with Marxist roots.

Instead of working to close the achievement gaps, teachers unions and many public school districts are introducing radical concepts to impressionable students—pushing divisive and damaging curricula on race, teaching kids as young as elementary school about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and “white privilege,” and even dividing them into “affinity groups” based on race.

Due to backlash by parents, many schools/teachers now claim that they are not teaching CRT or systemic racism. They instead now call it structural racism, diversity training, making sure everyone is welcome and included, the golden rule… but in most cases the content and experience are based on CRT principles.

Here’s the issue of Critical Race Theory in 60 seconds:

What It Is

Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) is an academic discipline with Marxist roots.

  • CRT is an off-shoot of Critical Legal Studies, a radical/Marxist field of study that analyzes the effect of economic power on law.
  • While Marxists view history as an ongoing class struggle, CRT views history as an eternal racial struggle.

CRT Posits That

In America, racism is the rule, not the exception;

  • American law and institutions are “illegitimate hierarchies”;
  • Equal opportunity reinforces, rather than reduces, racism;
  • Private property is a white construct

In recent years, Prof. Ibram X. Kendi has repackaged and popularized CRT under the name “Anti-Racism.” Kendi argues that:

  • Non-whites cannot be racist, all whites are racist, and denials of racism are evidence of racism.
  • One cannot be truly anti-racist without being anti-capitalist.

What’s At Stake

American Education

  • Using dishonest rhetoric about “equity” and “anti-racism,” schools across America are eliminating opportunities, such as advanced or honors courses.
  • Schools are encouraging teachers to adopt lessons on “white privilege” and to utilize “color conscious” teaching methods.
  • These lessons discourage critical thinking and chill free speech by suggesting that objectors are complicit with white supremacy.

Enlightenment Ideals and the American Constitutional Order

  • CRT claims that Enlightenment ideals such as reason, neutrality, logic, and the scientific method are racially-biased endeavors.
  • CRT regards America’s constitutional structure as a mere smokescreen for racial oppression.
  • CRT prioritizes group identity over individuality and encourages institutions to treat people differently on the basis of race.

Addressing Misperceptions

 

In 60 Seconds: Diversity and the Supreme Court

*PDF Download: In 60 Seconds – Diversity & the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court search process should be inclusive, not exclusive. Although the role of a judge is apolitical, the process of selecting a nominee to the Supreme Court is a political process in which factors other than qualifications inevitably play a role.

In searching for a Supreme Court nominee, a president should cast a wide net, considering qualified candidates from all walks of life. But, in so doing, a president must not exclude from consideration candidates with certain demographic profiles.

From a diverse pool of qualified candidates, the most important consideration is judicial philosophy.

Here’s the issue of diversity and the Supreme Court in 60 seconds:

What You Should Know

The Supreme Court search process should be inclusive, not exclusive. 

  • Although the role of a judge is apolitical, the process of selecting a nominee to the Supreme Court is a political process in which factors other than qualifications inevitably play a role.
  • In searching for a Supreme Court nominee, a president should cast a wide net, considering qualified candidates from all walks of life. But, in so doing, a president must not exclude from consideration candidates with certain demographic profiles.

From a diverse pool of qualified candidates, the most important consideration is judicial philosophy.

  • A sound judicial philosophy is the most important indicator of impartiality.
  • Judges wear black robes to indicate that justice is blind. When a judge puts on the robe, he must put aside his personal politics and morals and examine a case, not as a female judge or a male judge, not as an Italian American judge or a Puerto Rican judge, but solely as a United States judge.

Diversity Hypocrisy

Progressives are diversity hypocrites.

  • Although they claim to “celebrate diversity” and value “lived experience,” progressives only care about diversity when it advances their political agenda.
  • In fact, progressives are utterly contemptuous of women and minorities who dare to think for themselves.

Progressives have made bloodsport out of attacking female and minority nominees who won’t tow their party line.

  • Progressives launched well-funded campaigns to try to stop the confirmations of Amy Coney Barrett and Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • In 2003, Democrats blocked the nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia of the eminently qualified Miguel Estrada on the grounds that “he is Latino.”
  • Progressives also attempted to block the confirmations of Janice Rogers Brown and Neomi Rao, two qualified women of color, to the D.C. Circuit.

Addressing Misperceptions

The Woketionary

What is the Woketionary?

The Woketionary is here to help you! Has a teacher asked for your child’s “preferred pronoun”? Or told him he needs to become an anti-racist? Have you been told you are suffering from “implicit bias” or are living in a “systemically racist” country? Confused?

We were too!

What does the word “woke” mean, you ask? Well, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the slang word “woke,” is really the past tense “wake” and means to be awoken to and then actively attentive to important facts and issues surrounding racial and social justice. But really, the word “woke” is used by the left and by social justice warriors to imply superior knowledge and an ideologically “correct” belief system.

In this Woketionary, we’ve given you the “woke” definition followed by what the word is supposed to convey to those who don’t ascribe to the woke way of thinking. Still confused? Yeah, we are too!

1619 Project  ˈsiks-ˌtēn –  nīn-ˈtēn – ˈprä-ˌjekt noun:

Some say… The 1619 Project is a New York Times series of essays that challenge the heretofore accepted narrative that America was founded in 1776. The Project contends that the American founding dates to 1619, the year slaves first arrived in the colonies.

But really… The 1619 Project is an academically challenged attempt to repackage the United States as a congenitally and endemically racist country, the very founding of which was based on the desire to preserve slavery. The project ignores centuries of scholarship in an effort to convince  Americans—particularly young Americans—to hate their country, their history, and their governing institutions. 


Anti-racism  ˈan-ˌtī – ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm noun:

Some say… Anti-racism is the opposite of racism and that anti-racist policies, training, and curricula are needed to combat white supremacy in America.

