“Eventually, the public will recognize [Marxists'] ‘critical race fragility’ for what it is: a prickly refusal to submit one’s ideas to vigorous public debate, often characterized by projection, emotional flagellation, and poor argumentation. Against the critical race theorists, we have begun to marshal investigative reporting, lawsuits, legislation, and parental activism—all in defense of American principles.”
~ Christopher Rufo, Director of the Discovery Institute
What exactly is “Critical Race Theory”?
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a socially radical, myopically racist doctrine of disinformation that is primarily rooted in European Marxism. It is constructed around the singular belief that every component of American life and society can be viewed narrowly through the lens of one’s race. Critical Race Theory is emblematic of identity politics, a dangerous social-engineering tool wielded by Progressive Democrats to reconfigure the United States into a divided nation governed by warring racial groups, each with specialized claims toward victimization. CRT is antithetical to public and private trust and threatens to erode civic engagement. According to an educational toolkit provided by Heritage Action for America, Critical Race Theory originated from the philosophy of Critical Theory (CT), which grew out of the University of Frankfurt’s Institute of Social Research in the 1920’s and 30’s. The school was notable for being one of the first to mirror the Marx-Engels Institute’s Soviet brand of Western Marxism. In a 2015 essay my father, Professor Ellis Washington, analyzed the history of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory
The scholars at the Frankfurt Institute were forced to flee Russia over fear of the Nazi purge during World War II, erasing the word “Marxism” from their published papers while making asylum at Columbia University in New York, an Ivy League school of which has largely absorbed the Marxist indoctrination from scholars inspired by the Marx-Engels school of thought. In practice, Critical Theory was conceived to be a relentless assault on Western institutions (particularly in America) and traditional values in order to eradicate any opposition. CT built upon the established lies contained in the work of Marxist-Socialist philosophers such as, Georg Friedrich Hegel, his greatest disciple Karl Marx, and the father of nihilism – Friedrich Nietzsche. Critical Theory formally evolved into Critical Race Theory in the 1970’s and 80’s, building on the existing misperception and illusion of an American society governed by a class of dominant White oppressors and a perilous caste of oppressed minorities who suffer under the perceived tyranny of capitalism. Heritage Action’s toolkit provides three of the primary tenets that govern the understanding of Critical Race Theory:
- There is no absolute truth —only competing narratives. It sees “lived experiences” as mattering more than facts.
- Individuals are either an oppressor or victim. You are predetermined by immutable characteristics such as race to fall into either category. Culture is defined by groups exercising power over each other.
- America is systemically racist and must be dismantled. It sees America as having been founded on the system of capitalism, which is racist, and therefore must be disrupted.
Critical Race Theory’s corrosive influence on education and government
Critical Race Theory as devolved into one of the most controversial social and educational phenomena of 2021. It has emerged into a primary source of promotable debate among left-wing media networks, many liberal pundits of which have endorsed the idea of using tax-payer funding to sustain the teaching of Critical Race Theory in America’s public school system. More conservative-leaning news networks like Fox News and OAN have displayed a consistent rebuke to Critical Race Theory as imposing a radically Marxist indoctrination curriculum on the minds of young children. And Governors like Ron DeSantis have made great strides to expose CRT as promoting anti-American sentiment and pro-racism views against White people that must not and will not be tolerated in his state of Florida, prompting its state-wide ban of teaching in public schools. Such radicalized and vitriolic curriculum was expressly barred from his newly unveiled $106 million Florida civics curriculum, as Governor DeSantis stated in March, “Florida civics curriculum will incorporate foundational concepts with the best materials, and it will expressly exclude unsanctioned narratives like critical race theory and other unsubstantiated theories.”
Critical Race Theory encompasses a host of misinformed notions governing race relations and a disrespect for America’s founding principles. On the national level, President Trump elevated the issue of Critical Race Theory as representing an intolerably despicable assault against traditional American history, prompting him to pass an executive order last year banning White Privilege and CRT-based federal training programs (aka “racial sensitivity” programs) from the federal government. The ban was imposed upon all federal agencies, asserting that there should be no program that promotes falsehoods of America being an inherently racist country or that any race is inherently racist by nature. This, following a wave of anti-White sentiment sprouted by various proponents of Critical Race Theory pushing lies of systemic racism that ordained a non-existent hierarchy of White Supremacy in the U.S., and the imposition of White guilt via race-based trainings by Marxist-indoctrinated colleges and various American companies like Lockheed Martin.
