Your thoughts on so-called critical race theory

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This topic contains 48 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Autumn 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #37999

    Unseen
    Participant

    Critical race theory is a huge topic in the United States, especially between Conservatives and educators.

    So, what is it, anyway?

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
    #38002

    Autumn
    Participant

    In principle, I agree. In practice, there are so many arguments and claims within critical race theory that fall too far out of my areas of knowledge and experience for me to meaningfully weigh in on one by one. There are many arguments I agree with, and some arguments or even practices I find questionable.

    One of the major complicating factors is one aspect of critical race theory is that it challenges pattens of thought and assumptions that I’ve grown up with. So in order to process an argument, there is a lot of unpacking to do first, and that’s before I decide whether I agree or disagree. This is a major challenge in a world that likes simpler statements.

    I often counter arguments in a form bastardized by sensationalism and absurd reductionism. “According to critical race theory, science and facts are racist.” If I try to dig into that, I may find it’s being attached to a range of views some of which might border on conspiracy theory, but many of which are worth at least considering. Some of which are actually very easy to accept.

    Imagine a study is conducted examining the relationship between race and effective leadership in retail environments. The study comes back and finds that on average, white people were more effective by a statistical margin. The methodology of the study may be sound and the data may be legitimate, but what does the study actually tell us? It tells us the results under current conditions. What does it not tell us? That white people are intrinsically more effective leaders on average. For the publishers of that individual study, that distinction may be clear. But once it starts feeding into a broader body of study, and think tanks start commissioning meta-studies, and headlines start emerging, a narrative is forming. The study will lend itself to advancing some lines of inquiry and not others. It will lend itself to some politicized narratives and not others.

    So this is where we come in and start challenging assumptions ranging from how the study was conducted to how it was used. As much as we’d love to be purists about science, the befores very often do impact the afters and even the concurrents. To take all those considerations and reduce it to “Science and facts are racist” may paint a very different picture. The statement has become too far removed from the actual points of criticism. But with the way arguments all get dragged into the dirt, that’s the sound bite you’re going to get.

    I think one other complicating factor is some of the pillars of the framework are mistaken for something a priori or absolute rather than empirical. It’s the difference between, ‘By logical necessity, a system is racist’ and ‘observationally, our systems are racist’.

    #38003

    Davis
    Moderator

    That was a painful video to watch. Critical race theory is racist because it’s race based? That would be like saying a study which tries to determine to what extent women are unfairly discriminated against in job hiring practices is “sexist” because it focuses on women. The study is simply a tool to gather information about a situation which is already problematic because of systemic sexism. Trying to find out information about sexism is sexist? Trying to develop ways to counter sexism and level the playing field is sexist? That this is absurd  should not be beyond anyone’s comprehension. And yet you hear this kind of shit ALL the time. People saying that identity politics is “divisive” when it simply is addressing unfair division. That pride rallies “exclude” when they are trying to address unfair discrimination, bullying, violence and exclusion. You might as well say having a program where emergency funds are given out in exceptional circumstances where the severely poor will starve if you don’t…is somehow “classist” because it focuses on income and need and excludes the wealthy (or those just getting by).

    Some critical race theory is over the top nonsense (especially the stuff that gets into post-modern babble). It shouldn’t be hard to filter that shit out. Some solutions offered are extreme and yes, they can have a slight tinge of division or even racism (these are exceptional cases). And some of it can manifest itself into absurd situations (that get heavy press conference). But for the most part, the ideas of critical race theory should not be controversial. Racism is absolutely everywhere. These problems need to be urgently addressed. If you want the quality of this research to go up, to become more empirical and more “effective” then research dollars should be thrown at it, resources and serious interest and commitment should be invested by governments. That isn’t happening. They have little political incentive to dedicate more than a few minutes of their time to this. At least some academics are.

    #38004

    Unseen
    Participant

    That was a painful video to watch. Critical race theory is racist because it’s race based? That would be like saying a study which tries to determine to what extent women are unfairly discriminated against in job hiring practices is “sexist” because it focuses on women.

