Critical Race Theory and the Many Piles of Dirt It Creates
I grew up in the ’50s and '60s on a quiet cul-de-sac on Long Island. Playing by myself one day I noticed the dirt that had accumulated in the gutter and commenced with great enthusiasm to clean the street with my sandbox shovel. I started in front of Mrs. Tissenbaum’s house who soon noticed what I was doing and stormed out of her front door to reprimand me for shoveling dirt onto her lawn. The naïve good intentions of a seven-year-old failed to consider some important questions: Was it really necessary to clean the whole street? What about the problem of leaving piles of dirt on everyone’s lawns? Clearly, I was trying to fix a problem that didn’t need fixing while making matters worse. Mrs. Tissenbaum helped me learn an important lesson that day.
The quixotic goal of ridding the world of racism is as unattainable and wrought with unintended consequences. Yes, racism remains among us, but America’s laws and practices have unquestionably helped our country evolve over the centuries and decades since slavery and Jim Crow were defeated. In fact, America, despite its flaws, remains a shining beacon of hope for millions of people of all races and nationalities from around the world wishing to live a better life. Certainly, we should all strive for self-awareness and improvement in our interactions with people of different backgrounds. But, in the process of seeking perfection, we are creating more destructive piles of dirt than the ones we initially tried to fix.
As woke clergy use their pulpit, prestige, and resources to promote “Racial Equity and Justice” training in order to help us become “more aware of our own bias and privilege” allow me to offer a different perspective. Critical Race Theory, the academic umbrella under which all such training is based, seeks to end racism with racism. Based on skin color and gross generalizations about white people, CRT relies on the same bigotry that it claims to abhor.
Despite obvious evidence of progress throughout our society, CRT teaches black people to believe that they remain victims of racism and white people through false narratives such as the 1619 Project. Indeed, CRT claims that whiteness itself is evidence enough of our implicit and unconscious bias. Despite the virtuous actions of the vast majority of whites in America such as: advocating for civil rights, hiring regardless of race, engaging in interracial relationships, welcoming non-white neighbors, holding in high esteem blacks in business, government, armed services, medicine, academia, media, sports and throughout pop culture, twice electing a black man president and articulating these values to our children, CRT claims to know the unspoken thoughts, and unconscious biases that live within us, which must be exorcised in an interminable “healing” process.
CRT is based on the myth of systemic racism despite volumes of evidence to the contrary. As Heather MacDonald wrote in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal shortly after riots broke out following the death of George Floyd:
“In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population. The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”
Nevertheless, CRT has created martyrs of George Floyd, Michael Brown, and many others who were not killed by alleged acts of racism but by their own poor choices and violent resistance to the police. However brutal the death of George Floyd was at the hands of Derek Chauvin, there was no evidence of racism on Chauvin’s part or the police department he worked for. Yet, a summer of riots in over 200 cities involving massive looting, billions of dollars of damage, and the loss of over two dozen lives resulted. These riots were not the reaction to police brutality but the false narrative of systemic racism.
Critical Race Theory, and its precursor affirmative action, relegate the presumed victims of systemic racism to long-term failure by artificially granting accommodations, quotas, money, and status, thereby robbing a class of people of their sense of personal responsibility and self-esteem. Imagine a first-year black kid at a university, accepted based on his skin color despite his under-performance academically. How would he and his peers look upon this accomplishment? How does this affect the view of the black student who earned her way in through actual achievement? How does she overcome the stigma that this system creates?
These same concerns apply to blacks once reaching the workplace. Below the surface naturally exist the questions of who achieved and who received accommodations. And, as Jason Riley discusses in Please Stop Helping Us, placing students and job seekers at higher levels than their ability suggests, actually exacerbates the failure rate. This is a pile of dirt we should not be creating.
Conversely, CRT rejects the values of hard work, achievement, merit, colorblindness, and assimilation into our shared culture. As a result, worthy non-black college applicants, job seekers, and professionals attempting to move up are intentionally overlooked in the name of equity. Not only does this illegally discriminate against people based on skin color but it reduces the quality of results from the positions now held by lower achievers. Highly technical positions in healthcare, R&D, and science, to name just a few fields, are now being filled by less capable people because of skin color. (I am, of course, not suggesting that all or most blacks are incapable of filling high professional positions.) Reducing the hiring standards of these important positions in the name of racial equity threatens the innovation and discovery we would otherwise hope would result by hiring the best and brightest among us, regardless of their skin color. Another pile of dirt.
Rather than indoctrinating people with training sessions on newly-defined terms like racial equity, white rage, white fragility, unconscious bias, and microaggression, we should be willing to discuss the root causes of the many hurdles facing black children growing up in fatherless homes and in crime-ridden cities across the country.
Furthermore, it is important to consider the roots of Critical Race Theory. An inquiring and open-minded person would see its alarming connections to Marxism as expressed by the founders of CRT, Black Lives Matter, and the academicians who support these movements. Where Marxism in America failed over the last one hundred years to attract the “proletariat” in a thriving middle class, today’s Marxists seek to overthrow capitalism through the divisiveness of identity politics and the reduction of the entire society to two classes: privileged/oppressor and victim/oppressed.
Naïve solutions like reimagining and defunding the police, reduced prosecution of crime, liberalized bail and reduced incarceration have only made matters worse. Crime is skyrocketing in cities across the country. We now find ourselves avoiding urban shopping districts. Drag racing on our streets and highways apparently no longer receives attention from the inert police. This is the “Ferguson Effect” where police are reluctant to do their job when another violent encounter deemed “racist” might result. Wave off these thoughts as conspiracy theories but those wishing to destroy America from within are enjoying witnessing the chaos.
In Exodus Chapter 33, following the crisis of the Golden Calf, God tells Moses, effectively: I’ll send an angel to help you but you’re on your own now. Moses pleads for God to reconsider in 33.16: “For how shall it be known that Your people have gained Your favor unless You go with us, so that we may be distinguished, Your people and I, from every people on the face of the earth?” The key point being that Jews like me are distinguished from all other people. Yet, here we Jews are, despite our many ethnicities, languages, customs, cultures, and histories within the Jewish people, being indoctrinated to believe that, based solely on the pigment of our skin, we are indistinguishable not only from each other but also from a 19th-century slave owner or the hooded, white supremacists of the early 20th century.
Critical Race Theory is the modern manifestation of the Golden Calf. It is a false idol built on godless myths that aims to replace our history with a new “truth”. CRT seeks to fundamentally change the world by subordinating common sense and wisdom, eliminating age-old societal structures such as the nuclear family, and establishing manmade ideologies of dubious authority and destructive intent. This is a very large pile of dirt!
Mrs. Tissenbaum was the adult on the cul-de-sac that needed to show me the foolishness of my street cleaning project. I pray there are adults willing to stand up to a destructive movement that is based on falsehoods, is making matters worse, and fails to confront the real problems facing blacks in America today.
Photo credit: Colin Grice (cropped) CC BY-SA 2.0 license
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