But really… “Anti-racism” is not what it sounds like. It does NOT refer to general efforts to combat prejudice, promote equal opportunity, or foster greater racial understanding. To the contrary, anti-racism is a radical ideology based on “Critical Race Theory” that was popularized recently by Ibram X. Kendi. It takes as its starting point the idea that it is impossible for people, laws, policies, or practices to ever be race-neutral. Anti-racism presumes that all white people are privileged and biased against people of color, and it demands that whites admit their racism and atone for it by challenging and opposing America’s founding principles. In addition, anti-racism calls for the creation of a government agency to ensure that anti-racist measures are built into all laws and government regulations. 


BIPOC  ˈbī-ˌpok noun:

Some say… BIPOC is an acronym that means Black, Indigenous, People of Color.

But really… The term BIPOC is a deliberate attempt to cut out Asians and light-skinned Hispanics, redefining them as “white-adjacent.” The term marginalizes people by classifying them on the basis of skin color. 


Cisgender  sis-ˈjen-dər noun:

Some say… A cisgender person is one whose sense of personal identity and gender correspond with the sex they were “assigned” at birth.

But really… The word cisgender is a made up word created and used by gender activists to refer to people who don’t identify as transgender—so, the 99 percent of the population who identify as the sex they were born. 


Climate Change  ˈklī-mət – ˈchānj noun:

Some say… Climate change is a man-made global crisis that imperils all living things on earth and which the government has the power and authority to halt.

But really… The climate has been changing ever since the earth was formed and will continue to change in the future. While climate change, both natural and man-made, poses some challenges, many proposed solutions are ineffectual and come at significant cost. Opportunistic anti-free market activists and politicians often use climate change as an excuse to push a radical regulatory agenda that would redistribute American’s wealth, leaving everyone less prosperous. 


Climate Emergency  ˈklī-mət – i-ˈmər-jən(t)-sē noun:

Some say… Climate change has become a global emergency that threatens human and animal extinction within the decade and, ultimately, the total destruction of the planet.

But really… “Climate emergency” is an alarmist phrase, not based on legitimate science, that is used by radical activists to scare the public into acquiescing to policies that will harm the economies and lives of those in Western nations. Child climate activist Greta Thunburg, who has been exploited by adult green activists, often uses this tactic by falsely suggesting humans have a very limited time left on the earth due to a looming climate disaster. 


Critical Race Theory  ˈkri-ti-kəl – ˈrās – ˈthē-ə-rē noun:

Some say… Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a philosophical framework for understanding racism and power dynamics in society.

But really… CRT is an academic discipline that starts from the premise that almost all of our current laws and institutions perpetuate white supremacy. While the American civil rights movement was premised on the quest for equal treatment, irrespective of race, CRT argues that equal treatment is itself discriminatory and eschews color-blindness as a form of oppression. Critical Race theorists view racial power as the driving force behind all behavior and seek to disrupt and destroy society’s primary institutions. CRT holds that America’s liberal constitutional order is a mere smokescreen for racial oppression and that the country’s race relations have not advanced at all in the last 75 years. In recent years, Ibram X. Kendi has repackaged and popularized this academic theory as “anti-racism.” 


Cultural Appropriation  ˈkəlch-rəl – ə-ˌprō-prē-ˈā-shən noun:

Some say… Cultural appropriation refers to the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of a culture’s customs, practices and/or ideas by members of other cultures, typically those who are part of more dominant cultural groups in society.

But really… Cultural appropriation is a woke creation designed to shame and punish people for showing interest in others or for emulating the traditions or practices of another culture. According to wokeism’s strict rules, people who are not members of a certain race or culture are not allowed to adopt that culture’s style or participate in its traditions and should be shunned or cancelled for doing so. 


Diversity  də-ˈvər-sə-tē noun:

Some say… Improving diversity means creating a space where people of all backgrounds and cultures feel welcome, safe, and respected. All institutions can benefit from diverse voices that may bring concepts to the table that were previously ignored or shut out.

But really… The woke want to impose quotas to ensure proportional representation of various groups in every facet of American life. They are not interested in creating genuinely inclusive and diverse environments, which would include a variety of viewpoints and room for disagreement. The woke claim that members of minority groups are actively harmed and made “unsafe” by certain (usually conservative) viewpoints. Creating a “diverse” space, therefore, often paradoxically means less diversity. 


Diversity Training  də-ˈvər-sə-tē – ˈtrā-niŋ noun:

Some say… Diversity training is intended to help employees become more culturally competent in order to better collaborate with colleagues, manage employers, and serve their customers.

But really… Diversity training is designed to indoctrinate people into woke thinking, make certain people feel guilty about their so-called “privilege,” and stoke racial and economic resentment and division among colleagues. 


Equity  ˈe-kwə-tē noun:

Some say… Equity recognizes each person’s unique advantages and disadvantages and takes affirmative steps to level the playing field.

But really… Equity is a race to the bottom for ALL. Equity rejects the concept of equal opportunity and, instead, demands equal outcomes. In education, this often means eliminating any indices of merit, such as class rank, grades, AP courses, or ability-level groupings for math. An equity approach assumes that any discrepancies in outcome are the result of discrimination—discrimination that needs to be countered by more discrimination of a different type. 


Gender Identity  ˈjen-dər – ī-ˈden-tə-tē noun:

Some say… The distinction between male and female is a social construct. Instead of classifying people by “arbitrary” markers (such as biology!), we should defer to an individual’s own internal sense of self.

But really… Biological sex differences are real and significant. Denying this scientific reality harms women and girls (particularly those who participate in female sports.) 


Gender Binary  ˈjen-dər – ˈbī-nə-rē noun:

Some say… “Gender binary” is outdated and that gender exists on a spectrum.

But really… Binary notions of sex are based on biology. Over 99 percent of humans are born either male or female. Even transgender individuals are attempting to transition from one side of the sex binary to the other—otherwise, what’s the point in transition? While it’s true that a boy may express feminine characteristics or vice versa, this does not disprove the existence of the sex binary, but rather highlights that there are multiple ways to be a boy or a girl. 


