Critical Race Theory - Someone (liberal) please explain


Fether

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I know politics were banned for a while on this thread during the election, I double-checked the forum rules and it states "Third Hour will allow political discussion, also long as all posts remain neutral with respect to partisan politics and candidate campaigns for public office." If there is still some sort of temporary ban on it, then feel free to lock this thread.



Longshot here, because I know most of this forum is conservative.

I have heard the whole explanation from conservative sources in the news, PragerU, and other right leaning sources. I have looked up and listened to the pro-CRT views on it as well. What I have found frustrating is that I can't find any pro-CRT source that shares examples of what CRT would look like in schools and in life.  As a theory, I am all for questioning whether laws or systems in our government and business have inherently racist grounds, but all the examples I have seen come from conservative sources and they start with the basis that everything you do is racist and there is nothing we can do about that. That is not something I cannot get behind.

So... and pro-CRT brave enough to share what CRT would look like in action, I would love to hear. Or maybe someone can share a link to a pro-CRT source that shows what it would look like in action.

I would also ask conservatives that may feel the need to be snotty or rude (no matter how justified in it you may feel) to not be. I genuinely want to hear an answer before this thread gets shut down.

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As a teacher, I am not a fan of CRT in schools.

And a big part of that is because no one has the slightest idea what it would look like.

I have seen reports of what CRT looks like in university. I disagree with the information in said reports, but I also figure adults in university can teach what they want. There does seem to be a lot of socialism and absolutes when it comes to race. Could those reports be solitary examples of a few classes? Sure.

Then people start marketing it toward kids... with no clear examples of just what is going to be taught. A lot of feel-good ideologies are bantered about that could just as easily be "be nice to others!" rather than any tangible criticism or actual curriculum.

What is being taught? What do we want taught? 

We need a real and true example before I'll consider it.

And at that point, what are we going to move in the required curriculum to fit this in? 

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The core idea is that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

Quote

Critical race theory is a study in academia based on the concepts of systemic and institutional racism. Systemic racism refers to how the government has discriminated against Black, Indigenous and other people of color through unjust policies concerning housing, employment, criminal justice, education and more.

These are the definitions as given in the articles.  And this is about as good as it gets.

These definitions can actually have some beneficial educational applications.  And I'd applaud it if that were the way it is applied.

The reality of how it has been applied is somewhat different.

1) I believe that the history of this country certainly shows rampant examples of systemic racism.  I don't know if anyone could disagree with that statement if one knows history.
2) I believe that we've made HUGE strides in eliminating these vestiges from our legal system.  I don't know if anyone could disagree with that statement if one knows history.
3) I believe we cannot completely get rid of ANY stupid behavior (yes, racism is stupid.  I said it.) among humanity just like we cannot completely get rid of crime.  We keep it to a minimum and do the best we can to deal with the minimum, just deal with it as best we can.

Question: Are we about as good as any flawed, mortal system is ever going to get?  

???

The reason why we can't give clear definitions of what it would look like in schools is that it has indeed been applied differently from location to location and from teacher to teacher.  There really isn't any clear definition.  It is just the "general idea" that "systemic racism exists".  The "what do we do about that" is left out of "official definitions" because part of the strategy of implementation is to allow the imagination to run wild.  And that is where things can get weird depending on the specifics of policy and the notions of teachers and  other individuals.

It could be as simple as "raising awareness" and let people know, "No, belittling someone because of their race is not acceptable" to "kill any white person you see in your neighborhood" (yes, that has happened because of CRT).  

With that wide range, one would think that people should be responsible for their own interpretations. Yes.  But it is interesting how much people have their interpretations "steered" by people who don't say much.

What do you think is the likely emotional response to people being told "There is nothing you can do.  This oppression will always be over your head.  And THOSE guys are responsible"?  If you teach it so that someone absolutely believes that, what is the natural reaction?  No manipulation there.

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1 hour ago, Backroads said:

As a teacher, I am not a fan of CRT in schools.

And a big part of that is because no one has the slightest idea what it would look like.

I have seen reports of what CRT looks like in university. I disagree with the information in said reports, but I also figure adults in university can teach what they want. There does seem to be a lot of socialism and absolutes when it comes to race. Could those reports be solitary examples of a few classes? Sure.

