According to Critical Race Theory, “racism is ordinary, not aberrational—‘normal science,’ the usual way society does business, the common, everyday experience of most people of color in this country” (Delgado and Stefancic, 2001, p. 7). Its advocates call this belief “systemic racism,” and Critical Race Theory is the “study” of this so-called systemic racism, if by “study” we mean “treasure hunt to find racism in everything.”
Consequently, according to Critical Race Theorists, virtually everything anyone can imagine is racist. The names of some birds and fish are racist, according to Critical Race Theory. Math is racist, especially if we care about getting the right answers, according to Critical Race Theory. A rock on University of Wisconsin, Madison, campus property is racist, according to Critical Race Theory. Schools, government institutions, businesses, classical music, Beethoven specifically, art, hiking, going outside, the pandemic, rock climbing, jogging, conservatism and all conservatives, the curriculum in any school and its books, black people who don’t agree with Critical Race Theory, logic, loyalty, punctuality, hard work, merit—these are all part of the “system” of racism that this neo-Marxian Theory “interrogates” for its hidden racism. Even being “less racist” or “not racist” and desegregating schools via Brown v. Board of Education is racist, according to Critical Race Theory. In fact, it was in those two phenomena that Critical Race Theory started.
In that it’s a neo-Marxist Theory that demands to be understood only in its own predefined terms, however, perhaps it is best to consider what Critical Race Theory is really all about by taking the advice of some of its philosophical forebears. In One-Dimensional Man (1964), the neo-Marxist Herbert Marcuse explains, presaging the poststructuralist Jackie Derrida, that the motivating energy for a movement rooted in (Hegelian) “negative thinking” comes from what isn’t there more than what is. The absence haunts the movement and, ultimately, gives it its motivating energy and will. He, of course, meant the (absence of the) liberated Utopia—Communism, when it finally works—that “specter of Marx” that also animated Derrida, though less manically, in the 1990s. Thus, perhaps we can learn more about what “systemic racism” is about by taking some examples of what isn’t systemically racist, even though it plainly is (by their definition).
A glaring example of systemic racism-that-isn’t arises in the willful discrimination against meritorious Asian-Americans in American colleges and universities and other schools. This blatant exception to the rule of systemic racism not only exists but was defended against termination by nearly every Senate Democrat in a party-line vote in April when Ted Cruz attempted to add a provision in the “Stop Asian Hate” bill that would finally prohibit it. But, of course, Asian-Americans are a paradoxical minority. They’re white-adjacent, which is systemically racist.
There’s also the obvious case of the disproportionate impact (this being the proof that systemic racism is occurring) the riots, looting, arson, chaos, and subsequent “defund the police” initiatives had on black and Latino neighborhoods in our cities, costing many hundreds of black and other lives and billions in property damage and theft. “Whiteness is property,” we were told in apparent justification of all this mayhem, and the police are systemically racist. Somehow, though, encouraging these disastrous behaviors and policies doesn’t qualify as “systemic racism” despite the definition because they were protests for “justice,” which is supposed to be “uncomfortable.”
Another less obvious example of systemic racism-that-isn’t follows the eviction moratorium, which was just reinstated unconstitutionally by administrative decree. Brown and black landlords, who tend to run smaller operations and own fewer rental properties, are disproportionately affected and far more likely to lose their livelihoods and property as foreclosures loom. This policy, which benefits interests like BlackRock (with its deep ties to the administration and major international NGOs who also claim to care about “systemic racism” in everything else), is not “systemically racist,” however.
Perhaps the most interesting example of a haunting absence from the “systemic racism” appellation, though, is in yet another no-brainer that anyone can see as plainly as day: vaccine passports. The irony here is almost delicious, in fact. After sowing rampant distrust by naming the pandemic itself racist, racism as a public health threat, and our own government and healthcare system as racist for years on end, blacks and Latinos are disproportionately less vaccinated than members of most other races. Vaccine passports are then proposed as the newest false solution to the pandemic. Their implementation would, of course, create a (systemically racist) mechanism by which the disproportionately black and Latino unvaccinated population (against COVID-19, specifically, to be clear) will be excluded from full participation in the basic functions of society: public transportation, restaurants, shopping establishments, and, in many cases, employment opportunities. These groups will disproportionately bear the brunt of this discriminatory policy unless their members let the allegedly systemically racist government inject them with undertested vaccines and sign them up for a program that clearly hands over even more control over their lives to said systemically racist government. This is precisely the kind of policy that Critical Race Theorists would normally go berserk about—and for once for good reason. Unlike the boulder in Madison, the vax pass meets Ibram X. Kendi’s brilliant definition of racism almost perfectly: “A collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity that are substantiated by racist ideas.”
