A Virus More Potent than COVID

Shame and blame are animating features of the Critical Race movement.  The latest example of Critical Race Theory can be found in the article from Inside Higher Ed and is titled "Camera's On: Surveillance in the Time of COVID-19."  Author Margaret Finders "(pronouns: she, her, hers) is former chair and professor in the department of education at Augsburg University and Joaquin Muñoz (he/him/his pronouns) is assistant professor in the American Indian studies department at the university."

The authors claim that asking students to keep cameras on during synchronous online class sessions is actually "indicative of an attitude toward teaching that positions students as docile bodies in need of constant surveillance."  In fact, though "sharing an empty box or just a name seems to make many instructors uncomfortable ... feeling such discomfort does not give them the right to demand entry into students' private spaces."

Who is "demanding entry into students' private spaces"?  The Zoom screen does not meander into other rooms.  It shows the face of the student. 

But the more important point according to Finders and Muñoz is that "the ideologies of  'cameras on' are incredibly problematic due to their racist, sexist and classist [emphasis mine] undertones."

And so Marxist ideology is front and center in the article.  The clearly combative words and alleged high moral stance are the first indications that the left is on the march.  After all, the leftist machine is adept at manufacturing outrage.  Strategic ambiguity and changing the meanings of words to suit its nefarious purposes are never-ending.

Since Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an offshoot of Marxism, the assertion is that "seemingly fair and open institutions [have] a hidden, racist component that block[s] black progress."  Moreover, CRT "asserts that every difference in outcomes between identity groups must be exclusively the consequence of systemic racism.  Its corollary is that all intellectual inquiry and political endeavor must be subordinated to the 'antiracist' revolutionary struggle to 'liberate' America and the world from systemic racism."

Hence, Finders and Muñoz declare that "requesting or requiring students to let [an instructor] inside their homes and private spaces can be culturally insensitive and ultimately racist [because] demanding cameras on protects white racial privileges and traditional Western hierarchies of culture." 

Because, even in face-to-face settings, traditional markers of engagement are highly cultural. For example, maintaining eye contact as a sign of respect or engagement is a norm that some cultures do not practice. Instructors should not demand the right to claim unrestricted visual ownership of students' bodies and spaces. Asking students to allow [instructors] into their private spaces potentially has significant cultural implications. Many students' homes may have cultural artifacts and spaces that students do not want to share outside of their sociocultural groups.

Furthermore, "being 'camera ready'  may be highly gendered, as well.  For some women, the need to look a particular way may be important to their presentation of self in a public forum. They may feel that they need to dress, fix hair and apply makeup in order to be camera-ready. With caregiving and other demands at home, this may prove particularly challenging.  Thus, many women may decide to keep their cameras off, which instructors often incorrectly perceive as demonstrating they're not academically engaged. These are all critical equity [emphasis mine] issues that instructors should consider."

It is vital to understand the triad of diversity, inclusion, and equity (DIE) that CRT proponents demand.  This DIE approach is critical to their actions.  In fact, "the imposition of equity — equal outcomes for all identity groups in every aspect of politics, society, and culture" is mandatory.

Equity is not a synonym for equality.  Equity has come to mean the opposite of "equality."  In fact, "equity ... means inequality of treatment."  The inversion of language is constantly manifested by the left.

CRT activists insist upon the removal of "implicit bias" from all areas of life and the destruction of capitalism since in their eyes "capitalism is so bound up with racism."

So in a nutshell, if one is of the oppressor/aggressor class — that is, Caucasian — then constant self-censorship and genuflection to the new masters of alleged protection from racism are obligatory.

But of course, the nasty underbelly of CRT is exposed when its adherents claim that "Larry Elder is the Black Face of White Supremacy.  You've been Warned."

In essence, "contrary to the claims of some of its defenders, CRT is not simply a benign academic theory that marks another milestone in the advancement of civil rights for African Americans."  It is exactly the opposite.  Yet one would never know that by looking at the Owl at Purdue site, which is used by thousands of students.

Everything is about race.  And if anyone questions CRT's central belief systems, that individual is branded a racist.  So your low-level melanin marks you a racist, and your questioning the philosophy of CRT labels you a racist as well.  CRT claims that to argue against CRT ideas is absolute evidence of the dissenter's "white fragility," "unconscious bias," or "internalized white supremacy." 

CRT advocates aim to make "race obsession an official governing norm," whether it is in housing, education, employment, economics, health care, libraries, or the criminal justice sector. For example, the American Academy of Family Physicians has declared that the U.S. officially recognizes racism as a public health issue.  And how to treat this alleged malady — "treat Americans differently depending upon our ancestry" (emphasis mine).

Another example of the insidious growth of CRT is the online course for librarians titled "From Collection to Action: A One-Day 'Read Woke' Mini Course with Cicely Lewis" where Lewis and her colleagues will show "how to bring diverse voices to your library collection, programming, and community building."  The aim of these programs is to work on "equity-based school and public library partnerships." There are also study abroad programs where students "will explore justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as they relate to study abroad."  Nothing has been left to chance as the indoctrination takes hold.

In essence, "CRT is moral blackmail designed to spark racial conflict in America, pitting 'oppressed' minorities against 'oppressor' whites."  CRT's ultimate aim is a massive power-grab and massive wealth transfer into its own advocates' coffers.  It will continue to shoot a million darts into the American belief system of meritocracy and due process.  Its bigotry is damaging to black and white kids alike.  It is a relentless program to demoralize instructors and ultimately eliminate anyone who can think and question.

The us versus them approach is further highlighted in the article as Finders and Muñoz assert that instructors asking to see students online is "the pathologizing of students."

The term "pathologize" means to "regard or treat (someone or something) as psychologically abnormal or unhealthy."  I wonder — does this apply if a black instructor asks that students make themselves visible?

But the left has always been lazy about accuracy in language.  The left brooks no dissent and demands total adherence to its racist philosophy.  It "demoralizes and demeans white students by telling them that not only are their views but also their very lives are illegitimate, while it flatters all other students by proclaiming that their vices and shortcomings are either the fault of systemic racism or virtues and accomplishments to be celebrated."

CRT empathy is phony and false as its leaders rant and rave about cameras "protecting white racial privileges."  Does this mean that famous black photographers (e.g., James Van Der Zee, Ernest Withers, Carrie Mae Weems, and Gordon Parks) used white racial privilege? 

Instead, Finders and Muñoz exhort that teachers need to "lean into the discomfort [they] may have about teaching online and examine it" — and, of course, "consider critical equity issues regarding race, gender and class when establishing [their] camera policy."

In short, do not see your students.  Presume that you are a racist and unworthy and realize that "while looking at students may be comfortable to instructors, for students, it can be an alien experience."

Indeed, there is an aggressive, deadly virus that continues to mutate in this country, and it is Critical Race Theory.  It is racist to its core.  It needs to be exposed and refuted and expunged in every way possible.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.

Image: Andy Witchger via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0.

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