Immanuel Kant and the Foundation of Critical Race Theory

Princeton University professor Allen C. Guelzo, comments on the foundations of CRT in an AEI podcast: as a “reaction against the Enlightenment and against the confidence that scientific reason could discover the answers to things”:

….Kant was appalled at the irreligious conclusions to which reason had driven the Enlightenment. He was determined to find a way around Enlightenment religious lack of faith. So he says, what can we know for certain? Well, if we rely strictly on reason, we discover that reason only works on what our physical senses tell us, and that’s not much. Reason can’t penetrate into the essence of things. Some other tool was needed to reach what he called the thing in itself. So, to brush back the influence of reason, Kant develops a critique of reason, a critical theory, if you will.

….when you see how little reason can penetrate to the real lessons of things and you awake to a new reality. And that reality is that reason has blinded you. That is critical theory…

… critical theory set off a chain reaction of romantic investigations for non-rational explanations of reality.

….some of those non-rational explanations took a form of nationalism. That’s what you find in the philosophy of Georg Hegel. Some of them took the form of out-and-out racism. … Above all, you find non-rational explanations of reality based on economic class, and that is Karl Marx.

…And you might think that economics functions as what Adam Smith called a natural instinct to truck and barter. But in reality, it’s governed by the oppressive relations of class. Especially in the hands of Marx, critical theory uncovers the activity, not of employers and employees, but of an oppressor class and an oppressed class.

And the payoff?

…it promises an emotional burst of revelation and indignation. It allows you not so much to understand because remember, understanding is a function of reason, it allows you to denounce. It allows you to replace the question, is what I know true with a different question, whose interests does this question serve?

…. If the only purpose of questions is to serve the interests of a dominant or oppressive class, then no question that you ask about the truth of a situation or the truth of an event or the truth of a proposition, none of that kind of questioning about truth has any meaning. And any answer you come up with, which doesn’t speak in terms of some hidden structure of oppression, can simply be dismissed as part of the structure of oppression.

Read the rest.

Marc A. Thiessen writes in the Washington Post on “The danger of critical race theory”:

Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, authors of “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction,” state that “critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

….Ibram X. Kendi, one of CRT’s leading advocates, openly declares: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

This is the opposite of what the civil rights movement stood for. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. did not argue that America was systemically racist; he argued that racism was un-American.

By dispensing with the reason the only solution is violence:

“… If your critical race theory is impervious to questioning and evidence, then fine: I will retreat into my critical race theory and it too will be impervious to evidence and the questioning. At which point then the only solution becomes violence.”

Mom gets standing ovation after calling for ‘mass exodus’ from public schools

Florida mom Quisha King called for a “mass exodus” from the public school system, arguing that school systems left parents with no other choice for fighting left-wing ideas.

Her comments came during the annual Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Summit during a Thursday panel on “Fighting Indoctrination on a National Scale.”

“I really think at this point the only thing to do is have a mass exodus from the public school system – that’s it,” King said. In response, she received prolonged applause, and many in the audience stood to their feet at the Leesburg, Virginia, event.

King previously drew national attention for her speech opposing critical race theory (CRT) in June. She works with the group Moms for Liberty, which is one of many battling CRT and other ideas across the nation. https://64c2a4208a82a84da2a2a3eb22e97d3e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

PARENTS CONTINUE BLASTING DOJ, SCHOOL BOARDS AMID PROBE INTO VIOLENT THREATS

“With this FBI thing, it just made me realize – what else are we supposed to do?” King asked. “Standing up to these people doesn’t seem to matter. I mean, we have – all of us – we’ve been at these school board meetings, we’ve been voicing our opinions, we’re writing articles, we’re emailing teachers – we’re doing all that stuff. And they don’t care. I’m like the only thing left to do is to just peace out.”

She added that “it has to be us doing it together” in order to “really send the message that you do not have the right to indoctrinate our children.”

Her comments came amid an uproar over the Department of Justice’s announcement that the FBI would investigate potential violence at school board meetings. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo on the issue raised concerns as it appeared to be in response to a National School Boards Association (NSBA) letter suggesting that officials were encountering a form of “domestic terrorism.”

