Critical Race Theory – Why?


by John McWhorter

CRT has been weaponized to advance an agenda that has distorted our national politics. For that reason we need to take a deep and careful look into the logic and history of what has been described as a quasi-religious ideology. McWhorter has done an excellent job here, as he introduces his essay:

From a certain distance it looks like we are dealing with people who “went crazy.” But that won’t do. How many people can we realistically tar as insane? In which human society have a critical mass of people become mentally deficient? Yet we want to know just why this new religion arose.

A religion soothes. It helps people make sense of things. The question is why this particular religion, promulgated so often with such sneering contempt, soothes so many.

His exposé of CRT and the logic that drives it is comprehensive and insightful. It’s long, but demands an introspective read. I include a couple more excerpts to entice:

Almost anyone sees what a reductive view this [CRT] is of modern society, even having read their Rousseau or Rawls. We must not be taken in by the fact that this is called “critical,” that it’s about race and that it’s titled a “theory.” It is a fragile, performative ideology, which … explicitly reject[s] linear reasoning, traditional legal theorizing, and even Enlightenment rationalism. We are to favor an idea that an oppressed race’s “story” constitutes truth, in an overarching sense, apart from mere matters of empirical or individual detail.

…it seems odd that adults would ever have taken this seriously…

McWhorter draws the religious parallel where a secular society that has abandoned spiritual religious belief must turn to some other source to fulfill a basic human need:

…it has often been argued that Electism simply fills a hole left after the secular shift among thinking Americans especially after the 1960s. Under this analysis, it is human to need religious thought for a basic sense of succor, such that if institutional religion no longer grounds one’s thought, then some similarly themed ideology will come in to serve in its place.

McWhorter goes on to explain how some people, many of them our cultural elites, have found this way of thinking so attractive that they not only adopt it as their life’s creed, but are even comfortable insulting, abusing, and destroying people on the basis of it.

Rational, thinking people need to fight back against this perverse movement in order to regain a sense of proportion and context and address the challenging socio-economic issues we face going forward. Distorting reality in the pure pursuit of power only gets us deeper into the quagmire.

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