Christopher Rufo, the Director of the Discovery Institute and a Contributing Editor of Manhattan Institute’s urban affairs magazine, City Journal, has been one of the primary figures instrumental in exposing the ugly truth behind what Critical Race Theory teaches. His portrayal of CRT as a Marxist, racist-infused miseducation curriculum on social media largely inspired President Trump’s decision to purge its toxic programs across all federal agencies. In a September 2020 interview with Tucker Carlson, Rufo provides a brilliant expose of how CRT is foundationally rooted in the tenets of Marxism, promoting class warfare and racial division among the perceivably oppressed class of citizens (Black Americans) against the historically dominant oppressor class of citizens (White Americans). Rufo specifically exposed this Marxist doctrine of Critical Race Theory within weekly seminars hosted by the FBI weekly, lecturing on intersectionality¬¬—a far-left academic theory—which, as Rufo explains “reduces people to a network of racial, gender, and sexual orientation identities that intersect in complex ways and determine whether you are an oppressor or oppressed.”
Prominent scientific centers, including Sandia National laboratory, known for helping produce America’s unmatched nuclear arsenal, has gone so far as to send its employees away on a 3-day re-education camp to “deconstruct their white male culture”. Such a radicalized method of indoctrination is symbolic of the slightly more severe forms of propagandization imposed by the Nazi regime on the Jews and various subordinate races deemed inferior; the primary difference being that in modern day, the concept of “Whiteness” is actively demonized by Critical Race theorists, whereas the status of being a White Aaryan was perceived to be dominant and all other classes of people were demonized, and thus re-educated to deconstruct their individual sense of worth and purpose. Additionally, Rufo exposes the dangerous trend of “diversity and inclusion” centers in public and private entities promoting the concepts of universal inclusion and equality of all races, but in practice producing an ideologically discriminatory environment that censors and excludes those with views contrary to the governing Progressive dynamic that imposes CRT doctrines.
To this, Rufo explains that the Critical Race Theory scourge within the federal government first began “in 2011 with an Obama executive order mandating diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the federal government. They've created these offices of diversity and inclusion who ostensibly are supporting greater diversity, but in practice, according to sources throughout the federal government, serve as almost internal intelligence services to perpetuate this ideology and to root out conservative ideas and ultimately purge conservative employees.”
Expanding upon Rufo’s well stated point, the purge of conservative ideas by CRT is not confined to merely the federal services, but perhaps more extreme forms can be traced to the diversity and inclusion efforts of American colleges and universities, where virtually every conservative academic is either silenced or withheld from the faculty of a predominantly liberal (and in many cases of elite institutions, extremely liberal) educational environment fostering a diversity of skin color and not a true diversity of thought or critical thinking.
The reality behind Critical Race Theory’s Marxist roots
Christopher Rufo recently wrote an informative article for City Journal, exposing the fragility of Critical Race Theory dogmas, while providing a vivid critique of the many negative connotations associated with Critical Race Theory and the toxic misinformation lies that it promotes. Rufo acknowledges that CRT proponents have enjoyed notable success in promoting their many falsehoods—systemic racism, unconscious bias, white privilege, white guilt—over the past decade largely because conservatives have been ignorant or dismissive of the danger that such an ideology poises upon American institutions. Emerging in public schools and universities, CRT has spread like an ideological virus to infect sectors of government, intelligence agencies, and multinational corporations.
