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Critical Race Theory and The Division of the US

Critical Race Theory (CRT) may be a vague subject to most people as it may completely bypass their everyday life. While it is not a term you hear on a regular basis, it is quite important to learn about what it is and what people may portray it to be. Despite what some may think, CRT does not necessarily target white people for their oppressive ancestors; rather, it claims that multiple institutions throughout the United States are heavily poisoned by racism. Essentially, this means our institutions, regulations, and laws tend to ultimately affect one race more than the other in their outcomes. These institutions range from our underfunded, shitty, and liable criminal justice system to our weak educational system. The theory shows that these systems— implanted with racism— are directed by the laws and regulations put out and in turn, the outcomes from these systems strongly differ by race. Some Conservative officials are so opposed to this theory that they made efforts to ban it from educational systems. Donald Trump stated at a White House event that CRT was, “a crusade against American history that will… destroy our country.” Lisa Luten, a spokeswoman for the school system also stated, “It’s more of a theory in academia about race that adults use to discuss the contexts of their environment.” They view this theory almost as if it were a ghost or alien, believing that they are being accused of actions performed by their past ancestors and that all white people are racist. In reality, just like always, they are entirely missing the point. The truth is that racism is entirely embedded in all of the United States’ legal policies, regulations, and institutions. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is a prime example of this truth.


Since May of 2021, there has been a widespread effort to entirely ban CRT from US classrooms because conservative politicians believe CRT is not something that should be taught in school as it causes division. Why do states want to run from the prominent issue of racism, when they can openly explain it to students and children so they can gain a grasp of the idea at a young age. Sociologist, Victor Ray, made a statement that ultimately explains the States’ ironic decisions to outlaw CRT, “making laws outlawing critical race theory confirms the point that racism is embedded in the law.” The States see the truth of CRT, they know that racism is dispersed through our law; nonetheless, they wish to outlaw the theory because they don’t want the truth to get out. Extremely U.S. government of them if you ask me. 


The most recent occurrence involving CRT comes from the recent mass school shooting that took place in Uvalde, Texas. Senator Ron Johnson appeared on Fox News following the tragic shooting, making claims linking the shooting to CRT. He suggested schools that continue to teach CRT to students invoke a sense of inequality amongst them and portray them as problems for others which can, in turn, lead them down the wrong path. The issue surrounding his claim is that school shootings have been prominent in the US before CRT was viewed as a problem. He then turns to “liberal indoctrination,” the brainwashing children to follow a liberal ideology while denying conservative values, as well as, “wokeness” as grounds for these incidents occurring. 


Following this view of teaching CRT as teaching students “wokeness,” many conservative politicians view the theory itself as racism. Professor Kimberlé Crewnshaw of UCLA, the individual who coined the term CRT, states that these senators and representatives are resorting back to tactics decades ago by claiming that acknowledging racism itself, is racist.


All in all, Critical Race Theory is a pivotal part of the United States and will continue to be until all citizens whether they are politicians, bystanders, etc. understand its place in our country. White citizens, conservative or not, must understand that CRT in no way blatantly states that all white people are racist or that it only applies to white people. Rather, they must come to a consensus that the theory is focused on all institutions, regulations, and laws of the U.S. and how racism is casually sprinkled into each aspect. Our country has been dividing itself since before time can tell, there needs to be a point where all sides see eye-to-eye and recognize an ongoing problem that poisons the nation. CRT can be combated if everyone educates themselves on what it is and what it isn’t, then we can understand the truth and assist one another when necessary. 


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Sources: 

https://www.nytimes.com/article/what-is-critical-race-theory.html

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-sen-ron-johnson-literally-blames-uvalde-shooting-on-crt-and-wokeness

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/02/why-are-states-banning-critical-race-theory/

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

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/so-much-buzz-but-what-is-critical-race-theory 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/ten-years-after-the-new-jim-crow 

Featured Image via University of Florida College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

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