Not only do we have silence about the fact of this blatant problem in the vaccine passport program being ignored by those who should be raising a clamor about it, however. At least one social media giant, all of which have shown themselves to do whatever misfeasance they can within their power—mostly censorious—to support the radical Leftist agenda of the day, actively suppresses this fact (for mere narrative it is not). Mememakers of the world rapidly seized upon the opportunity to point out that vaccine passports are systemically racist according to the Critical Race Theory definition employed by our federal government in its “equity” programs, making a series of scathing satirical memes depicting black individuals in dismay with verbiage talking about how they were discriminated against by the implementation of vaccine passports. Twitter responded by locking and suspending accounts that shared the memes and forcing the tweets to be deleted (my own was locked four times in a week). The justification: the memes were said to spread misleading information about COVID-19, which they did not. Those who challenged the bans were told by Twitter that they had “made a mistake,” but the fact remains: Twitter used its ill-gotten power to censor “misleading information about COVID-19” to censor political opinions and satire that are inconvenient to the radical Leftist agenda in which they are taking part. (Note well: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave Kendi $10 million in July of 2020 to support his “anti-racism” program at Boston University, so one would presume Twitter cares deeply about and could spot systemic racism where it is actually occurring.)
There is, of course, a pattern to these exceptions to the everything-is-racist rule of Critical Race Theory: they’re all power-seizing Leftist agendas. This is the rub in Kendi’s brilliant definition—ideas they declare to be anti-racist, not racist, substantiate their own policies and power grabs, and that suddenly justifies intent over impact for them. It is now glaringly obvious that critics of the Left and Critical Race Theory have been right all along: Critical Race Theory and the broader Leftist agenda making use of it are not serious endeavors; they’re tools for seizing power, cynically applied. It is perfectly obvious at this point that these radical Leftist ideologies care little or not at all about “black lives” or anything to do with the racial groups Critical Race Theory brands “marginalized” and “minoritized.” They only care about their own power and how they might get more of it by using the disproportionalities of society as a wedge and a lever. This means they’re also using the people they attach to those disproportionate outcomes and count as “systemic racism” when it’s convenient to them and ignore when it isn’t.
A response is necessary, and the shape of that response is obvious. Figures like Ibram X. Kendi, Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who vigorously championed the eviction moratorium extension), Jen Psaki speaking for Biden as White House Press Secretary, and pro-CRT media talking heads like Joy-Ann Reid, Don Lemon, and Marc Lamont Hill should all be asked to comment on why systemic racism is acceptable for agendas they support and intolerable even in the mundane (rocks are literally of the Earth). Why is systemic racism not only tolerable but necessary for articles of the corrupt radical Leftist agenda? Do they believe vaccine passports are systemically racist? If so, how can they justify them against the rest of their beliefs? If not, what does the term “systemically racist” even mean?
The point isn’t to catch these people out. They will have answers, of course, however unsatisfactory. The point is to show the public that, like so much else in their repressive order, the label “systemic racism” is just another arbitrary tool, another potent bit of calculated rhetorical malice, by which they might effect their intended ends. Thereby, the absence of genuine meaning in the concept might tell us everything we need to know about it, and the bigger the audience who sees it, the better.
Well said James! As usual.
What is “neo-Marxism” and what does it have to do with Marx?
“Twitter used its ill-gotten power to censor “misleading information about COVID-19” to censor political opinions and satire that are inconvenient to the radical Leftist agenda in which they are taking part.”
Nooo! No, no, no! Someone suggested that this post was more about you grinding and axe against Twitter for censoring you than it is about CRT. Even though Twitter censoring you has a lot to do with CRT.
Twitter, first and foremost is a business, it exists for the bottom line and its raison d’etre is to make money. Ideally it wants as many customers as possible saying as many varied things as possible.
Of course, there have always been laws limiting what people can post on Twitter that it has, theoretically been obligated to since day 1. But of late people have started demanding Twitter be ‘responsible’, in what it allows to be posted not simple consigning its self to remove things against its site policies because there’s probably a corresponding law but actually pre-emptively removing things that might cause offense or harm or are otherwise reckless and dangerous
And tyrannically minded governments, those who actually have got power and are determined to keep and increase it have stepped in supposedly acting on the desire of the people and have threatened to strongly regulate Twitter and other Social Media platforms if they don’t act ‘responsibly’ (as determined by the government). Breaches will likely lead to heavy fines and loss of money so the government has taken control of the bottom line and thus the business.
