While Defending Critical Race Theory Professor at the University of Denver Deplores, “Information About White People Created by White People”

It is always useful when discussing controversies in academia to read what someone actually said.

Given the rancor on both sides about Critical Race Theory, I decided to engage in some serious study of the matter. I did this in my usually thorough way by doing some quick and dirty googling and scanning the results.

In the course of this exhausting and exhaustive three-minute or so process, I came across a short interview with an academic who does not seem to realize that expressing anger against white society in sweeping indictments and dismissing the incredible gains made in the area of civil rights in recent decades is not, perhaps, the best way to make a case for the value of CRT.

Whites who need to be educated about how racist they are would do well to read an August 11, 2021 article on the website of the University of Denver. This interview, entitled Q&A: Critical Race Theory in America, is a handy-dandy guide to the whole subject.

Funnily enough, the interview with the professor at the university’s Graduate School of Social Work starts off thus:

…professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, has studied critical race theory and sat with the DU Newsroom to explain and clarify the ideology.

Oops—they let the cat out of the bag on that one. Proponents of CRT are adamant that it is a legitimate field of study and not, as many argue, a trumped-up hodgepodge of prejudices and resentments presenting itself as a scholarly enterprise. Calling it an ideology is a boo-boo by the poor staffer of the university’s newsroom.

And when the professor herself starts talking, things don’t get much better for those who want to push CRT into every classroom in the land.

For one thing, she belittles anyone who is not white by suggesting that they are totally incapable of getting anywhere in life through their own valiant efforts and abilities:

positive social, economic and health outcomes remain in the hands of the most powerful and able-bodied

Nothing like dumping defeatism on the disadvantaged. That’s the way to empower people!

She also does not seem to notice that what says at one point in the interview is undermined a few lines later. She deplores, for instance, “the assumption that critical race theory is biased…” and then goes on to say:

Much of what we learn in elementary through college is information about white people created by white people.

Nothing biased there, clearly.

The professor gets irked at the idea that some audiences might object to the idea that teaching about things that apply to all Americans (e.g., the Constitution) is just information about white people created by white people. So much for Barbara Jordan or Thurgood Marshall. She huffs:

…what really is so upsetting or frightening [to me] is that people automatically shut down and are not curious enough to understand the theory in order to critique it versus categorially dismiss it.

Note that she uses the word “theory” as opposed to “ideology.” Maybe the hapless interviewer will do the same henceforth.

She seems puzzled by the fact that much of the momentum for greater social justice in the wake of the death of George Floyd has dissipated. As she puts it, “…all of a sudden people jumped off the train.” Maybe that was because they took the trouble to read and listen to what Critical Race ideologues—oops, sorry, theorists —were actually saying and decided they did not want to remain onboard a pseudo-scholarly vehicle that placed disproportionate blame on white men and assigned everyone a specific identity (“people of color, people with disabilities, queer folks and young people…”), thereby reducing them to powerless blobs. Not the most inspiring of visions.

After all, it gets to be a downer to be told over and over that one is discounted, dismissed and silenced. Not like undergraduates are going to rush to CRT seminars bright-eyed and bushy-tailed shouting in joy, “Oh, goody! I just love hearing about how oppressed I am! I can get to blame everything on systemic racism. It is so liberating to be told that everything is rigged against me.”

One thing that strikes one in reading this article is the fact that the professor claims so much for CRT—as if it is the first movement in history to take this tack:

It is rooted in the understanding that society and social institutions are developed in a way that penalizes people who do not hold social and economic power. Ultimately, it understands disparity as inherent in a system in which powerful and wealthy people have the most influence over policies and social systems.

Golly, I bet no other left-wing movement ever came up with that blazing insight.

But maybe my own understanding of history is, to use the professor’s term, “faulty.” I probably need to be exposed to what she calls, “different truths”--which seems to be the left’s version of the phrase it lampoons, “alternative facts.”

It is grand that we have people who are oppressed—like university professors—to tell us that we are a) oppressed or b) racists—oops, sorry—people who are without awareness getting interested in becoming aware. It’s all in the theory, see.

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