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“While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views,” Garland’s memo states. null

Still, critics like Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have raised concerns about DOJ restricting free speech – pointing to language in NSBA’s letter that disparaged anti-CRT efforts.

Dissenting Parents Upset Over Critical Race Theory, Masks? Send in the Troops

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) has written a letter to Joe Biden, requesting “federal law enforcement and other assistance” to cope with angry parents concerned about their children wearing masks in school all day and learning concepts of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Wow. It just keeps getting better and better.

Biden’s response, as with 100 percent of everything else his party has been doing, will be affirmative. We know that, because collectivism and statism are based on coercion.

Education, of all things, is based on the mind. The mind cannot be forced into thinking. Education should be a context for reasoning and persuasion. At a minimum, the intellectual alternative to Critical Race Theory should be offered at schools. It should be offered at higher level schools, like college, rather than elementary schools where children are too young to fully grasp the concepts.

Public schools are, in the minds of most people, operated with the full consent of the parents. Large numbers of parents object to critical race theory; similarly large numbers of parents object to the permanence of masks. The response of the schools is not to try and persuade them, or to negotiate with them. The response is to send in the troops. The federal troops, no less.

Public schools are government schools. Government is wired and designed to arrest and detain criminals. Governments are not wired to educate, negotiate or persuade. We’re right to have a military, and police forces. The military and police should be used to defeat perpetrators of armed violence. The military and police are NOT supposed to be used to violently and physically crush dissension of parents who do not wish their school-age children to be indoctrinated from a specific (and exclusive) ideological point-of-view. Nonviolent citizens are not criminals. Not in a free society. But as you can see, we are no longer a free society, not in practice.

The government has dropped the pretense. Notice that the same totalitarian DemCom ideologues who wish to “defund the police” simply love the police and armed forces when it comes time to crush the dissent of parents who don’t want their children taught to be Communists.

Watch Joe Biden’s response. It’s not difficult to predict.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

The Ten Commandments of Critical Race Theory

Recently, one of Canada’s best-known rabbis (an American by birth and a graduate of prestigious colleges in the USA) asked me bluntly and simply to explain the essence of Critical Race Theory. This is what I told him.

Critical Race Theory is the latest version of Marxism, except it has gone racial. This means that unlike traditional Marxist theory, which used to focus on the injustices experienced by working men and women in industrial and industrializing societies around the world and preached violent revolution to overthrow the capitalist democracy that persecutes them, the new victims are any kind of minority, usually people of color, but not exclusively. The “white” working class no longer counts.

In the USA, Cultural Marxists have elected African Americans to fulfill the role of those persecuted by capitalism, which is done by white people or people with white skin (despite the fact that more than 50% of self-defined African Americans belong to the silent, non-protesting, law-abiding middle classes or “bourgeoise”).

Almost any grievance group, whose goal is to bring down liberal democracy and capitalism, can join African Americans in their persecuted status. So even wealthy Muslim immigrants can do so. Or sexual adventurers can be granted that status. Privileged women of color like  “Ilhan Omar” and others like her can also qualify, as can millionaires like Meghan Markle or Oprah Winfrey.

The key thing is to hate whites, hate capitalism, hate democracy, hate American, Canadian, and British political culture, and believe that “whites” have caused all the trouble in the world. For example, an activist from this thought group once reframed WWII  as “white on white” violence.

In an odd but not surprising anti-Semitic twist, Israelis (most of whom look like Sicilians and come from the Arab world) are thought of as colonial whites from Europe oppressing indigenous Arabs — so many of whom claim to have come to the land of Israel from Arabia some time ago. (Historical scholarship and truth are in short supply among the Cultural Marxists).

The last fifty years have seen an unhealthy and growing domination by Cultural Marxists of federal, state (provincial), and municipal bureaucracies, who then provide funds for a growing number of like-minded NGOs.

Together they argue that these new grievance groups deserve special treatment, “reparations,” and “affirmative action” from the whites, as a kind of compensation for bad behavior in both the past and present. And so, meritocracy goes to the wind and non-whites become privileged (that is, they get access to the public purse — that is to say, our tax dollars.)

Classical Marxists like Bernie Sanders and historian Howard Zinn have always believed that Marxism explains “superstructure.” Marxists have argued that the “base” or “mode of production” of any society is the direct cause of its culture and institutions.

