REPORTER: Why are you casting your vote for this particular gubernatorial candidate?
VOTER: Because I’m against Critical Race Theory and I want him to ban it from our schools.
REPORTER: How would you define Critical Race Theory?
VOTER: (Pause) Well…uh… it is…uh… I’m against it whatever it is, that’s all!
REPORTER: How can you be against something that you cannot define?
VOTER: Because Critical Race Theory is communism, that’s why.
Chances are that I’ve never met the voter in the above exchange or the people hoisting “Stop Teaching CRT” posters. And probably never will.
But beyond skin color that separates most of them from yours truly, my hunch – no, scratch that -my experience is that we do have some things in common; in this instance, wanting the best for our offspring. They’re probably good, well-intentioned people, but where we diverge is when it comes to our histories; theirs very different from mine and less painful than mine. Sharing mine probably makes many of them uncomfortable. I get that.
Now as much as they’re apt to cry, rightly so, “I wasn’t born back when atrocities were done to African Americans,” I too can say that I was not alive during the early years of that history. Despite that, there’s no way that I can disconnect my history from the realities of today (enter the basis for CRT further down), and neither can they. Banning books on my history is wishful thinking.
Which brings us to today’s narrative,
You see, as hard as I’d like to cease writing about CRT, incidents keep popping up that make me keep broaching the topic. In still another one of my “Lord help us” moments, a recent video of the exchange above went viral of a man telling a reporter without a scintilla of evidence that CRT was the most crucial issue in the Virginia gubernatorial election leapfrogging, mine you, shootings, COVID and a sagging economy.
But it’s a good thing I didn’t hold my breath until someone finally produced hard evidence that CRT is being crammed down the throats of little Annie and her third-grade classmates. Had I done that I’d probably be pushing daisies, not the keys on my PC.
You see, CRT “cops” today have figured out how to couch any and everything they fear or unhappy with under the CRT umbrella and – voila! – elections are swayed, valuable books are banned and illiteracy spreads like a wildfire across the nation.
Blame is the name of the game. Today’s tactic is to blame everything bad on CRT. It’s just a matter of time before CRT is blamed for chronic hiccups, tooth decay, baby Billy’s diarrhea and even COVID-19. Just wait.
In fact, The Heritage Foundation attributed a whole host of issues to CRT, including the Black Lives Matter protests, LGBTQ clubs in schools, diversity training in federal agencies, ethnic studies curriculum, and the free-speech debate on college campuses.
But if the truth be told, from day one CRT got highjacked and converted to a slick tool to stoke fears on the blatantly and willfully uneducated about CRT and those stubbornly obstinate about its infiltration. Now short of a best-selling paperback “CRT For Dummies,” a concise definition will have to do.
Simply put, CRT states that racism is embedded in U.S. social institutions (e.g., criminal justice system, education system, labor market, housing market and healthcare system), which shape laws, regulations, rules, and procedures. The facts are the facts. The data is the data.
CRT is taught in graduate and law schools. And there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that something as complicated as CRT is being taught in elementary or high schools, none!
So why do some continue to cling to the beliefs to the contrary?
Now I am not a psychologist, but my humble opinion is that we’ve reached a point these days where some people desperately want something – anything – to blame and they’re susceptible to information that’s simply not true. And politicians, for example are more than happy to oblige them.
Proof positive is a Harvard-trained, ex-hedge fund billionaire who knows better actually promised to ban CRT in public schools if elected governor, an election he barely won. Interestingly it comes as no surprise that CRT, which was never taught in any school in his state, has since disappeared from his vocabulary.
Let’s circle back with a quote for the voter you read about at the outset and the “Stop CRT” poster hoisters who have become so prevalent: “Until the lions have their own histories, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter,” Chinua Achebe.
Now for those still believing in a CRT conspiracy, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you at a 50% discount.
© Terry Howard is a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The Douglas County Sentinel and The BlackMarket.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org