Critical Race Theory: Armed by Conservatives to Attack Public Education | Social justice

School programs and reading lists are accused of being puppets by the bogeyman of the CRT, but how much truth is there to these claims? Photo via CC by 2.0

In recent months, there have been hundreds of nationwide attacks in conservative media on critical race theory, the boogeyman who became a tenet of the Republican Party’s platform ahead of the midterm elections. . Critical race theory was raised in the case of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. confirmation hearings and was even considered worthy of martyrdom by former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally. This war on critical race theory is nothing more than a manufactured social panic designed to weaponize and redefine racial progressiveness in order to sow distrust in the educational system.

LMU is particularly relevant to the critical race theory debate in education since Andrew Dilts, Ph.D, associate professor of political science and international relations, teaches a Classes centered around the topic: POLS 3050. Dilts explained exactly how the war on critical race theory works and the overall goal of this synchronized attack on public education.

Dilts simplified the complex definition of critical race theory into a “legal study of the structural mechanisms by which race is enshrined in law.” […], almost 40 years old, graduated in political science, law and sociology. However, this does not easily match the highlighted definition conservative media, which still tends to focus on a series of racial discrimination trainings and a radical school curriculum. They claim it works as a consequence of teaching critical race theory.

Groups like Citizens for Renewing America hold their contempt for critical race theory as one of their main points of policy, describing it as a “radical philosophy rooted in Marxism”. Where critical race theory is a lens of legal analysis, Marxism is either a misnomer for traditional communism or a lens of historical analysis regarding socio-economic factors – none of which are actually relevant in this context. The website first claims that critical race theory permeates the K-12 curriculum and diversity training, then it uses college campuses to radicalize the next generation through cancel culture. Every critical race theory platform simply invokes a series of alt-right keywords to dilute the real meaning of critical race theory and diminish it instead.

“Most colleges and universities don’t even have undergraduate courses in critical race theory. It is even mostly a graduate course or law school. When I created this course in 2014, [I found that] there are actually very few models even for [undergraduate critical race theory courses], because it’s considered an incredibly advanced field,” Dilts said. There is not even a precedent for this subject for the level of education that most people in the country ever see. In the end, the curators simply confused a topic used for graduate school analysis with basic racial education and awareness, taking advantage of an intimidating name and complex concept to achieve an end they’re working on. For years.

This pattern is clearly visible even on major platforms, such as “What is Critical Race Theory?” from Fox News? room, which takes definitions from law professors and statements from notable experts on the subject. These precise but dense definitions are then surrounded by examples of radical K-12 programs that are simply unrelated to critical race theory – they don’t make the connection, but simply place the two things side by side. on the other and let the reader make the unfounded link. This is the crux of the matter: critical race theory is simply not being taught the way it is accused of. Conservatives only criticize rogue and poorly executed diversity initiatives and use them to sow fear about the real target: public education.

If you read any of these conservative outlets, you’ll find them constantly garnished with a quote from Christopher Rufo, a self-proclaimed conservative “buster” of critical race theory. Rufo argue that critical race theory is a pervasive racial divider, and that “critical race theory training programs have become commonplace in academia, government, and corporate life”, which is why he asserts that this “threat” must be reversed before it takes root in the heart of society. However, Rufo is the sole author of the war against critical race theory, having himself admitted corrupt image from a school of legal thought regarding the failure of racial jurisprudence to a global target for fearmongering. He openly fabricated controversy, even appearing on morning talk showsplacing himself squarely in the center of the whirlwind he created.

According to Dilts, the goal of people like Rufo is “to attack public education more generally, to attack any form of racial awareness and racial literacy in the United States at the level of public education”, because that’s really where the target is. Winning his gubernatorial election in Virginia a few months ago on a platform that distinguished himself by proposing to ban a ban on critical race theory in schools, Glenn Youngkin drew comparisons with conservative attacks on Darwin’s teaching Theory of evolution At the beginning of the 20th Century. The two initiatives are eerily similar – both rely on reframing the public education system not as a bastion of learning, but as an opportunity to set moral guidelines for young people, who might otherwise be corrupted by ideas with which they disagree.

Much like evolutionary theory in the 1920s, critical race theory is the vehicle through which Republicans can target public education — both were accepted academically for decades before becoming controversial in public opinion. public. The goal has always been to demonize anything close at hand to create a moral panic designed to erode public education. It didn’t work a hundred years ago, and it won’t work now.

This is the opinion of Arsh Goala freshman economics student from Dublin, California. Email your comments to [email protected]. Follow and tweet comments for @LALoyolan on Twitter, and like Loyolan on Facebook.

Sharon D. Cole