Hate Group  ˈhāt – ˈgrüp noun:

Some say… Conservative and libertarian policy groups are “hate groups.”

But really… Hate groups are small, often unorganized groups of people who seek to harm a demographic of individuals based on an immutable quality—race, gender, etc.—or due to a person’s political or religious beliefs. You can disagree with someone without being a hater or a member of a hate group. 


Heteronormative  ˌhē-tə-rō-ˈnȯr-mə-tiv adjective:

Some say… Heteronormative is a word that is used to express the notion that society has artificially conditioned people to believe that heterosexuality is the norm, and that heterosexuals are treated better in society at the expense of those who are either homosexual or who exist on a spectrum of attractions.

But really… The term “heteronormative” is used to criticize society for recognizing that the majority of humans are attracted to the opposite sex. 


Implicit Bias[1]   im-ˈpli-sət – ˈbī-əs noun:

Some say… People behave according to unconscious stereotypes about different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

But really… The concept of implicit bias is used to suggest that your good intentions don’t matter. Even if you treat people equally, and even if you reject prejudice, you are nevertheless a racist, you just don’t realize it. 


Inclusive  in-ˈklü-siv adjective:

Some say… Inclusivity means ensuring that all parties or groups are involved in a process.

But really… Inclusivity rarely includes anyone who suffers from “wrongthink.” 


Intersectionality  ˌin-tər-ˌsek-shə-ˈna-lə-tē noun:

Some say… A person’s identity is determined by the number of categories of oppression they belong to, such as race, sex, sexual orientation, and class, whether as oppressor or oppressed. For example, a black man may be subject to anti-black bias, but still benefit from his male privilege.

But really… A person’s experiences and views cannot be plotted on a graph of oppression and privilege. Intersectionality claims it recognizes the complexity of the individual but, in practice, it does not. It assumes that all blacks are same, all women are same, all gay people are same, and so on. It puts people into various “buckets,” typically focusing on victimization and division.

 

Institutional Racism  ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shnəl – ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm noun:

Some say… Racism is everywhere, even when you can’t see it, and even when you cannot identify a particular discriminatory practice or a particular racist person. It is all around you, all the time, in every organization to which you belong. Institutional racism is another way of saying “systemic racism.”

But really… Claims of institutional (or systemic) racism are a way to claim racism without having to provide evidence of discrimination. 


Internalized Racism  in-ˈtər-nə-ˌlīzd – ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm noun:

Some say… People of color internalize society’s racist beliefs without even realizing it. Like a fish that doesn’t know it’s in water, people of color sometimes do not even realize that they are surrounded by racism.

But really… The concept of internalized racism serves to silence the views of those racial minorities who deny that racism has fundamentally shaped their lives or challenges in life. Additionally, “internalized racism” provides an explanation for why people of color don’t hold lockstep experiences or worldviews, but in doing so, denies them individualism and agency in shaping their own beliefs. 


Male Privilege  ˈmāl – ˈpriv-lij noun:

Some say… Male privilege refers to the many benefits that boys and men enjoy in society by virtue of being male.

But really… Male privilege is a woke term used to shut men down and make them feel ineligible to comment on certain topics. 


Mansplaining  ˈman-ˌsplān-niŋ verb:

Some say… Mansplaining is the patronizing way a man always explains things to a woman that makes her feel stupid or debased.

But really… The term “mansplaining” negates the incredible success of American women and is commonly used to silence men and avoid engaging in conversation or debate. 


Microaggression  ˌmī-krō-ə-ˈgre-shən noun:

Some say… People of color experience, on a daily basis, numerous indignities that add up over time to systemic oppression.

But really… Microaggression is a term used to convince people to look at everything through the lens of victimhood and reinterpret everyday words, images, or behaviors as harmful to them when, in fact, they are not. 


Patriarchy  ˈpā-trē-ˌär-kē noun:

Some say… American society is a patriarchy in which men control and dominate women.

But really… America is a society in which men and women are legally equal and women are free to determine their own destinies. In fact, in America today, women comprise a majority of the electorate, hold the majority of wealth, and earn the majority of advanced degrees. 


Preferred Pronouns  pri-ˈfərd – ˈprō-ˌnau̇ns noun:

Some say… Preferred pronouns are the pronoun an individual chooses rather than having a pronoun (he, she, her, him) assigned based on sex.

But really… Asking people for their “preferred pronouns” is a tactic used by gender activists to bully people into accepting gender ideology and abandoning the heretofore accepted rules of English grammarAttempts to require people to use preferred pronouns often violate our right to free speech. 


Racism  ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm noun:

Some say… Racism is anything that harms, upsets, or offends someone who is a member of a minority group.

But really… Racism refers to the act of treating people unequally, judging people unfairly, or wishing people ill will because of the color of their skin, their ethnic background, or heritage. Unfortunately, people today use the term “racism” as a catch-all phrase for anything the Left disagrees with. The overuse of the terms is a tactic used to marginalize and demonize others. 


Restorative Justice (in schools)  ri-ˈstȯr-ə-tiv – ˈjə-stəs noun:

Some say… Restorative justice is more fair than traditional disciplinary systems that may  disproportionately punish students of color. Restorative justice between perpetrator and victim after disciplinary incidents can be a learning experience for all involved.

But really… Restorative justice programs remove the traditional discipline practices that have been employed for generations in schools (detention, expulsion) and replace them with practices such as talk therapy and mediation sessions between victim and perpetrator. Districts with restorative justice programs have increased rates of in-school violence and fewer students reporting that they feel safe at school in surveys. In some tragic cases, restorative justice programs have played a role in allowing violent students to remain in the traditional school setting where they have harmed other students. That is NOT FAIR. 