Then people start marketing it toward kids... with no clear examples of just what is going to be taught. A lot of feel-good ideologies are bantered about that could just as easily be "be nice to others!" rather than any tangible criticism or actual curriculum.

What is being taught? What do we want taught? 

We need a real and true example before I'll consider it.

And at that point, what are we going to move in the required curriculum to fit this in? 

This is literally where I am at and it is very annoying. The theology example is the country is was built of slavery and to systemically value whites (which I can get behind. All men created equal... yet slavery is still ok? Voting rights only for white males who own land? The idea of equal but separate?) and that we ought to question our systems to see if there are prejudices in our organizations. I can get behind that. If the premise is "there may be racist policies or beliefs you have so let's question everything" then sure. But if the premise is "everything and everyone is racist and there is nothing we can do about it" then keep that garbage away.

The only people talking about the application are those that are against it. I want desperately to see what the actual theorists say the application would look like. I'm willing to make room for it, but not till lines have been drawn on how far it can go in the classrooms.

I am going to read through some of the links above and I hope to find something.

Edited by Fether
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1 hour ago, NeedleinA said:

This 15 year old shares some insight on what CRT looks like at his school.

 

I would want to hear comments from actual theorists as to how this lines up with what they are trying to do with their movement. If it is, I know where I stand. If it isn't, I want to know what it is they are trying to get through.

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43 minutes ago, Fether said:

I would want to hear comments from actual theorists as to how this lines up with what they are trying to do with their movement. If it is, I know where I stand. If it isn't, I want to know what it is they are trying to get through.

Do you think it matters what they say they are trying to do with their movement?   Isn't what is actually being done with their movement more important?  After all, once the bus leaves the station it really isn't "their" movement anymore.

Edited by Grunt
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2 hours ago, Grunt said:

Do you think it matters what they say they are trying to do with their movement?   Isn't what is actually being done with their movement more important?  After all, once the bus leaves the station it really isn't "their" movement anymore.

I agree completely and I have come to that conclusion. No matter how softly it is spun, there will always be some that declare my child is evil because he is white.

I just want to be able to have a conversation about it and explain to others where I may agree and why I oppose it still. That way it’s not just a yes or no argument.

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6 hours ago, Fether said:

I just want to be able to have a conversation about it and explain to others where I may agree and why I oppose it still. That way it’s not just a yes or no argument.

In that case you might not want to use the dreaded "critical race theory" phrase. For starters (as you observed) it seems that those that accuse others of CRT sometimes use a different definition than their targets. And it's picked up such a negative connotation that is quickly denied.

Isn't that how it typically goes? Academia coin a term and then lay people apply that label on some other group who don't appreciate outsiders classifying them? (Latter-day Saints are polytheists -no wait, henotheists; That church over there uses "replacement theology", and that's bad).

Anyway, here in Loudoun County the superintendent didn't like all the hullaballoo around CRT so he released a statement making it very clear that it wasn't being used or taught.

Quote

The professional development offered to LCPS employees explores issues that have traditionally been ignored in professional development. It asks employees to examine their own personal biases and how they might affect student instruction and interactions with the community. Concepts such as white supremacy and systemic racism are discussed during professional development. LCPS has not adopted Critical Race Theory as a framework for staff to adhere to. Social media rumors that staff members have been disciplined or fired for not adhering to the tenets of Critical Race Theory or for refusing to teach this theory are not true.

The rest of the letter focuses on the district's equity work. So if you're looking for a conversation, I would start there. Does your school or workplace have an equity problem? What steps are being taken to address it? What sort of training or framework is in place to support equity? What are the underlying assumptions in these initiatives?

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This is what concerns me whenever I hear CRT, and it even more concerns me when people seek to promote it (skip to 45 seconds and goes to 1:30 seconds). I have mentioned this before. My oldest went to a symposium at UVU where he was specifically told that because he is "white/caucasian" he is racist. It doesn't matter how you feel, what your actions say, if you are white you are racist.

 

Edited by Anddenex
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7 hours ago, mordorbund said:

In that case you might not want to use the dreaded "critical race theory" phrase. For starters (as you observed) it seems that those that accuse others of CRT sometimes use a different definition than their targets. And it's picked up such a negative connotation that is quickly denied.

Isn't that how it typically goes? Academia coin a term and then lay people apply that label on some other group who don't appreciate outsiders classifying them? (Latter-day Saints are polytheists -no wait, henotheists; That church over there uses "replacement theology", and that's bad).

