How to Think Critically About CRT, and other Fictional Simulations of Our Dual Realities
Critical Race Theory is not going away. It is what defines the entire Left of America right now, across all institutions and even our government. This was true even before the cultural revolution of 2020. It rose up during President Obama’s second term, around 2012, hitting college campuses, the arts, and even some public schools. I know because my daughter went to a program that built its foundation on CRT.
They didn’t call it that. Even if some people knew the term “Critical Race Theory” because it was studied in law schools, and maybe by some academics, the majority of us just felt like it was overdue activism.
At its best Critical Race Theory, or Critical Theory overall broadens the perspective of students who might be taught a much more narrow view of American history. At its best, it is not about shaming students for having been born white. At its best, it offers a different, more inclusive way of understanding this melting pot of a country we all share, as demographics are changing. At its best, it opens a dialogue and doesn’t silent dissent. At its best, it is a conversation. Right now, the implementation of it is not Critical Race Theory at its best. In fact, it feels a lot more like forced indoctrination heaped upon young minds not capable of fully processing it.
I think my daughter felt the sting of “white shame” in her curriculum but it also taught her a necessary perspective she would need while navigating the adult world alongside her generation. If she did not know this language, if she did not know this ideology, she would no doubt run into problems in higher education, on social media, and in the workplace. You have to know it in 2021. It is just a matter of when it is taught and how it is taught.
Take, for instance, the curriculum of her 9th-grade class, which was and remains the foundation of the entire Humanities magnet at Cleveland High School in Reseda, California. It’s a massive school of around 1,000+ students. The Humanities magnet was designed for the “smarter” kids to be given a more rigorous course of study. So essentially, you have the more educated, progressive (mostly) white students in the magnet, while the general population outside of it (mostly non-white) is learning a fairly standard LAUSD education. They describe it this way:
Unit 1: An Interdependent and Globalized World
THEME: Seeing The World Through Different Lenses: The Role of Culture, the Environment, and Personal Experience in Shaping a Global Community
This unit is an introduction to the key concepts and analytical tools relevant to the study of our world. You will learn the vocabulary and concepts of critical thinking, which includes recognizing biases and personal assumptions, the basics of map reading and the importance of geography, the principles and elements of religion in a cultural context, and the main ecological concepts needed to understand the connection of science to the humanities. This year will be the foundation for your four-year journey in Core.
They close the course with the following Howard Zinn quote:
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions
to participate in the process of change.
Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
By 11th grade, it becomes full-blown Critical Race Theory, taken from college campuses even:
Part Two: The CORE 11 American Studies
Our thematic units form the basis of our analysis of American culture from a social justice perspective. These units are comprised of materials from universities providing us with the most current perspectives on class, race, and gender. Our curriculum is aligned with the research based goals of Multicultural Education in which students are, according to Professor Christine Bennett, “encouraged to develop a ‘critical consciousness’ through which they learn to challenge social injustices.” Because our society is becoming increasingly diverse, we must develop an understanding of how to engage with and see the perspectives of those who are different from ourselves.
The idea behind the program, in general, is not necessarily to educate those children who already have a pretty good idea of what racism is, who already feel marginalized in a country founded on a white majority. Rather, it is designed to school the mostly white kids on that perspective - to show them how to see their country from the point of view of non-white (or non-male, etc). It was just part of a broader education my daughter received at the school, but it did not go so far as to separate kids and force them to admit their privilege or call themselves oppressed and oppressors.
To me, if you foist that ideology upon children who don’t have the ability to really understand what you’re saying, you are doing more harm than good. White children will be taught to feel shame, but also taught that they have the advantage in this country - and they have “equality of opportunity” with no obstacles in their path, short of subverting their abilities to make everyone “equal” or guarantee “equality of outcome.”
Non-white children will be taught to feel like victims and told they do not have an advantage in a system rigged against them. Meaning, they are trapped and defined by their skin color and there is no way out of that. I personally cannot think of a more damaging thing to teach to young children, even to high school-aged children, than having their fate determined by their skin color. If Democrats push it through it will 100% backfire on them?
So how did we get here? What is going on in America? I mean REALLY going on? Why did Critical Theory suddenly bloom on college campuses around this same time, 2013-2014?
Race wasn’t really a topic at the progressive elementary and middle schools she attended, even though they were most certainly as left-leaning as you could possibly imagine. By the time she graduated elementary school, Obama was in his first year as President, so naturally, it was an incredibly optimistic time. Race and racism weren’t discussed as an urgent, pressing problem. Rather, it was the idea that anyone could be anything because look at who our President was.