Safe Space  ˈsāf – ˈspās noun:

Some say… It is necessary to set aside separate spaces where people can avoid engaging with those who are different from them or with whom they disagree. In these spaces, they are free from “harm.” A safe space can also refer to a space where someone can “recover” from the “trauma” they experienced listening to speech with which they disagree.

But really… Safe spaces are places for snowflakes who cannot deal with differing opinions or challenges to their groupthink. Rather than protect people, “safe spaces” actually cause harm by creating unhealthy fear, isolation, and division. 


Sex  ˈseks noun:

Some say… Sex is a social convention imposed by the medical establishment at birth.

But really… Sex refers to either of the two main categories (male and female) into which humans and most other living things are divided on the basis of genetics and biology. 


Systemic Racism  si-ˈste-mik – ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm noun:

Some say… Racism is woven into the fabric of America. “Systemic racism” refers to the idea that all of our most basic institutions oppress non-whites.

But really… Systemic racism is a way to suggest that there has been no improvement in American society and in the condition of black Americans in the past century. Like “institutional racism,” the concept of “systemic racism” presumes that racism is everywhere, even where you can’t see it. This provides the Left a never-ending stream of grievances and justification for new benefits and programs. 


Triggered  ˈtri-gərd adjective:

Some say… Being triggered is the state of panic or fear induced upon a person when they hear discussions of something that unearths stressful or upsetting memories.

But really… It’s an excuse used for acting like a toddler when you hear someone say something with which you disagree. 


Toxic Masculinity  ˈtäk-sik – ˌma-skyə-ˈli-nə-tē noun:

Some say… Cultural masculine norms are harmful to society.

But really… Toxic masculinity refers to any and all male attributes and is used to demonize men and promote the image of males as victimizers. 


Whitesplaining  ˈ(h)wīt – ˈsplān-niŋ verb:

Some say… Whitesplaining is the patronizing way in which white people explain things to a person of color.

But really… Whitesplaining is a woke phrase used to make people feel that they are racist even when they are not. It is a way to marginalize those who disagree and silence voices. 


White-Adjacent  ˈ(h)wīt – ə-ˈjā-sᵊnt adjective:

Some say… White-Adjacent refers to members of a minority group who ascribe to or parrot white supremacist messages and support white supremacist policies or who deny that systemic racism exists.

But really… White-Adjacent is a phrase utilized by Critical Race theorists to marginalize members of minority groups who have a light skin complexion or who disagree with radical leftist messaging on race, the Black Lives Matter organization, Critical Race Theory, or victimology. It is often used to describe Asians and light-skinned Hispanics. 


White Fragility  ˈ(h)wīt – ˈfra-jəl-ə-dē noun:

Some say… White people exhibit “white fragility” (or discomfort) when they object to the characterization of all whites as privileged.

But really… White fragility is a term, coined by writer Robin DiAngelo, that is used to shut down, silence and marginalize people who disagree with Critical Race Theory and notions of white privilege. If you express disagreement, you are really indicating that you are too fragile to accept your own racism. White fragility, like many other woke concepts, is an Orwellian concept that is impossible to disprove. Indeed, any pushback about the concept is considered proof that it exists. DiAngelo has made millions from the sales of her 2018 book, White Fragility, and from speaking fees and corporate training sessions that pressure white people to admit their privilege and racism. 


White Privilege  ˈ(h)wīt – ˈpriv-lij noun:

Some say… White people enjoy many benefits and privileges in society by virtue of their skin color.

But really… Charges of “white privilege” are designed to shut down and marginalize people by making them feel guilty, unwelcome, and ineligible to comment on certain topics. The constant drumbeat of white privilege can create a feeling of hopelessness in non-white individuals who are told the deck is always stacked against them when, in fact, it is not. 


White Supremacy  ˈ(h)wīt – sə-ˈpre-mə-sē noun:

Some say… Any culturally insensitive remark or politically incorrect viewpoint is an act of “white supremacy.” They further contend that white supremacy is imprinted on all of our nation’s institutions and that these institutions, thus, protect white people’s power at the expense of people of color.

But really… White supremacy refers to a pernicious and discredited belief that white people are genetically superior to people of other races. Woke ideologues overuse the term “white supremacy” to suggest that even well-intentioned Americans are part of a cabal of Klansmen, determined to oppress people of color. The overuse of the term trivializes the despicable nature of white supremacy in an attempt to inflate the minuscule number of Americans who actually harbor such views. Too often, it’s just a way to shut down open discussion and debate.

How to Talk About: CRITICAL RACE THEORY & ANTI-RACISM

Six Key Points About Critical Race Theory
*PDF Download

CRT is divisive. Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) prioritizes racial identity over our common...

Activate your membership to gain access to IWN content!

Unlock members-only content, resources and events by activating your Free Pass or gain access to additional features by selecting a monthly membership package. Join Now Already a member? Login

How to Talk About: CRITICAL RACE THEORY & ANTI-RACISM

Six Key Points about Critical Race Theory

Download the PDF: How-To-Talk-About-Critical-Race-Theory-and-Anti-Racism_IWV

1. CRT is divisive. Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) prioritizes racial identity over our common American identity. CRT labels people, on the basis of skin color, as either victims or oppressors.

2. CRT disseminates despair. CRT teaches black Americans that the deck is stacked against them, that they lack agency in their own lives, and that black heroes and success stories are mere aberrations or tokens in a racist system. 

3. CRT is unpatriotic. CRT teaches that our country was founded on white supremacy, that we have made little racial progress since our nation’s founding, and that, even in 2022, racism in America is the rule, rather than the exception. 

4. CRT is systemic. Once confined to the ivory tower, CRT today infects almost all of our most basic institutions (including elementary schools, corporations, the military, and more).

5. “Anti-Racism” doesn’t mean “against racism.” Anti-Racism is a code word for CRT, which is so unpopular that its proponents are attempting to rebrand it as something that sounds compassionate. 

