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Inoculating the Masses: What in the World is Critical Race Theory?

A comedian gave the following antic about having his fourth child: “Imagine you are drowning and then someone hands you a baby!” This dive into Critical Race Theory (CRT) makes me feel as if I’m drowning holding up two babies! The scope of its ideologies, implications, and impact on our society is broad and deep. CRT’s arm reaches beyond the discussion of race and delves deep into the bowels of what it means to be a follower of Christ. This article will provide an overview of its origin and explain the ideology’s intent and extent. Various sources are employed to unpack this theory, but please note that more work needs to be done. 

Honestly, I had heard about CRT vaguely in the past, but never before with such fervor and frequency as of late. The term Critical Race Theory has seeped into the mainstream discourse as the standard and means for solving all of the social issues regarding racial injustices. However, I have been cautious about adopting some of its terminologies and apprehensive as I notice the level of influence this theory seems to hold over both Christians and non-Christians alike. CRT takes various forms and often tries to elude concrete, definitive labels, but some common agreements among its proponents create a framework for evaluation.

So, what in the world is Critical Race Theory?

In the 1980s, in the halls of Harvard Law school, students became disillusioned and discouraged at a university’s stance regarding the replacement of a Black professor, Derrick Bell. Harvard did not respond to the students’ request for another Black professor. Instead, according to their critique, Harvard sought to employ professors that were with intellectual merit regardless of the color of their skin, which resulted in the hiring of more white professors. 

Secondly, the school eliminated classes around racial topics.[1] Though the students sought to express their opinions through sit-ins, protests, etc., Harvard remained steadfast in their decision, thereby creating a recipe in which the students began to formulate their coursework:

In the local Harvard confrontation, student organizers decided to boycott the mini-course offered by the administration and organized instead ‘The Alternative Course,’ a student-led continuation of [Derrick] Bell’s course which focused on American law through the prism of race.[2]

These alternative studies, ironically funded by whites,[3] birthed a theory and inspired a movement by Kimberle’ Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, Kendall Thomas, et al. Critical Race Theory developed into an intellectual legal movement theorized to evaluate legal precedence and the institutions that systematically oppress minorities. Minorites include people of color, women, poor, disabled, obese, and LGBTQ. The minority is any and every underrepresented group. CRT is an all encompassing theory that does not allow adherents to dissect its portions based on personal preference, it is an all or nothing commitment to this ideology!

Critiquing Prejudice 

In my 9th grade year, I attended a public school in Burbank, CA. My mother, a former editor of Brides Magazine and a writer, critiqued every paper I wrote, and I spent many hours, through lots of tears, rewriting my assignments. Nevertheless, it seemed that I was graded poorly on each submission, regardless of the quality. I never achieved a grade higher than a “C”. With her briefcase in hand, my mother scheduled a meeting with my English teacher. The teacher told my mother that the students in that class, all minorities, had smaller brains. In other words, my grade was indicative of my cognitive ability. Needless to say, my mom pulled me out of that class. I share this story because it’s essential to state that my critique of CRT is not founded upon a utopian view of the world. I, like many others, have experienced racist comments, bigoted remarks, prejudice critiques, and hurtful actions from all sorts of people. The difference is that the lens in which I evaluate the world isn’t based on the existence of racism, sexism, or any “ism”; instead, my worldview is through the lens of the existence of God, the inerrancy of Scripture, the establishment of the Church, and the expectation of Christ’s return. So, let’s be clear, CRT is not merely an evaluation of racism in America or globally, but a worldview that dogmatically demands that every citizen acquiesces to its ideology or risk being canceled by culture.  

Time to be “WOKE” 

CRT is a postmodern worldview

In the book Cynical Theories, secular authors Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay critique the CRT’s postmodern framework. CRT is a postmodern worldview that reflects the current conditions of the world while rejecting objective truth. Though Pluckrose admits that it does not adopt all postmodern’s ideologies, there are two points intricately tied into the theory’s development that have significant implications when practically applied. 

  • “The postmodern knowledge principle: Radical Skepticism about whether objective knowledge or truth is obtainable and commitment to cultural constructivism.
  • The postmodern political principle: A belief that society is formed of systems of power and hierarchies, which decide what can be known and how.”[4]

What does it mean for CRT to be a postmodern theory? Postmodernism rejects the idea of a theory-independent world/language-independent world. Reality, and race particularly, is socially constructed. The objective truth about God’s non-physical reality is true for Christians, but not necessarily for the postmodernist.[5]  It rejects the idea that racism is a heart condition and instead enforces it as a social construct.

CRT hates Whites

To be white is to be racist; therefore, whites must strive to be antiracists. Whites commit to being antiracists through a series of repentant processes and continual acknowledgment of their sin of being white.