Since 2020, Rufo and other investigative journalists have actively exposed the negative effects of Critical Race Theory and its demonization of the American founding, alleging that America was established by racists, and promotion of the lies of institutional racism permeating America’s institutions to place Whites above Blacks. States like Florida, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have introduced legislation that targets and bans Critical Race Theory propaganda from being taught in public schools, excluding such disingenuous notions as “race essentialism, collective guilt, and race-based harassment”. The shift against CRT ideals has initiated as conservatives rightfully assess the severities of such Marxist ideals upon society when left unbound. And proponents against Critical Race Theory have many political and legal arguments to justify its ban, as the Fourteenth Amendment essentially overrides First Amendment privileges utilized by corporations and universities seeking to employ CRT via policies and programs that advance discrimination toward Whites, unequal preference toward minority groups, racial stereotyping, and harassment.
Rufo poises an excellent statement of crisis for CRT proponents at the core of his article when stating, “the real test for intellectuals on the left is not to defend their ideas as abstractions but to defend the real-world consequences of their ideas.” By this, Rufo argues that Critical Race Theorists spend a great deal of time and energy promoting their false slew of anti-American and anti-White ideals, without assessing or defending the impact of such notions on the primary recipients of CRT programs. In other words, they are unable to justify the unworkable insanity that is inherent within Critical Race Theory.
Some of the many disturbing examples of Critical Race Theory that liberals refuse to acknowledge are the support of public schools forcing first-graders to deconstruct young kids’ racial and sexual identities, while subsequently rating the kids according to their “power and privilege”, based on their racial makeup. CRT theorists also refuse to answer whether they support a curriculum that teaches that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism”, merely for their existence as a White citizen in America. The terrifying new normal emerging among Progressive Liberal scholars, policymakers, and business leaders is that racism is only wrong and evil when perpetuated against members of the Black, Latino, and Native American communities, but is permissible or excusable when targeted at members of the White and Asian communities. In concluding his article, Rufo is optimistic of the growing momentum to expose and terminate Critical Race Theory, purging its teachings from every educational facet of American society when enough people are aware of its veiled evils and falsehoods,
“Eventually, the public will recognize their ‘critical race fragility’ for what it is: a prickly refusal to submit one’s ideas to vigorous public debate, often characterized by projection, emotional flagellation, and poor argumentation. Against the critical race theorists, we have begun to marshal investigative reporting, lawsuits, legislation, and parental activism—all in defense of American principles.”
In December 2020, Jason Riley, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, held an insightful panel discussion on Critical Race Theory with Rufo and several prominent scholars who have devoted much of their work to the study race-relations in America, including Professor Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law (who my father studied under at Harvard Law School with Barack Obama ) and Dr. Ralph Richard Banks, Professor of at Stanford Law School.
Closing the curtain on Critical Race Theory
In concluding, Critical Race Theory presents a dangerous threat to American values and poises a radically Marxist revisionist philosophy that is grounded in class warfare, fictitious racial stigmas, and an embrace of fluidity over facts. Americans must boldly reject the current Critical Race Theory trend and speak out against its incorporation in the federal government, tax-payer funded schools, public universities, and corporations. The Free Enterprise Project (FEP) reminds those every-day Americans possessing a stock in a major company can utilize their proxy vote in opposition to a CEO or other leadership figure in that corporation seeks to impose Critical Race Theory curriculum into the policies of the company or onto its employees.
As Christopher Rufo explained in his City Journal piece, the more conservatives rise up and speak out against the lies and misinformation proposed by Critical Race Theorists, the greater the pressure will be for these programs to be properly discarded or dismissed entirely from university curriculum, government policies, and corporate trainings. When properly challenged, most of the proponents of Critical Race Theory have proven to be either too cowardly or simply unable to defend the content of behind their ideas. This opening of attack against CRT should not be taken for granted, as every proud citizen who stands against the core tenets that CRT promotes—racism, class conflict, and denial of traditional American values—should voice their irrefutable rejection whenever their legislator, University Professor/Administrator, corporate staff member etc., seeks to enforce Critical Race Theory onto the unsuspecting public. 2021 should be the year that the curtains are finally closed upon the destructive falsehoods and toxic philosophy that defines Critical Race Theory once and for all, putting an end to the nearly 100-year Marxist history that CRT has enjoyed, since it was initially conceived within the infamous halls of the Frankfurt Institute.
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.