6. E pluribus unum is unifying, uplifting, and patriotic. We must rededicate ourselves to our nation’s motto, “out of many, one.” Only by coming together as Americans can we truly win the fight against racism and prejudice. 

Glossary of Terms 

Critical Race Theory is a philosophical framework that starts from the premise that almost all of our current laws and institutions perpetuate white supremacy. 

Anti-Racism is CRT rebranded. It does NOT refer to general efforts to combat prejudice, promote equal opportunity, or foster greater racial understanding. Popularized by Professor Ibram X. Kendi, Anti-Racism rejects race-neutrality, measures equality in terms of group outcomes (rather than equal opportunity), and calls for the creation of a government agency to ensure that all laws promote racial balance. 

Equality refers to equal treatment and equal opportunity, irrespective of race. 

Equity rejects the concept of equal opportunity and, instead, demands equal outcomes. An equity approach assumes that any statistical disparities among racial or ethnic groups are the result of discrimination.

Implicit Bias refers to unconscious feelings or assumptions. The concept is used to suggest that good intentions don’t matter. Even people who reject prejudice and strive to treat people fairly are motivated by bias. 

Institutional Racism refers to the notion that racism is built into the way that companies, schools, government, and other institutions operate. Institutional racism is another way of saying “systemic racism.” 

Systemic Racism is a term used to suggest that racism is woven into the fabric of America and that our institutions are rigged against people of color. According to this view, racism is everywhere, even when you can’t see it, and even when you cannot identify a particular discriminatory practice or person. 

White Privilege refers to the idea that white people hold a privileged position in society, even when they lack education or economic power. 

White Supremacy refers to a pernicious and discredited belief that white people are superior to people of other races. Unfortunately, many people today overuse the term “white supremacy” to suggest that even well-intentioned Americans are part of a cabal of Klansmen, determined to oppress people of color.

CRT in a Nutshell 

  • Critical Race Theory is not new. It has been around for decades as both an intellectual theory and a pedagogical practice.
  • Critical Race Theory was developed in the 1980s and 1990s as an off-shoot of the Critical Legal Studies movement, which seeks to to deconstruct class power by demonstrating the ways in which American laws and institutions entrench income inequality.
  • Critical Race Theory, pioneered by Professors Derrick Bell and Kimberlé Crenshaw (among others), adopts a similarly critical approach to analyzing American laws and institutions but substitutes race for class.
  • Critical Race Theory rejects classically liberal notions of equal opportunity, free speech, and merit, arguing that race-neutral concepts such as these actually entrench white power.
  • Because Critical Race Theory is an outgrowth of Critical Legal Studies, it is, perhaps, not surprising that some proponents of CRT claim that property is a “white construct” and that one cannot be truly Anti-Racist without being anti-capitalist.
  • Critical Race Theory regards general social norms and cultural expectations as “white” and, therefore, discriminatory. CRT objects to the “normalization” of “white values” such as hard work, self-reliance, and being on time.

WATCH: WHAT IS CRITICAL RACE THEORY?

 

In Their Own Words

The very heartbeat of racism is denial. — Ibram X. Kendi

[CRT] questions the very foundations of the liberal order including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law. — Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic

[R]acism is ordinary, not aberrational.Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic

Progress in American race relations is largely a mirage. — Derrick Bell 

The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination. — Ibram X. Kendi

The ideal of individual autonomy that underlies liberal humanism [is] a mechanism for keeping the marginalized in their place. — Özlem Sensoy & Robin DiAngelo

White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy. — Robin DiAngelo

[B]elief in neutrality or merit…obscure[s] the ability to see racial power. — Kimberle Crenshaw

[Racism] lies at the very heart of American—and western—culture. — Angela Harris

What’s at Stake 

ENLIGHTENMENT IDEALS 

  • Enlightenment ideals about mankind’s ability to reason and think critically revolutionized the world. 
  • The Enlightenment freed people from entrenched dogmas and gave birth to the scientific method. 
  • CRT rejects Enlightenment principles, claiming that the pursuit of truth is a biased endeavor and that reason and logic are racist. 
  • Under such an approach, the only thing that matters is power, in this case racial power. 

OUR CONSTITUIONAL SYSTEM 

  • CRT prioritizes racial identity over individuality and over our common identity as Americans. 
  • CRT regards America’s constitutional structure as a mere smokescreen for racial oppression. 
  • Because CRT prioritizes power over reason, it does not tolerate free speech or other constitutional liberties. 

AMERICAN EDUCATION 

  • In the name of “equity,” some schools have begun to offer opportunities or experiences only to students of certain races. 
  • Others have started eliminating opportunities (such as advanced or honors level courses) and indices of merit (such as class rank and Honor Roll). 
  • Many schools have adopted lessons on “white privilege” that encourage students to judge people on the basis of skin color, labeling them as either victims or oppressors. 

OPTIMISM AND HOPE 

  • CRT regards progress in American race relations as a “mirage.” 
  • CRT teaches that racism never decreases, it merely shifts shapes or moves underground. 
  • CRT teaches people of color that the system is rigged against them, that they are unlikely to succeed, and that people of color who do succeed are tokens of a racist system.

Misperceptions v. Facts

MISPERCEPTION #1: CRT is a graduate level theory, confined to college philosophy departments and elite law schools. 

FACTS: 

  • While it is true that CRT is an academic theory originally developed in elite law schools, today many primary and seondary schools implement the work of Critical Race theorists.
  • They do this by dividing and judging people based on skin color and by teaching that American institutions are irredeemably racist. 

MISPERCEPTION #2: CRT isn’t being taught in schools. 