So, law, government, music, the arts, and the intellectual life of ideas are solely an expression of the base. There is no real freedom of thought. Those who think they are free are under an illusion. The Marxists call this “false consciousness.” It must be violently destroyed. There is no defense in “following the law” as it is by its own nature, corrupt.

As “bourgeois culture” embodies the false consciousness of the “superstructure” it is by definition immoral, evil, and must be destroyed. It is the evil guardian of “structural inequality.” Any social mobility is explained away by accusing those who rise, of joining the oppressors.

And so, Larry Elder, African American radio personality and contender for the position of Governor of California, is labeled a white supremacist by his Cultural Marxist-inspired critics in the media.

Old style, traditional Marxists and Leninists like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Che Guevara, and Fidel Castro believed that the working class around the world would eventually rebel and set up a classless society. That did not happen. Workers in states have shown more loyalty to their nation than their class.

So just after WW II, Cultural Marxists (the Frankfurt School) began a campaign launched from New York City to undermine and subvert the bourgeois values practiced by lawyers, implemented by administrators, and until recently supported by police, the military, the media, and the educational elites. Their goal was to destroy capitalism and bring on a Marxist state, with a command economy and a revolutionary vanguard (they and their self-anointed political colleagues) who would run the country.

They have succeeded. They are now dominant in the Liberal Party of Canada and the Democratic Party of the USA.

Here is the clincher. The values of Cultural Marxists, when you read through their contradictory, dense, and boring books and articles are essentially a crude inversion of the pillars of the Judeo Christian tradition; that is to say, the Ten Commandments.

Let me, therefore, outline the ten basic commandments of Cultural Marxism which, not surprisingly, are violations of almost every one of the ten commandments of the Bible, values that permeate the Constitution of the United States and have informed much of British common law. Here they are:

  1. God is dead — therefore the means justify the ends. If the Cultural Marxists believe that bourgeois culture and society should be destroyed then, there is no moral restraint-look at Antifa riots to support this point
  2. One now worships Karl Marx. He is the substitute for God. And his prophets are violent and numerous.
  3. Language is flexible. You can take any name in vain. Words mean what you want them to mean if it furthers your agenda like “largely peaceful protests”
  4. The Sabbath means nothing. There is no rest for the righteous. They must be attacked during the 24/7 news round and on occasion arrested at gunpoint by the FBI or CIA. And so, defund the police and turn every city into a war zone.
  5. Mothers and fathers are not honored. Your children can be taken from you and their gender forcefully reassigned as God did not make man and woman according to sacred archetypes.
  6. Murder is okay if you are a political enemy. Remember Ashli Babbitt?
  7. Adultery is meaningless because marriage and the nuclear family are oppressive.
  8. Lying is what you do to defeat your enemies
  9. The property of your enemies (Jews, Christians, Vietnamese minorities, Korean grocers, “whites” of any kind) is up for grabs. Take it!
  10. Envy is everywhere and greed rules

This short enumeration of the ten commandments of the Cultural Marxists should provide a good grid from which to understand their values and goals. It permeates their writings and their practice. The rest is gobbledygook.

 If you are religious you would call this “the devil’s work.” If you are not religious you would call this …“the devil’s work.”

Geoffrey Clarfield

Divide and Conquer: Critical Race Theory

Dr. Ben Carson:

“Critical race theory, the 1619 Project, what is that really about? It’s about dividing people. It’s about creating the kind of division and strife that allows control. We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘divide and conquer.’ That’s what it’s about.”

He’s absolutely right. Even in family tyranny, the tyrant understands this. The way to rule the people around you is to turn them against one another. If you succeed, they do the work for you. What you never could have accomplished through persuasion or rational appeal to self-interest, you accomplish through the willingness of your victims to attack each other. It’s brilliant, but only because people so often fall for it. How heartbreaking to watch the greatest civilization and economic system in human history fall apart with such a childish, simplistic scheme.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Frederick Douglass vs. the 1619 Project

How amusing it is to see the advocates of critical race theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project vehemently deny that their philosophy is even being taught in elementary and secondary schools. Most recently, teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten insisted that CRT is merely a subject of discussion in law schools and the legal community, not in the public school system.