A prominent proponent of CRT lays out the problem: 

  1. Racism is corporate as opposed to individual.
  2. Racism is America’s sin.
  3. Racism is connected only to whiteness.[6]

Response

  1. Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” 
  2. Proverbs 6:16-19 – “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Emphasis mine
  3. Webster’s Dictionary defines racism: a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.  

“According to UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs: ‘CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that the institutional racism is pervasive and the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.”[7] 

In other words, CRT states that the legal system reflects the oppressive ideals of what they call ‘whiteness’. To be white is to be inherently part of a system that grants privileges regardless if one is aware of the system. The highly debated topic about the idea of white privilege is rampant, but this is more than white privilege, it is white superiority that has created a system to function to one’s benefit. “Whiteness is not about your biology, it is about your ideology.”[8] It’s a logical fallacy of guilt by association. Even if you are white, obese, and poor, you are still considered classified under the category of ‘whiteness’. So if you are asking who is defined as white, well that is a good question.

CRT makes Blacks victims

Critical Race theory is guilty of victimizing minority groups. CRT race theory is not a champion for progress; instead, progress is shifting blame for every ill that plagues our communities on the system. CRT fails to acknowledge, in totality, the achievements of our ancestors, despite the oppressor. Randall Kennedy, a Critical Race Theory critic from Harvard University, “… believes that CRT scholars-or at least the three scholars he focuses on-are too much about ‘racial victimhood.’ To put it bluntly, Kennedy criticizes CRT scholars for playing, and overplaying, the race card.”[9] 

Critical Race theory fails to acknowledge the insurmountable challenges that heroes and ‘sheroes’ of our community overcame through perseverance, dedication, and hard work!

This includes inventors such as: Benjamin Banneker, Biddy Mason, Norbert Rillieux, Jan Earnst Matzeliger, Madame C.J. Walker, Elijah McCoy, Granville T. Woods, Lewis Howard Latimer, Garrett A. Morgan, Mae C. Jemison

This includes scientists such as: Katherine Johnson, Percy Lavon Julian, Lloyd A. Hall, Ernest Everett Just, Daniel Hale Williams, Stephanie Wilson, Louis Tompkins Wright, Charles Richard Drew, Dr. George Washington Book Carver. And the list goes on.

CRT fails to acknowledge other factors that contribute to disparities within Black communities.

Racial discrimination is not the only factor that continues to create disparities within our community. “Fifteen and a half million black babies have been aborted since 1973. That means abortion is the leading cause of death among black Americans.”[10] It’s a fact that there are a disproportionate number of Planned Parenthood clinics in minority neighborhoods in comparison to white neighborhoods. Former Planned Parenthood board member and founder of Black Californians for Life, Dr. La Verne Tolbert comments:

My study continued with a background check of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger. Her autobiography sits on the shelf of most public libraries. Sanger’s eugenics philosophy, sharpened by her ‘socialist friends, loves and comrades [who] were committed to eugenics as well,’ is clearly stated: the improvement of the race through controlled breeding.[11] 

Where is the outcry for the systematic destruction of Planned Parenthood in our community? There is none because it does not fit CRT’s narrative.

Lastly, if not CRT, then what? Biblical justice, not social justice.

“Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin alone” (Deut. 24:16, NASB).

Biblical justice is not turning a blind eye to injustices, nor is it choosing to ignore statistical data regarding race relations in our country. True change can only come when the Holy Spirit transforms the hearts and renews the minds of those in sin. Should we strive to be active in social reform? Of course! Should we advocate for those who do not have a voice? Of course! CRT is more than reform; it’s a revolution that changes the use of language to accomplish ideologies that are inconsistent with Scripture. 

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5, ESV).

The instrument that we use to bring down strongholds must be firmly planted in the inspired Word of God for sustainable healing. And CRT ain’t it!


Footnotes:

[1] Kimberle W. Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller, and Kendall Thomas, Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement (New York, NY: The New Press, 1995), xxi.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay, Cynical Theories: How activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity (Durham, NC: Pitchstone Publishing, 2020), 59.
[5] JP Moreland and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2003), 145.
[6] Voddie T. Baucham, Jr., Faultlines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe (Washington, D.C.: Salem Books, 2020), 82.
[7] Ibid., XV.
[8] Ibid., 70-71.
[9] Bennett Capers, “Critical Race Theory and Criminal Justice,” Ohio State University Journal of Criminal Law 12, no. 1 (2014): 1-7, accessed October 29, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/1811/73469
[10] Baucham, Faultlines, 174.
[11] La Verne Tolbert, Keeping You and Your Kids Sexually Pure: A How-To Guide for Parents, Pastors, Youth Workers, and Teachers (Xlibris Corporation, 2007), 105.


Disclaimer: All views expressed by those associated with this ministry or on our platforms do not necessarily represent the opinions of Women in Apologetics, Inc. or its individual team members.

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