FACTS: 

  • It’s easy to say that CRT isn’t being taught because it is rarely, if ever, explicitly labeled as CRT.
  • Many schools implement CRT principles as part of so-called “Anti-Racism,” “cultural competency,” or “equity and inclusion” initiatives.
  • Sometimes policies and curricula based on CRT aren’t labeled at all. They are just seamlessly integrated into classroom policies and lesson plans.
  • In fact, many teachers do not even realize that they are implementing CRT.
  • The following are all examples of CRT being put into practice:
  • These practices are being implemented locally with encouragement from the federal government. In fact, the Department of Education has proposed a rule prioritizing grants for projects that incorporate the teachings of Ibram X. Kendi and the now debunked 1619 Project. 

MISPERCEPTION #3: Anti-Racist policies, training, and curricula promote the equal treatment of all Americans, irrespective of race. 

FACTS: 

  • Anti-Racism does not refer to efforts to combat racism or prejudice. Anti-Racism is Critical Race Theory rebranded.
  • Popularized by Professor Ibram X. Kendi, Anti-Racism takes as its starting point the idea that it is impossible for people, laws, policies, or practices to ever be race-neutral.
  • Anti-Racism teaches the Orwellian notions that non-whites cannot be racist, that all whites are racist, and that denials of racism are, in fact, evidence of racism.
  • Anti-Racist policies, training, and curricula often ask participants to acknowledge their racism and priviledge and to atone for it by advocating race-conscious remedies.
  • Anti-Racism calls for the creation of a government agency to ensure that AntiRacist measures are built into all new laws and government regulations.

MISPERCEPTION #4: CRT and Anti-Racism are the natural continuation of the American Civil Rights movement. 

FACTS: 

  • The American Civil Rights movement demanded equal treatment and equal opportunity, irrespective of race.
  • By contrast, CRT and Anti-Racism argue that equal opportunity is itself discriminatory.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood that America is a nation conceived in liberty and argued that it was long past time for our country to live up to its founding promises.
  • The American civil rights movement inspired patriotism by calling on Americans to re-dedicate themselves to the proposition, laid down in our Declaration of Independence, that “all men are created equal.”
  • By contrast, Critical Race Theory and Anti-Racism teach that our nation was founded, not upon principles of liberty, but upon principles of oppression.
  • CRT and Anti-Racism reject the goals and objectives of the American Civil Rights movement by rejecting the idea of equal treatment for individuals in favor of equal outcomes for groups.
  • CRT and Anti-Racism reject the goals and objectives of the American Civil Rights movement by encouraging people to think of each other, not as individuals or as Americans, but as members of distinct racial categories.

MISPERCEPTION #5: Opponents of CRT want to prevent schools from teaching students about racism. 

FACTS: 

  • The best way to teach students about racism in America is not by engaging in “privilege walks” or dividing students into oppressor and victim groups but by teaching history and discussing current events freely and openly.
  • Schools should not sugar-coat American history. Students should learn about slavery, the Trail of Tears, Jim Crow, Japanese Internment, and the American Civil Rights movement (as well as the founding principles that inspired it).
  • But schools should not propagandize the false notion that America and its institutions are inherently and irredeemably racist.
  • Schools should emphasize the revolutionary nature of American ideals and the significant progress we have made in living up to those standards. 

MISPERCEPTION #6: Opponents of Critical Race Theory want to prevent students from thinking critically about race. 

FACTS: 

  • Ironically, Critical Race Theory opposes reason and logic, and thus rejects critical thinking about race. In fact, CRT requires adherence to racial dogma and tolerates no dissent.
  • CRT does not ask students to consider where and why racism may still exist today. Rather, CRT instructs students that racism is systemic, lurking everywhere and in anyone who is not a person of color. 

MISPERCEPTION #7: Bans on Critical Race Theory go too far. 

FACTS: 

  • It is the role of the state board of education and local school committees to establish classroom curricula and to determine what is and isn’t taught in public schools.
  • It is important to recognize that it is not “book banning” to select certain books over others as part of curriculum development. And public schools, in particular, are supposed to educate students consistent with the needs and desires of the public.
  • Some attempts to stop the spread of CRT are targeted and effective, while others may not be.
  • We do not support any policy that denies students the opportunity to discuss history or current events or to read works of literature by authors of color.
  • We oppose efforts to prohibit students from reading, for example, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Ruby Bridges, or books about Martin Luther King and the March on Washington. These books and lessons are not examples of CRT. To the contrary, they are examples of the type of history and literature that should be taught in American schools. 

MISPERCEPTION #8: Critical Race Theory bans violate the First Amendment. 

FACTS: 

  • Teachers do not have a right to teach anything they please, and curricular choices are not protected by the First Amendment.
  • The First Amendment protects citizens from government censorship. It doesn’t protect the government (i.e., public schools) from democratic accountability.
  • Public school teachers are employees of the school district. When they are teaching, they are representing the district, not speaking as private citizens. Thus, classroom speech is “hired speech” and not constitutionally protected.
  • As the Supreme Court held in Garcetti v. Ceballos, when public employees make statements pursuant to their jobs, the Constitution does not insulate them from employer discipline.
  • It is a fundamental precept of First Amendment law that the government cannot compel an individual to speak. As such, schools cannot compel student speech. Lessons that force students to rank their privilege violate this basic principle. 

MISPERCEPTION #9: “Equity” and “equal opportunity” are the same thing. 

FACTS: 

  • “Equal opportunity” generally refers to a state of fairness in which the same rules and policies apply to everyone, irrespective of race or ethnicity.
  • “Equity,” by contrast, refers to a state of equal results.
  • Proponents of “equity” seek to “level the playing field,” either by applying standards differently on the basis of skin color or by abandoning the standards altogether.
    • For example, in the school setting, proponents of equity often advocate lowering the standards for entry into honors or AP courses in order to diversify these classrooms.
    • Alternatively, they may seek to eliminate advanced coursework altogether or to eliminate (or reduce the importance of) other educational practices that differentiate between students, such as standardized tests and class rankings.
  • Because equity requires equal outcomes, it usually encourages a race to the bottom. 