    It is common for white Americans to feel that the race issue would go away if people stopped bringing it up constantly, rubbing it into an open wound, not letting it heal. Not my view: theirs.

    They express the view that teaching the truth causes resentment against whites and does, whether intended or not, teach white children to feel shame and/or guilt.

    The truths they fear are things like…

    Columbus didn’t discover America. Nor did the Vikings. In both cases, there already were Americans and American cultures and, in some cases, civilizations long before any Europeans arrived.

    America was founded by men who wanted the benefits of farming without farming it themselves. They didn’t want to get behind a plow or pick crops, so they kidnapped Africans to do the dirty work while they enjoyed luxurious living in their plantation manor homes.

    Black people are reminded of their second-class status constantly. When they shop, they are often followed and observed by store employees. When they drive, they get extra attention from police.

    Even liberal efforts to assist them go awry as when people assume that when a black person gets a job or a promotion, that they got it through a program rather than earning it.

    #38008

    jakelafort
    Participant

    As to critical race theory it is a positive if and only if it is part of a new comprehensive critical approach. It is just one chapter in how we are who we are. It can’t be taught in a vacuum. Not now. Doing so will further divide us and inculcate a sophomoric understanding of things.

    We need critical everything. What is the role of religion in racism? Of patriotism? Of biology? Of free speech? Of group psychology? of culture? How do the erstwhile victims of racism proceed when power is in their lap?

    Leave no stones unturned. I would develop my ideas further but the race track is calling my name.

    #38009

    Unseen
    Participant

     

    #38010

    jakelafort
    Participant

    That hillbilly seems reasonable enough. But he hasn’t the facts. De facto slavery in USA lasted well into the 21st century. In many cases it was worse for Blacks after emancipation. Major corporations participated in it as well as private citizens. The feds brought a case against an individual slave owner but the jury did not convict because they saw it as just and normal. See Slavery by another Name..Blackmon.

    As long as free market forces were at play in continuing the practice of slavery who can really complain?

    #38013

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    First, let’s define and understand our terms.

    So-called “Critical Theory” and “Critical Race Theory” in particular, does not equal what’s known as Critical Thinking.

    The latter Critical Thinking is using The Socratic Method and Aristotelian Logic to examine premises, avoid logical fallacies, find out the conclusions of the premises, then verify if the conclusions match with empirical, objective reality.

    This kind of Critical Thinking is a good thing and is a part of the science and technology behind everything beneficial to human flourishing.

    So-called “Critical Theory” and “Critical Race Theory” in particular, starts with a conclusion it doesn’t first prove, then attempts to shoe-horn data to fit it’s conclusion.

    “Critical Theory” started with the Marxist-influenced Frankfort School and sees all social phenomena as Hegelian-type struggles between Thesis, Anti-Thesis, and Synthesis, embodied in various hubs of power.

    Since “Class” has never been a permanent, fixed construct in the U.S. and U.S. Citizens never bought much into “Class Struggle,” the Frankfort School peddled “Critical Theory” in the form of existing struggles between peoples.  Hence, the Frankfort School promoted “Critical Race Theory” and “Critical Gender Theory.”

    “Critical Race Theory” does not simply acknowledge the existence of racial discrimination in the U.S., but holds that everything that happens in the U.S., especially everything wrong, is explainable in terms of “race.” “Critical Race Theory” thinks that “race” is a fixed construct and that people of the same “race” have identical thoughts, opinions, and interests that are irreconcilable with those of other “races.”

    (Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t attributing normative, chosen traits to physiological traits what is commonly known as “racism?” Hmmm…)

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Italicization to replace underlining
    #38015

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Enco, you wrote… starts with a conclusion it doesn’t first prove, then attempts to shoe-horn data to fit it’s conclusion.

    Does that in any way seem similar to your approach?

    #38016

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    It is common for white Americans to feel that the race issue would go away if people stopped bringing it up constantly, rubbing it into an open wound, not letting it heal. Not my view: theirs.

    It isn’t just “White Americans”.  You forget this is also the words of God Himself, Morgan Freeman.  (At least he was God in the movie Bruce Almighty):

    They express the view that teaching the truth causes resentment against whites and does, whether intended or not, teach white children to feel shame and/or guilt.