By high school, however, much had changed. Obama was in his second term. This was exactly the same time Critical Theory was starting to bloom on college campuses across the country, 2013 and 2014. This makes sense when you look at the trajectory of the Obama presidency. With the rise of the Tea Party in 2012, there was an idea that America was reacting to the first Black president with an opposite and equal reaction to racism. I thought that was true. Most on the left did.
By Obama’s second term, even Obama believed that. He went from being an uniter in his first term to very much understanding that he was on one side and the Republicans are on the other. And why wouldn’t he think that? They fought him every step of the way. One person shouted, disrespectfully, “you lie” during his State of the Union speech. They called him a socialist. They reacted to him to such an emotional extreme how could it be anything other than racism?
But there was another thing that was happening in this country that most people were simply ignoring. And that is the Wall Street meltdown of 2007 that led to the 700 billion dollar bailout that led to two populist factions being formed. The Occupy movement on the Left and the Tea Party on the Right. They were both angry at Obama and the establishment for bailing out the banks. This is what Neil Howe has called the “crisis” that will set in motion the “Fourth Turning.”
These two groups would become increasingly angry as Obama’s terms wore on and eventually give rise to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. By the time Biden took office, the Bernie wing had folded into the establishment it once railed against, joined by the “administrative state” or “uniparty,” as Steve Bannon calls it and that left only the Trump Right representing the populists.
The pathways for where we are today were all evident 13 years ago. The idea that the protests on the Right were “racist” but not the protests on the Left, the idea that racism was the reason anyone would criticize or block or obstruct Obama was very much what drove the Left towards the state it is in now, and it is likely what drove Critical Theory to overtake college campuses and my daughter’s Humanities Magnet.
Over time, the left would become the side leading a complete overhaul of the country from race to gender identity to sexuality. But really, race and racism would become the defining battle. And it is also what defines the Biden presidency. He is finishing what Obama started and he believes he has won and is still fighting a race war.
Heather Macdonald lays out on Megyn Kelly’s podcast:
What I've noticed is we're living in a world of fictional simulations, this hyper-reality that is at odds with reality. What was the three months of razor wire around the Capitol, but security theater, it was theater to try and give reality and factual basis to a fiction. The fiction is that “White Supremacy” is the biggest terrorist threat facing this country. And it is our biggest threat of violence.
As Biden's security agencies have said, that is ludicrously vague, and you know what most people know it. And yet, we had this drama, this staged piece of theater that the Capitol was engaged in to try to pretend that the idiotic, deplorable, absolutely despicable January 6th Riot was not just a one-off of a bunch of idiots that got out of control, completely misunderstood their role of citizens, but represented some ongoing lethal threat, which is it does not.
It's the same thing with the idea that it's white supremacists who were going around clubbing, Asian, elderly, Asian, helpless people. That's why the press jumped on the Atlanta spa killings, turned them into what they were not, pretended it was about “White Supremacy” when it was about a young man who was sexually tortured by guilt had nothing to do with race or the Asian nature of his victims. But that too, was another piece of security theater to give meaning and some kind of physical reality to the lie that America today is defined by “White Supremacy.”
In a sense, January 6th, to the Left, was like the Devil showing up in Salem when the young girls began faking their symptoms of being possessed. The thing they feared the most finally presented itself.
The mythology around January 6th, turning it into a full-blown Reichstag Fire, is astonishing. Peter Wood writes in the Spectator:
The fact remains that the January 6 riot was a riot, not an insurrection. Those who talked big beforehand — watch the New York Times video — were full of imaginary grandiosity. It goes around. They were unarmed. Their stunt got out of hand, fed by the fury of the crowd, the fecklessness of the police, and the finagling of the authorities who declined urgent requests for better security.
All of this was tragic — for Ashli Babbitt. It was tragi-comic for the nation, as a ragtag group of bizarre figures such as the QAnon Shaman and an oddball assortment of radicalized protesters blundered their way into the Capitol with no idea of the consequences, followed by tourists taking selfies.
But in this new stage, we have moved from drama to farce. The Democratic leadership is desperate to keep alive the fiction that America teetered on the edge of Civil War that day.
Convincing its loyalists that this story is fact rather than fable requires ever greater imposition. Hundreds of people connected — most in very minor ways — to the riot are languishing in jail, facing unknown charges and seemingly interminable detention. The result as I have written before is a growing sense among conservative populists that the rule of law has truly broken down. Their wrath is rising — which is the subject of my forthcoming book Wrath: Enraged America.