Questions & Answers 

QUESTION 1: Why aren’t you an Anti-Racist? If you are not an Anti-Racist, aren’t you a racist? 

ANSWER: No. Anti-Racism does not mean “against racism.” Anti-Racism refers to the belief that Americans are either victims or oppressors and that we can only fight discrimination with reverse discrimination. I support efforts to eliminate prejudice and racism that seek to bring us together as Americans. But I oppose divisive dogmas like Anti-Racism. 

QUESTION 2: Why do you oppose CRT? 

ANSWER: I don’t oppose teaching people about CRT, but I oppose the implementation of CRT, which seeks to deconstruct American institutions, demonize our country, and turn Americans of different backgrounds against one another. 

QUESTION 3: Why are you trying to sugar-coat American history? 

ANSWER: Opposition to CRT is not about ignoring history. History is one of our best teachers. Sadly, most schools don’t teach enough American history. Many skip significant parts of our civil rights heritage— including, believe it or not, the Civil War and Reconstruction! Often teachers revert to quick takes on what’s wrong with our country without placing current or historic problems in proper context. 

QUESTION 4: Do you think white people are privileged? 

ANSWER: Not everyone begins life with the same advantages, and some people have it harder than others. But the color of a person’s skin does not determine his or her lot in life. I reject the idea that people can be categorized as either oppressors or victims, depending on their skin color. I reject any ideology that teaches people to feel helpless in this land of opportunity. And I believe that all of us are privileged to live in the freest country on earth. 

QUESTION 5: Is America an inherently racist country? 

ANSWER: No. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I understand that America is a nation conceived, not in racism, but in liberty. Unfortunately, we have not always lived up to our founding principles. But we have made incredible progress. 

QUESTION 6: Why should we accept as legitimate a constitutional framework established by white males, some of whom were slaveholders? 

ANSWER: America’s founders weren’t perfect, but they had the wisdom and the foresight to establish the framework for a truly free society—the freest the world has ever seen. 

QUESTION 7: How can people of color succeed in a country where the rules are rigged against them? 

ANSWER: In America, laws and other rules that classify people on the basis of race or ethnicity are illegal. America is not perfect, but this country offers social and economic mobility unlike any other country in the world. Life is not always easy, and racism and prejudice still exist. But Americans have the freedom opportunity to shape their own futures.

Ideas for Action 

1. CONNECT WITH OTHER CONCERNED PARENTS 

2. JOIN A COMMUNITY 

3. FILE FOIA REQUESTS 

4. KEEP RECORDS 

  • Keep copies of problematic assignments or school policies 
  • Keep copies of correspondence with school officials 

5. CONTACT THE TEACHERS, PRINCIPAL AND/OR SUPERINTENDENT 

6. ATTEND LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS 

7. PROPOSE ALTERNATIVES 

8. PUBLICIZE THE PROBLEM/WRITE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 

9. EXPOSE INAPPROPRIATE POLICIES AND ASSIGNMENTS 

10. LEARN ABOUT STATE LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES 

11. RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD 

12. CHALLENGE THE LEGALITY OF POLICIES THAT SEPARATE STUDENTS ON THE BASIS OF RACE 

Additional Reading 

IWF Policy Focus: What Is Critical Race Theory? 

by Inez Stepman 

How to Be an Anti-Intellectual 

by Coleman Hughes 

The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility 

by John McWhorter 

Critical Race Theory In Schools 

by Glenn Loury and John McWhorter 

Children’s Books: Too Much Too Soon 

by Meghan Cox Gurdon 

Teaching Hate 

by Chris Rufo 

Next Step for The Parent Movement: Curriculum Transparency 

by Chris Rufo 

It’s Not Racist to Oppose Critical Race Theory 

by Charles Love 

How Critical Race Theory Grew From Law School Thesis to K-12 Trend 

by Kerry Murakami 

What’s Wrong with Critical Race Theory? 

by Daniel Subotink

Social Media Kit 

Post the below messages, videos, and graphics to social media and make your voice heard. 

Tag us so we can RT/Share your post: 

Hashtags to include: 

#EqualityNotEquity #EPluribusUnum 

#HistoryNotDogma #OutOfManyOne 

#CreatedEqual #UnityNotDivision 

VIDEO:

 

VISUALS: Include these visuals with any Twitter, Facebook or Instagram posts. Download

How to Improve Your Community’s School System

Parents are increasingly concerned about their children’s schools. From Common Core math, declining literacy requirements, and flat out a-historical history and civics lessons to damaging critical race theories, restorative justice discipline practices, and social justice political activism on the part of teachers and school administrators, it seems that traditional learning is a thing of the past.

Parents are tired of this situation. But what can they do? Where can they go?

In this guide, we hope to help parents engage with teachers and teaching staff, school officials, other parents, and the local community. From simply talking to your child’s teacher to running for office, this guide will help you help your child gain a better education.

Engage with Teachers

Sometimes it can be as simple as calling, emailing, or meeting face-to-face with your child’s teacher. There are some exceptions, but most teachers want parents’ input and to make parents a part of their child’s learning process. Communication shouldn’t be a one-way street. Just like your child’s teacher provides a report card on your child’s educational progress, you should feel free to give feedback to the teacher about what your child is learning.

Here are some ideas for engaging with your child’s school.