Hogwash! Parents wouldn’t be mobilizing against CRT if they didn’t witness its divisive propaganda being dumped on their children. Ironically, we have the COVID lockdowns to thank for this. Ordinarily, parents aren’t exposed to what their children are being taught in school. But with online instruction, they can pop into their kid’s room and go, “They’re teaching him WHAT?”

If CRT and its ideological cousin the 1619 Project really aren’t being taught in schools, why would the teachers unions and the left worry about them being banned by state legislators? That would be like states banning unicorns. This is absolutely no problem, since there are no unicorns. Of course, the reason the unions and the left are up in arms is because CRT and the 1619 Project are being widely taught, and the state laws would curb these forms of indoctrination.

Taking a somewhat different approach, Gillian Brockell wrote a recent article in The Washington Post implying that CRT and the 1619 Project represent the very mainstream of American history, and that the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass would have been on board with their core premises. “Frederick Douglass had nothing but scorn for July Fourth,” her headline reads. “The Black abolitionist spoke for the enslaved.”

The article, however, like CRT and the 1619 Project, tells only half of the story. Let’s follow its narrative in some detail. Brockell recalls Douglass’s famous July 4 address (pdf), delivered in Rochester, New York, to the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. The first part of the speech does indeed support Brockell’s account, because Douglass gives a savage indictment of how American independence looks to a black man.

“This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine,” Douglass says. “You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me by asking me to speak today?” Douglass here is not speaking for himself. After all, he had escaped slavery in Maryland 14 years earlier. He was not “a man in fetters.” Douglass, however, was speaking from the point of view of the slave, his former self.

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” Douglass continues. “I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all the other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.”

Already one can see Douglass’s speech as a masterpiece of rhetoric, each phrase building on the previous one, almost like a wave gathering force before crashing down on the audience. Yet as the speech moves on, Douglass makes a sharp and surprising turn. Far from denouncing the Fourth of July, far from scorning the Declaration of Independence as a charter of hypocrisy, far from blaming the Constitution for making an unholy pact with slavery—this is precisely what the critical race theorists do today—Douglass roundly affirms the founding as a “glorious liberty document” that launched “forces in operation” that “must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.”

Brockell has read Douglass’s speech. She knows about this “turn” in Douglass’s rhetoric. But she downplays it, quoting only a small part and suppressing the rest, and presenting even this tidbit as a sort of postscript, rather than the central point which Douglass was making. Why? Because the tidbit and its larger context completely undercuts her argument. Let’s probe deeper into what Douglass said.

Douglass argued in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln, who famously argued that in affirming the equality clause of the Declaration of Independence, the founders “meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.” Lincoln and Douglass were both instruments of that enforcement. They helped realize the principles of 1776 and 1789.

Douglass’s point—and Lincoln’s too—is that there are two traditions in America, a tradition of enslavement and oppression, but also a tradition of emancipation and freedom. Both men regarded the Declaration of Independence and even the Constitution as part of the latter tradition. They also identified the Democratic Party with oppression and the Republican Party with freedom. Here’s a later remark by Douglass: “The Republican Party is the ship; all else is the sea.”

By contrast, CRT holds that there’s a single tradition, only enslavement and oppression, no genuine emancipation or freedom. That’s why the 1619 Project says virtually nothing about Douglass, and even Martin Luther King Jr. is barely mentioned. Its credo is that racism is built into the DNA of America not just from the founding but also from the country’s very beginning in 1619. So the deceit of the 1619 Project and CRT is that both exaggerate one tradition, conceal its association with the Democratic Party, and suppress the emancipation tradition and its inevitable association with the Republican Party.

Douglass ended his speech on a patriotic note that vividly contrasts with the way he began, and shows why he had no problem, in the end, with celebrating the Fourth of July and what it represented. Of the Constitution, Douglass later said, “Abolish slavery tomorrow, and not a sentence or syllable of the Constitution needs to be altered.” That’s because the document gives no support, no sanction, to slavery.