    Teaching truth is not a source of resentment for rational beings.  The truth of what’s being taught is the question and the nub of the jist.

    The truths they fear are things like…

    Columbus didn’t discover America. Nor did the Vikings. In both cases, there already were Americans and American cultures and, in some cases, civilizations long before any Europeans arrived.

    Who teaches otherwise, unless they are engaged in educational malpractice?  I knew all of that about the European explorers and Native Americans even before I went to school, thanks to The How and Why Wonder Books series.

    Educational malpractice is a more pertinent issue than the issues brought up in “Critical Race Theory,” especially with teacher’s unions like the NEA and AFT keeping incompetant Gummint Skoolz teachers in jobs.

    America was founded by men who wanted the benefits of farming without farming it themselves. They didn’t want to get behind a plow or pick crops, so they kidnapped Africans to do the dirty work while they enjoyed luxurious living in their plantation manor homes.

    Let’s get the actual practice of slavery straight here.  Europeans would have died of Malaria, Sleeping Sickness from the Tstetse Fly, Jungle Rot, and other diseases to which they had no immunity or prevention if they went into the jungle and kidnapped Africans.

    Africans were captured by Animist African Kings and their henchmen as part of the booty of warfare between African tribes.  The Africans were then brokered by Muslim Arabs, who took them to markets in the African coastal areas, where European Christians bought the Africans as slaves and took them across the Atlantic.

    And when the European Christians got to the Americas, they got to a Hemisphere where the Native Americans also practiced slavery against the losers of their own tribal wars.  Some “civilized” Native American tribes like the Aztecs, the Toltecs, and the Mayans ran Totalitarian Theocratic Sun-God King Monarchies that enslaved their own people and sacrificed them by the thousands at a time to the Sun-Gods.

    And when the Europeans brought African slaves, some “civilized” Native American tribes such as the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole, bought and owned African slaves.

    And even in the United States, some freed African slaves owned other African slaves as status items to engratiate themselves with Europeans.

    Meanwhile, back in The Old World, those Arab and Turkish Muslim slavers and pirates kidnapped 1.5 million Europeans from the 1500s to the 1800s, both in land-based jihads and on the high seas of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and sold those Europeans as slaves.

    European rulers enslaved other Europeans in the form of debtor’s prisons and The British Empire had so many inmates overflowing their debtor’s prisons, they had to use the whole Continent of Australia as a penal colony.

    To this day, chattel slavery is still practiced in the Islamic world in Sudan, Mali, Mauritania, and the Saudi Peninsula Gulf States, as well as in battle zones for jihad  by Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIS.  The Christian Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda still kidnaps children and forces them to fight as soldiers.  Piracy and kidnapping on the high seas is still practiced by Somali and Indonesian Muslims in the Indian Ocean.  And, of course, systemic mass enslavement by government is still practiced by Red China, North Korea, and the remaining Communist States of Southeast Asia.

    Slavery was and is the scourge of Africans and all of humanity throughout all human history!  All peoples have taken turns as both victims of slavery and victimizers!  And slavery was not even what made the U.S.A. prosperous, otherwise the Agrarian Slave States of the South and the Border States would have been more prosperous than the Free Industrial States of the North and the West!

    I am so glad that the U.S. and the West have made slavery Unconstitutional and illegal (although we still have the problem that young men can be forced to fight and die in no-win brush-fire wars.  The Supremes need to strike that down as fast as someone brings a case against Selective Service.)

    The AI Robot Over-Lords cannot come fast enough to rid this scourge of slavery the rest of the way from the face of the Earth!

    Black people are reminded of their second-class status constantly. When they shop, they are often followed and observed by store employees. When they drive, they get extra attention from police.

    These can still be a problem, although businesses also get bitched at for offering no customer service, even now in the U.S. where people are paid more by government to exist and sit at home than to get a job and work.

    My own store’s practice is to greet all customers who approach within 10 feet, regardless of “race” or any other condition of birth.  Offhand, I’d think that was friendly instead of hostile.