Anyway, here in Loudoun County the superintendent didn't like all the hullaballoo around CRT so he released a statement making it very clear that it wasn't being used or taught.

The rest of the letter focuses on the district's equity work. So if you're looking for a conversation, I would start there. Does your school or workplace have an equity problem? What steps are being taken to address it? What sort of training or framework is in place to support equity? What are the underlying assumptions in these initiatives?

This is exactly why I want to know what true CRT looks like in action and not a misinterpreted example of it. I want to be able to point to exactly what it is and what it isn't. I am not looking to jump into the social movement and try to get everyone to realize what it really is (this would be utterly pointless), I just genuinely want to know what it looks like in action when applied by the actual creaters of it.

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This is a no brainer. If you need to know the definition, just go to the University of Oklahoma. They will make sure you learn it, and nothing else.

https://www.thefire.org/stop-talking-right-now-university-of-oklahoma-training-shows-instructors-how-to-censor-indoctrinate-students

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I can’t give the sort of answer the OP requests, but I will point out that the Utah legislature recently passed HR 901.  The resolution expresses concerns about CRT, but substantively limits its restriction against the adoption of CRT in schools (“recommendations”, really) to the following:

        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives strongly recommends that the Utah State Board of Education review standards for curriculum and ensure that the following concepts are not included in the curriculum standards:
          ▸     that one race is inherently superior or inferior to another race;
          ▸     that an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the individual's race; or
          ▸     that an individual's moral character is determined by the individual's race.

The weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that this resolution elicited from the usual suspects, leads me to conclude that CRT is basically a pretext for impending Maoist-type “struggle sessions”—or worse.

You may not be interested in the race hustlers, but they are very interested in you.  

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10 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

The weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth that this resolution elicited from the usual suspects, leads me to conclude that CRT is basically a pretext for impending Maoist-type “struggle sessions”—or worse.

To be fair, I see a lot of “weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth” coming from all sides lately. It seems that those on the hard right and hard left can’t go 24 hours without being outraged and shocked about something. CRT is just the latest thing. In two weeks, it’ll be something else. Guarantee it. 

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The first step that must be taken by any individual racists promoting their brand of racism - is to convince themselves and others that the human society can (ought to or must) be divided into categories based on nothing other than race.

 

The Traveler

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1 minute ago, Carborendum said:

I'm not sure of your intent here.  Do you mean that in two weeks, CRT will be all but forgotten?  Or just that "yet another thing" will be the hot topic?

Oh, I’m sure people will still be outraged by this in two weeks. Eventually though it’ll be forgotten and people will rage against something else. It’s a non stop cycle. 
 

It’s also self serving rubbish, for the most part.  The left shows their outrage to let their hipster, urban friends know how down they are with the latest social cause. The right does it to show their neighbors how moral and righteous they are. Both sides are too wrapped in moral fervor to be able to engage in self critique or to see how silly they look to the rest of us. 

The reality is that’s physically/mentally impossible to be angry and outraged all the time. You’d have a stroke before breakfast. It’s faux outrage from everyone when you dig deeper. 
 

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15 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

"Strongly recommends"?  So, this is a bill with no teeth?  Shomanship with zero impact?  I was all excited for Utah, now I'm wondering...

I *believe* (but am not positive) that the Utah legislature’s authority to impose curriculum standards is somewhat limited; the state board of education is theoretically independent and has more authority in these kinds of issues.

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2 hours ago, LDSGator said:

The reality is that’s physically/mentally impossible to be angry and outraged all the time. You’d have a stroke before breakfast. 

Nonsense.  I'm outraged all the time, and I make it all the way to afternoon tea before I have my first stroke of the day.  Oh, wait.  You weren't talking about golf?  Dang it.

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A couple thoughts - I recently saw a headline about leaked documents from the Iowa school system and what teachers are forced to classify as racist thanks to CRT. You might want to google it.

My other thought - Years ago, a RS teacher shared a quote from Ezra Taft Benson saying that in the last days, most would be teaching their kids at home (I've looked for the quote from time to time and haven't found it yet). Anyway, how much nonsense does there need to be before parents finally say enough and pull their kids out for good whether it's crt, violence, bullying, lack of morality in the halls, etc?

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