Social Media controlled, regulated and censored by the government. What a monstrous idea and terrible for democracy. But of governments don’t really care for democracy, it means giving away power which they don’t like doing. So they contrive ways of giving away as little as possible at any given time, wielding as much as they can, whenever they can and controlling as many of the mouthpieces of society as they can (which often means letting those mouthpieces control them). Obviously they want control over what people can say on Twitter it makes it that much harder to say anything they don’t want to be said.
Twitter isn’t an instrument with ill-gotten power, rather it’s a hijacked mouthpiece. If Twitter had actually got power people on it’s platform could say pretty much what they like, when they like, about whoever they like. Instead they’re all twitchy about being censured by woke know-it-all’s and government regulation so have let themselves be cowed. Remember CRT controls Twitter (like so much else) Twitter does not control CRT.
Here’s a canned comment that fits the proposition at the end of the essay:
Vaclac Havel’s essay “The Power of the Powerless” (1977) comes to mind. What I get from that essay is: When everyone knows the system is a joke, and everyone knows that everyone knows that the system is a joke, then the system becomes susceptible to collapse. It’s just a matter of flipping a coin on any given day.
So, yes. Point the obvious. And make fun of these people. Let /everyone/ else know that you know that the system is a joke.
I agree with most of this article as well as with the conclusions, but I don’t think the vaccines are a good example, nor do I think it’s a good idea to integrate the fight against CRT with the fight against the vaccines (or their enforcement).
Even if POC are disproportionately under-vaccinated, their vaccination status is not derived from their color, nor is it derived from any kind of historic injustice. Every POC can decide to get vaccinated *tomorrow*; nothing prevents them from doing that.
Whether “green passport” is a good idea or not or constitutional or not is a different question, which is not directly related to race or CRT (e.g. it also comes up in other countries that don’t have these problems… yet). I think it would be wise to let this website focus solely on fighting Wokeness and CRT and leave the vaccination controversies to other outlets…
The vaccine passports are fitting because that is the logic *they* use to identify racism: if disproportionate *outcome* is seen then that proves racism. Examples: incarceration rates; police shootings; home loans and home ownership; etc. They never provide any evidence those disparities are caused by racism, the outcome presumably proves it. But with vaccine passports the racial disparity in vaccination rates were already known when the social restrictions were put in place, so you can bet if the CRT crowd didn’t like vaccines or didn’t care about them they would be screaming Systemic Racism right now.
So, the vaccine passport argument isn’t persuasive for you or me, but CRT people won’t have a leg to stand on when confronted by it. If they try to argue the disparity is just an unfortunate byproduct of a non-racist action, then that undermines the entire CRT industry.
Right, but in all the other issues you listed: incarceration rates, police shootings, home loans, and home ownership – POC can be portrayed as a passive party.
If we assume for a second that there is systemic racism that causes bias in court, police, and bankers’ minds – then supposedly a specific individual black person can do nothing to escape it.
With vaccines – I believe that no one would actually claim that a black person can’t get vaccinated tomorrow and become a green passport holder if they decide to. The same can’t be said about getting a house loan.
Maybe a better comparison would be the so-called “racist” voting laws that require a person to get an ID. Any black person could go out tomorrow and get an ID, but in some people’s mind this is discriminatory because it’s supposedly harder for the average black person to do that than for the average white.
So one might suggest that less black people get vaccinated for the same reasons less black people get an ID, and then ask why it’s OK to discriminate against the first group (i.e. by imposing restrictions for lack of green passport), but not OK to discriminate against the second (i.e. by not accepting their votes).
Playing the devil’s advocate, I might say that the former pose risk to their peers and to society during an emergency, and so such discriminatory actions are acceptable, and the latter don’t.
But even if there is an excellent argument here, I’d at least avoid saying things like “undertested vaccine”. Not that I don’t think that it was undertested; I think it’s pretty clear that it was, if only due to being so new. But this is also an argument anti-vaxxers make, and so it comes loaded. I feel that the fight against CRT is far too important to jeopardize gaining a person’s support by antagonizing them by coming off as an anti-vaxxer (even if I were one).
I appreciate the consistency of your attacks on CRT, but this piece wavers uncomfortably between a righteous denunciation of vaccine passports as inequitably diminishing POC freedoms and, well, the distinct impression that a person who is very butthurt over being suspended by Twitter decided to write about their feelings. The latter obscures the thoughtful thesis of the former.
As the leftists are prone to say, “do better” James!
“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
― Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time
In 1989, Critical Race Theory was a cause; 5 years ago when Robin DiAngelo was getting several $thosand a day to consult it was a business, but almost overnight around 2016-18 the plague of false claims of racism showed it had become a racket.