    Even liberal efforts to assist them go awry as when people assume that when a black person gets a job or a promotion, that they got it through a program rather than earning it.

    If merit and ability were the only standards for hiring and promotion, and there were were no such things as “goals, timetables, quotas” and attempts to make a business or institution “look like America,” the issue of unearned achievement and the resentment it brings would never arise.  Either way, in private business, with no recourse to bailouts, either the cream rises to the top or the business goes defunct.

    Yes, the history of the U.S. on “race” and slavery was bad and the present still has problems, but nothing not shared or exceeded by the rest of the world and nothing we haven’t fought successfully to overcome and nothing we can’t continue to solve in the future.

    Chin up, Unseen.  It’s getting better and nothing stops unless we do.

     

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spacing and spell-checking. Like the U.S. history, when you try something great, mistakes and oversights happen
    #38018

    Davis
    Moderator

    Yes, the history of the U.S. on “race” and slavery was bad and the present still has problems, but nothing not shared or exceeded by the rest of the world and nothing we haven’t fought successfully to overcome and nothing we can’t continue to solve in the future.

    What are you talking about? The west of the West gave up slavery before America did (in some cases nearly a century before). And their governments have profusely apologised for it, unreservedly condemned it, made no excuses and it is part of their educational curriculum for decades. Even Canada which had limited slavery was teaching about it in Ontario 30 years ago along with their brutal treatment of Native Canadians with a chapter in a history text book that focused more on the mistreatment of Chinese railway workers than the mythology and grandiose “founding history”. While of course it isn’t enough…they are dealing with their history, not downplaying it, excusing it or pointing out “oh yeah other people did it too”. In Spain and France their education system spends a lot of time covering the atrocities of colonialism and tries to counterbalance the “great moments of their history” along with the shameful unspeakable evils their kings/governments committed. When I read the narratives of American history written by Americans and see the curriculum that Americans learn it looks like a country that has only vaguely scratched the surface of its barbarous injustices and half-hardheartedly admits “we could have done some things better”. A country that cannot admit its faults, errors and problems is incapable of real change.

    #38019

    Davis
    Moderator

    “Critical Race Theory” does not simply acknowledge the existence of racial discrimination in the U.S., but holds that everything that happens in the U.S., especially everything wrong, is explainable in terms of “race.”

    That’s a nauseating over-generalisation. That’s like saying economic theory posits that everything that’s wrong with the economy can be blamed on poor people. That is honestly as reasonable a hyper-over-generalisation about economics as you’ve just made above on critical race theory.

    “Critical Race Theory” thinks that “race” is a fixed construct and that people of the same “race” have identical thoughts, opinions, and interests that are irreconcilable with those of other “races.”

    Sounds like yet another gross misrepresentation of something you likely haven’t read a single word from a primary source let alone an objective or even encyclopedic source first. Instead you probably went straight to some conservative critique of critical race theory instead of trying to actually learn about it. This is a reoccurring issue in how you approach things you know little about. Find out what people who think like you have to say about it (or how they criticise it first) before investigating.

    Critical in “critical studies” is not the same thing as “critical thinking” and it doesn’t claim to. This misunderstanding is yours and yours alone. And if you do care in the slightest about critical thinking then you should be more selective with the sources you use and try sometimes to learn about a subject before making conclusions or accepting other people’s conclusions without a critical eye.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Davis.
    #38021

    Davis
    Moderator

    Not my view: theirs.

    Yeah Unseen. I didn’t think for a second that you agreed with them. I was just addressing their text (not the fact that you were relaying their text). Admitting to inequalities in society is difficult for those who don’t suffer from (or even see) those inequalities. I have a few gay friends who live in a fantasy LGTBQ+ bubble in Madrid and believe that everything is now equal and fair for us. I point out there isn’t a SINGLE European premiere league player in Europe (amongst thousands and thousands of players) who is out of the closet and they just dismiss it. I point out numerous demonstrable cases of homophobic violence and murder in the very same city (even events that occurred just around the block) and it is just “some rare problem far away…even a bit of a myth”. Admitting the extent of systemic bigotry in society is hard for some…even those who are part of marginalised groups who suffer from that bigotry.