The irony is that the Democrats’ relentless exaggeration of what happened on January 6, 2021 might succeed in giving us the breakthrough realization of what happened on September 11, 2001. We will see that our leftist elite hates America and fears and despises that broad swath of the American people who reject their betters.
You can criticize Trump’s insane reaction to the election. You can criticize those who showed up to support the only person in government who saw them at all, let alone fought for their rights — but you simply cannot call that movement “white supremacist” if you care at all about the truth. And I know we’re living through a post-truth era, but it matters if the majority of Americans believe a manufactured lie that the media perpetuates. 73 million people voted for Trump.
Trump’s reaction to the election was certainly authoritarian and borderline fascist. But the Democrats’ reaction to January 6th has been something much closer to actual authoritarianism and fascism. Trump threatened Trump tried, Trump pretended he was a fascist. But on the left, they’re actually doing what looks a lot more like it. Big Tech is banning people per the government’s directive. Authors, filmmakers, artists are held under this strict, almost religious doctrine to stay party line or else.
Those who write it off and act like it’s no big deal are simply responding to a media that pretends it’s no big deal. They are in a shared delusion that all of this policing of thought, of art, of science is normal. It is not normal. It is a psychosis playing out in real-time.
The entire left is, as we speak, demanding the public comply with their ideology. THAT is more like actual totalitarianism than Trump ever was. If Trump’s side had the kind of power the Left had, then you could really say he was a fascist threat. He never had that kind of power, even while president.
Now, using fear of “white supremacy” and racism, the Left is attempting to overhaul the entire country, to demonize “whiteness.” They appear to be aiming for “equity,” or “equality of outcome,” which is exactly the opposite of what the American system is founded on. That is why people immigrate here from other countries, from Socialist and Communist countries - to use the benefits of the free enterprise system to build businesses and rise, regardless of race or gender. Yes, it’s written into our Constitution. And yes, it applies to every American citizen.
In my industry of the Oscars, what I began writing about back in 2010, and for many years after that was to look at the race from the lens of an industry dominated by white people. That was because the box office and the free market really decided who got to work and who didn’t, thus who got nominated and who didn’t. The Oscars stopped being about box office a long time ago, so then it seemed strange that it was still dominated by white nominees and winners.
But even after the Academy made changes by inviting new members, even after their nominees and winners started to reflect a community that did care about inclusion, they still forced an inclusion mandate on the Academy Awards that will take place in 2024. This year, supposedly because of racism, the Golden Globes were canceled. The BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) opted out of nominees by their membership entirely and went with a community-selected group of inclusive nominees. They required 50% of their directing nominees to be women, even though their films were not the most notable films of the year.
These are all examples of “equality of outcome” rather than “equality of opportunity.” Or “equity” vs. “Meritocracy.” None of it has any place in a competition for “best.” If you want “equity” then get rid of competitive awards entirely and just hand out certificates. No one dreams of being handed an Oscar based on their skin color or gender. They dream of winning one because they deserved to win one.
I think most people do not agree with any of this but they are too afraid to say so. They are going along with it because they don’t want to be seen as “bad.” But this will destroy the Oscars. It will destroy film awards. It will destroy almost everything where the best is supposed to triumph. That is what defines America. Do some people get left behind? Yes. Absolutely. Is that fair? No, not really. To quote Winston Churchill, “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.”
The Left’s entire platform is based on the lie that they are battling white supremacy as the number one threat. They have turned their surveillance, their military, and their intelligence agencies on American citizens, calling them “domestic terrorists.” They are connecting this to racism. We’re at the point where the government is about to go to war on its own citizens, getting very close to the point where anyone who even voted for Trump is potentially a terrorist.
I have never felt more afraid for this country than I do now, and not because of what is happening in Trump World, but because I am watching so many people go along with things they should be resisting. I never thought I would live through something like this but here we are.
As for Critical Race Theory, it is already here. The fight against it is about ten years too late. There is nothing wrong with learning about our history and seeing institutions of power from a different perspective. But it will be necessary to fight for the right to dissent, to debate, to disagree, and to question whether they are right or not.
My daughter’s fate depended not on what they were teaching her in school but what I, as her parent, taught her to counter it. Push back, fight back, stand up, speak out. Never stop asking questions and always have faith in your rational self. Never go along with something that doesn’t feel right just because you are too afraid to tell the Emperor he’s not wearing any clothes. Yes, people will call you terrible names, but if you know who you are, and you know your own heart, you can survive even that. Come out from among them and be separate.