  • If your child is in elementary school, talk to the teacher when the children are dismissed. Usually teachers stand outside the school with their class until they are loaded onto a bus or picked up by a parent or caregiver. This is the perfect time to casually approach a teacher and ask questions about the class or curriculum. 
  • Write an email to the teacher. Sometimes it’s nice to give a teacher some time to consider the note and write a response. Writing a note that is friendly, polite, and inquisitive is a good first step to getting information.
  • Ask to talk by phone. If the issue is complex or if it’s simply easier to talk by phone, write an email to the teacher asking to make an appointment to speak by phone. It’s nice to give the teacher an option of choosing the best time to talk. 
  • Ask for a face-to-face meeting. Sometimes it’s best to just sit down and chat face-to-face, especially if the issue is hard to discuss or involves your child’s wellbeing. Sometimes it’s nice to offer to bring the teacher coffee (since they can’t leave the building during the day to run to the coffee shop). This is a nice gesture that can often help break the ice before delving into the issue that concerns you. 

Ask for the Curriculum, Read It, and Ask for Changes!

  • First, ASK! You have a right to see your child’s curriculum. And it’s critically important to know what your child is being taught. Too often, parents are shocked to learn—months into the school year—that their children are learning things that are contrary to their family’s religious or personal beliefs, or that seem to contradict facts. The best way to avoid this situation is to ask your child’s teacher for a complete copy of the curriculum (these are usually posted online so it is not a hassle for a teacher to simply email you the curriculum) at the beginning of the school year as well as any information on assignments, class projects, and other material the children will be assigned. But that isn’t enough. Throughout the year, parents should be asking for additions or changes to the curriculum. And you should also ask if your teacher plans to go off plan with any additional assignments. 
  • Second, READ! It doesn’t do you any good to get the curriculum if you don’t read it and highlight areas of concern. Look for words and phrases that might indicate a political message or a lesson that runs contrary to your family’s belief system. Make sure to research the books and authors listed. If you don’t recognize the names or book tiles, use the internet to research them. Also, be sure to review the fiction books your child will be assigned to read. 
  • Third, PUSH for changes! If you’re concerned about your school’s curriculum, speak up. Talk first to the teacher and then to the school principal. Point out what’s of concern, be prepared to give reasons for asking for the changes, and make suggestions for improvements. If your school is integrating Critical Race Theory into the curriculum, suggest the school use the historically-accurate 1776 Curriculum as an alternative. 
  • Fourth, speak to other parents! Ask to speak at a PTA meeting about the curriculum. This can be scary but it’s likely other parents are concerned as well. Simply speaking in calm and measured tones about your concerns at a PTA meeting will help alert parents who are unaware. You might even find allies who are interested in joining you in complaining to the school administration or school board. 
  • Pick your battles! You lose credibility if you object to everything and nitpick about minor issues. Focus on the most egregious and sweeping areas of concern.
  • It’s your right! The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which passed in 1974, gives parents the right to inspect their child’s educational records and the curriculum. 

Opt Out! Take Your Child Out of School Programs

You are the parent! You are ultimately in charge of your child’s education. If, after reading the curriculum and attempting to make changes, you still aren’t comfortable with what’s being taught, opt your child out of that particular program. Specifically, the law protects parents’ rights to opt their children out of sex education classes and standardized tests. The Every Student Succeeds Act allows parents to refuse testing for their children. 

Join Your PTA and Take a Leadership Role

Sadly, PTAs are not always reliable for helping parents deal with school officials. That’s why it’s important to get involved and to try to seek a leadership position within the PTA. PTA policies are often driven by its leadership, so get in there and lead! It’s important to be prepared to volunteer a lot of personal time. PTAs need parent volunteers and the way to get a leadership position is to show you care about the school and students. Volunteering will help you learn more about the school and the student population, parents’ concerns, the schools’ philosophy, and teacher and administration goals. You are likely to find allies and even friends! Once in a leadership position, you’ll be better situated to make changes and steer your school toward educational efforts over political activism. 

That said, it’s important to know that the national PTA organization is closely aligned with teachers’ unions. In addition, the National PTA organization pushes exclusively left-wing and social justice causes—gun control, higher taxes, environmental regulations, allowing boys in girls’ bathrooms, pushing for critical race theory to be taught in schools, as well as opposing school choice. Not all local PTAs espouse these political ideologies or back these political issues, but the national PTA organization pushes politics instead of standing up for parents and children. 

Meet the Superintendent, School Board Members and School Principals 

In many school districts, the superintendent and other school officials host regular “coffee meetings” with parents and caregivers. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and tell the school officials a little bit about your child and your interest in being an active member of the school community. Regular attendance at these meetings will make you a familiar face, and they might be more willing to listen to you once you’ve established a personal, working relationship with them. 

Run for School Board or Another Public Office

That may sound scary but, as a parent, you’re the perfect person to represent other parents and the concerns they have about the public schools. A first step on this journey might be working with the PTA. This will help you meet more parents, get to know the school administration, and learn leadership skills along the way. 

Speak Up on Social Media and on Neighborhood Listservs

A good way to share information and to find allies is by using social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (see these guides—here, here, here, and here—for more information on these social media platforms). Local communities and even some neighborhoods also have listservs, which are groups dedicated to issues that affect a particular area or community. Depending on the rules of your community’s listservs (some don’t allow political discussions), this might be a good place to post your concerns and engage in polite and civil conversation about issues affecting your community and local school district.

Start a Facebook Group Dedicated to School Reform

Facebook has a feature where you can start a group to promote a particular issue or cause. This is an excellent tool to use for local engagement and community activism. 

  • Don’t like the curriculum your public school is using? Start a “Parents Take Back The Curriculum” group. 
  • Concerned about Critical Race Theory being taught in your public school? Start a “Parents Against Critical Race Theory” group. 
  • Worried about the content of your school’s sex education courses? Start a “Sex Education Parent Information Coalition” group. 

This is an excellent way to organize a grassroots group, find like-minded people, take polls and surveys, and get the attention of local media. For more information on starting a Facebook group, see the How To Engage on Facebook document.

Engage Local Media

State and local papers are often looking for content, especially from the perspective of locals. Share your perspective, experiences, and personal views. See the How to Write a Letter to The Editor and the How To Write an Opinion Editorial for more information on these topics.