    #38023

    Unseen
    Participant

    Let’s get the actual practice of slavery straight here. Europeans would have died of Malaria, Sleeping Sickness from the Tstetse Fly, Jungle Rot, and other diseases to which they had no immunity or prevention if they went into the jungle and kidnapped Africans.

    Africans were captured by Animist African Kings and their henchmen as part of the booty of warfare between African tribes. The Africans were then brokered by Muslim Arabs, who took them to markets in the African coastal areas, where European Christians bought the Africans as slaves and took them across the Atlantic.Cosers of their own tribal wars. Some “civilized” Native American tribes like the Aztecs, the Toltecs, and the Mayans ran Totalitarian Theocratic Sun-God King Monarchies that enslaved their own people and sacrificed them by the thousands at a time to the Sun-Gods.

    Yes, yes, yes, the American slavers wisely (lazily?) didn’t go catch their slaves. They paid Africans to catch slaves for them. They had paid employees, basically, get them their unpaid employees. This is what is known as a distinction without a difference.

    Also, you seem keen to point out the RACE of the African slavers. See, this is how race insinuates itself into how we Americans think about things. We don’t notice this behavior because it’s second nature, but elsewhere in the world it would be immediately apparent. My conservative “friends” are keen to point out that most blacks who are murdered are murdered by other blacks. Why? To say it’s a black problem. Let the blacks deal with it. No real understanding or acceptance of how we got to the situation we are in today. Hell, I don’t own any slaves, do you? That was then. This is now. Historical events have no consequences, see?

    Whenever we talk about crime, most of us, especially on the right, want to start the analysis by first identifying the race of the perpetrators. One area of improvement I’ve noticed is that the local news readers no longer identify perpetrators by their race. It used to be “A young Warrington Hills mother was raped in her home this afternoon by a black man while her 18 month old baby was sleeping” whereas today it’s more like “A young Warrington Hills mother was raped in her home this afternoon while her 18 month old baby was sleeping.” Why this change? Because the race of the perpetrator isn’t pertinent and can be inflammatory.

    And when the European Christians got to the Americas, they got to a Hemisphere where the Native Americans also practiced slavery against the losers of their own tribal wars. Some “civilized” Native American tribes like the Aztecs, the Toltecs, and the Mayans ran Totalitarian Theocratic Sun-God King Monarchies that enslaved their own people and sacrificed them by the thousands at a time to the Sun-Gods.

    There’s another example of excusing ourselves because someone else was doing it or worse. And the bonus factor is…Guess what? They were nonwhite! Just another example of how unconsciously racist Americans are. And I’m not trying to say there’s no racism among nonwhite Americans. This race thing is both unconscious and pervasive.

    BTW, while we’re spinning yarns about slavery, the Athenian Greeks often enslaved defeated enemy soldiers. This was actually mercy because the other option—practiced by many cultures—was to murder all prisoners of war. The slaves were often treated relatively well and sometimes became trusted servants allowed to handle money and watch over children.

    But you see, that’s neither here nor there.

    (I apologize for all the edits. It’s because the formatting got screwed up and it took a lot of trial and error to make it readable again. Also, TheEncogitationer, I apologize for not answering every point, but in order to have time to actually have a life outside AtheistZone, I can’t spend hours on end replying to every point made in lengthy posts.)

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Unseen.
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    #38032

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Unseen,

    I pointed out the religion and point of origin of the slave capturers and the slave traders and owners, not the “race,” which I don’t even regard as a fixed scientific way of categorizing human beings.

    And the only reason I point these facts out is because “Critical Race Theorists” like Mr. Kendi and Ms. DiAngelo like to pin the blame for slavery exclusively on “White European Males”.

    I’m contending that slavery was and is an evil practiced by people all over the world and that’s not diminishing the evil, but makes it all the worse.

    And “race” has no bearing on crime either, except that knowing the appearance of a perp who is still loose can help the public catch the perp and bring them to justice.

    No problem on the edits and we can always discuss it further.

     

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