Transgender theory went from cause to business to racket in less than 5 years, maybe only 2 or 3.
Sorry James, but this kind of article smacks as the same ho-hum rhetoric that you argue against. You started with some pretty aggressive statements, particularly in your second paragraph, that are asserted but not defended. If your goal was to fan the flames within your fanbase that are already established then I’ll consider this piece a bit of maintenance work. However, if your intent is to communicate with those already familiar with CRT — and many of your intelligent readers already are — then I expect something with a bit more substance.
Undoubtedly intentional. Lindsay is making it clear that ‘stupid is as stupid does’ is a philosophy, albeit a philosophy employed disingenuously, at best.
Delgados book is really pretty lame. Disappointing, I was looking for something interesting but this is like a junior high report. He comes off a half baked person making stuff up as he goes along. No depth. Poorly organized and edited. He may be a devious little worm hiding under rock. Mostly he assails white culture from a victim viewpoint with race as the one and only factor in life.
I got a copy of Del Gado’s book…Critical Race..an introduction. It was quite boring , not very clear or precise in its presentation of his subject matter. He complains about white people and Euro culture and grips how POC folks have trouble dealing with society yet just wants to have more third world immigration. The book really isn’t like a true scholarly work or even close. More like something a grade school student might write for a report in civics class. If you are looking for a deep discussion of CRT this book will just pass as very stupid in my opinion. I will say maybe the author comes off as respectable person with some appreciation for our country. As I would give him the benefit of the doubt for have some decency. However I sense he is an advocate for revolution and toppling the Liberal order. This is a mild . weak timid man that isn’t a team player or a good faith actor. Not to be trusted. They allow these people to hold roles in college legal departments when they teach hate for our country.
@Ward….There seems to be a whole heck of a lot of weak, timid little men running colleges, among other things these days.
And many control freak women.
I sure hope more truly liberal parents who still believe in free speech, and children’s innocence start fighting this garbage.
Great points , James. It seems to me , a simple answer when anyone , including the CCP , sais America is systemically racist , is to immediately say ” but , America has systematically faught against slavery and racism since Uncle atoms Cabin , the vigorous abolishionist Underground Railroad, a violent civil War that killed several hundreds of thousands and maimed as many , down into a noble Civil Rights Movement that put hundreds of laws on the books…”
Thank you for all your hard work. You have patiently, painstakingly traipsed through so much po-mo & post-pomo tripe — some of which I eagerly wrestled with in grad school back in the early 90’s when revising or tossing out “Canon” (i.e., books written by Dead White Men) was the primary contention. Who knew the gradual, later ramifications of what was going on back then. I only knew there was no place in academia for a straight white male & 1st generation college grad who wanted to READ & LEARN, not tear down, the “Great Books” & Western Culture. I used to (internally) laugh at my (almost exclusively lily white & more privileged than me) peers when one would say s/he would “change the world” or “deconstruct the vile patriarchy” from the isolated, elite space of a seminar room. I was wrong. They took over academia and spread outward, feeding off their privilege and promulgating more of the same. in their confines. People like Robin D’Angelo (and she’s just 1 of many intellectual lightweights who made good) have no idea of what frauds they are.
from Daniel Greenfield’s review of the novel ‘Nevergreen College’ by Andrew Pessin:
“Nevergreen College’s self-consciously non-hierarchical faculty and its cheerful use of ‘Friend’ as a form of address are camouflage like a snake’s scales or the bright colors of a venus flytrap. Underneath the cheerful progressivism and trendy educational theories is a snake pit of malice…
Pessin’s novel… gets at the heart of the dysfunction of the modern campus with teachers who are too afraid to teach and students just as afraid to let go of their egotistical narcissism long enough to actually learn…
Nevergreen shows what happens when the keepers of the intellectual flame abandon their fidelity to truth and integrity and replace them with trendy buzzwords and their own self-serving jargon masquerading as serious learning. The teachers, who know that they are frauds, become afraid of their students, and the students, robbed of any rigorous intellectual and moral structure, hold them in deserved contempt, and pursue every possible extreme.
Faculty members lead their own revolutions against any remaining ideas predating them that anyone still dares to teach on campuses only to eventually fall victim to the student revolutionaries.
The microscopic French revolutions playing out on campuses with a thousand social media Robespierres who realize too late that Madame Guillotine eventually comes for everyone have gone national and global.”
They knew. And they know. Dont doubt that for a moment.
I get so bummed when I hear about the experiences of many students in college these days.
Thank goodness I got so lucky going to a very good, liberal JC, and later a radical crazy college, when the word “offense” was never even thought of. All the great western fine art, and high culture, and psychology courses still studying, “deviancy” were there for the taking. Taking trips to Shakespeare festivals, etc., learning, discussions, and debates were wide open. High Western culture, or crazy modern, whatever.
People need to keep “fighting” for that again.
Ah, but you see, Trans women are women, since sex has nothing to do with biology. Ergo, putting Trans women in a room with uncovered cis-women doesn’t actually violate the tenets of a “particular religion.” Of course, the problem is with the insanity of the premise that sex has nothing to do with biology. But if you accept that premise or pretend to, the conclusion does logically follow.
Joost Meerloo ‘The Rape of the Mind’ 1956
“The formulation of big propagandistic lies and fraudulent catchwords has a very well-defined purpose in Totalitaria, and words themselves have acquired a special function in the service of power, which we may call verbocracy. The Big Lie and the phoney slogan at first confuse and then dull the hearers, making them willing to accept every suggested myth of happiness. The task of the totalitarian propagandist is to build special pictures in the minds of the citizenry so that finally they will no longer see and hear with their own eyes and ears but will look at the world through the fog of official catchwords and will develop the automatic responses appropriate to totalitarian mythology.
The multiform use of words in DOUBLE TALK serves as an attack on our logic, that is, an attack on our understanding of what monolithic dictatorship really is…Pavlovian conditioning to special words forces people into an AUTOMATIC THINKING that is tied to those words. The words we use influence our behaviour in daily life; they determine the thoughts we have.
In Totalitaria, facts are replaced by fantasy and distortion. People are taught systematically and intentionally to lie… History is reconstructed, new myths are built up whose purpose is twofold: to strengthen and flatter the totalitarian leader, and to confuse the luckless citizens of the country. The whole vocabulary is a dictated set of slowly hypnotizing slogans. In the semantic fog that permeates the atmosphere, words lose their direct communicative function.”
This point is extremely important.
Whenever one observes that there is an effluvium of neologism and political cant oozing from universities outward, taken up by sympathetic corporate media and talking heads/public intellectuals, one is usually met with the rebuttal “language evolves,” as though culture and language were biological organisms, not artifacts, and as if divisive, hateful neologisms have grassroots origins and do not emanate from academic sausage grinders.
Much of the cant from the left intelligentsia has been uncritically adopted by everyone (“homo/transphobia,” the “cis/trans” prefixes when mentioning men or women, “whiteness,” etc.). The passive acceptance of authoritarian language changes began with the seemingly egalitarian push by feminists in the late ’70s to “eliminate sexist usage,” a practice enforced and reinforced in classrooms from Public School through graduate school. This is the engine of institutionally enforced language change . . . far from an organic sort of language “evolution.”
Rational people aware of this shit need to stop ceding the linguistic territory to totalitarians and neo-racists.
I’ve been called a “science denier” for contradicting people who believe trans women are women and sex has nothing to do with biology. The cluelessness is astonishing.
Another stock totalitarian coinage. This is how the left weaponizes language. In this case, a term creates an entire category of person easily identified and demonized, like “leper” or “racist.”
That’s what happens with cult thinking.
Well, gee, biological women can have babies, and biological men can’t. Seems like sex has SOMETHING to do with biology don’t ya’ think?
What the heck are they teaching in biology 101 these days then?
Why are all the people in your room naked? That sounds a bit odd.
It appears that we are all stuck between a BlackRock and a hard place.
The following will explain how deeply BlackRock has its hooks into the Biden Administration.
A Tom Domilon, A former Fannie Mae legal eagle and Obama’s National Security Advisor prior to Susan Rice, is currently the Chairman of the BlackRock Investiment Institute, to help advise the world’s largest Investment Firm (net worth >8 trillion) where best to put their money.
His brother Mike is a Senior Advisor to Joe Biden, advising on budgets, spending, and policy.
Mike’s Wife Catherine Russell is the White House Personnel Director, and thus in charge of all hires to the Office of the Presidency.
His daughter, Sarah Donilon, a 2019 college graduate, works on the White House National Security Council.
How you know who may well be running the President of the United States.
This is an amazing piece of information. Thank you very much for sharing.
Surely, you are not surprised at the pattern, only that you did not know the details?
So we shouldn’t be surprised. The Dems are just as bad if not worse than The Republicons.
At this point, clearly and definitely far worse.
2001-8 or so, the R’s were winning that fight.
I also think the effects of queer theory fall into this category. For example, in particular religions it is not permissable for women to be uncovered in front of men. Yet, it is argued that males who self-identify as women should be allowed in “female-only” areas, such as prisons, medical settings, rape shelters , changing rooms and so on.