Douglass of course knew that the founders who approved the Constitution allowed slavery to continue beyond 1789, but his argument is that this compromise was necessary to get a union—the very union that would have the power to bring about the end of slavery. Slavery, Douglass concluded, is merely the “scaffolding to the magnificent structure, to be removed as soon as the building was completed.” Indeed, the founders delivered “the deadliest blow upon slavery” that could be practically “given at a particular time.”

Dinesh D’Sousa

Ben Carson on Critical Race Theory

Former Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Dr. Ben Carson on Sunday blasted Critical Race Theory, calling it a “bunch of garbage.”

Carson told Newsmax TV’s “Wake Up America” that Critical Race Theory was “an attempt to use race as a mechanism for redefining our society.” He warned the teaching could divide the American people and thus destroy the country from within.

“It’s an attempt to use race as a mechanism for redefining our society — redefining what it was based on and how it impacts everybody, and it wants our people to believe that your race is the most critical determinant of who you are and what happens to you in our society. In other words, it’s a bunch of garbage,” Carson emphasized.

“You know, the only thing that can really destroy our country — our country is a magnificent place. It can’t be destroyed by Russia or China or Iran or North Korea, but it can be destroyed from within,” he added. “There’s no question about that. That’s what Jesus meant when he said a house divided can’t stand. Lincoln reiterated that. And we need to recognize that we, the American people, are not enemies.”

Critical Race Theory: The Freakout of Cultural Totalitarians is Revealing

You can always tell when the cultural totalitarians are frightened: They accuse dissenters of their own sins. According to Mark Levin, they’re now calling opponents of Critical Race Theory “tribalists”. You read that correctly. The people who claim that your moral worth is determined by your race, and the people who insist that race is the most important attribute of a person’s character, are calling opponents of their theory TRIBALISTS. It doesn’t take Einstein, or even Kamala Harris, to understand that THEY are the tribalists. The OPPOSITE of critical race theory is INDIVIDUALISM. We live in such morally inverted and logically upside down times that the racists are calling the individualists “tribalists”. Amazing.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

Distinguishing Critical Race Theory from Marxism. Your Life depends on it.

For the purpose of making your way adaptively and smartly in a society that is systemically anti-white, you need to understand what distinguishes Critical Race Theory from Marxism and quit the socialism/Marxism theoretical escapism, for once and for all.

Get this into your head: For conflict in society, Marxism fingers social class; critical race theory saddles whites. You, if you are white!

More on this do-or-die distinction in my latest YouTube video, 

“Distinguish Critical Race Theory From Marxism: Your Life Depends On It!”

David Vance and I further flesh out the Marxism vs. Critical Race Theory vexation in our weekly, Wednesday chat.

Whatever conservatives think of Marxism—and this writer follows the antiwar, anti-state, free market Austrian School of economics—Marxism in the origin is serious political economy; an intellectual treatise with gravitas. Critical Race Theory is a priori gibberish.

Scrap that: Befitting the boors who originated CRT anti-whitism—the theory is based on reasoning backwards: if B then A; if white then … complete that sentence with all manner of evil that comes to mind.

We also discuss uni-party politics, the futility of it, and the war on MAGA folks, all 74 million of us. And, prompted by David, I might have thrown in a quip about plagiarism made way back, in a witty joust between Oscar Wilde and James McNeill Whistler—two giants of the West your kids should know, but don’t, because … critical race rot.

Ilana Mercer

Critical Race Theory: What it is and how to Fight it

Critical race theory is fast becoming America’s new institutional orthodoxy. Yet most Americans have never heard of it—and of those who have, many don’t understand it. It’s time for this to change. We need to know what it is so we can know how to fight it.

In explaining critical race theory, it helps to begin with a brief history of Marxism. Originally, the Marxist Left built its political program on the theory of class conflict. Marx believed that the primary characteristic of industrial societies was the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers. The solution to that imbalance, according to Marx, was revolution: the workers would eventually gain consciousness of their plight, seize the means of production, overthrow the capitalist class, and usher in a new socialist society.

During the 20th century, a number of regimes underwent Marxist-style revolutions, and each ended in disaster. Socialist governments in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba, and elsewhere racked up a body count of nearly 100 million of their own people. They are remembered for their gulags, show trials, executions, and mass starvations. In practice, Marx’s ideas unleashed man’s darkest brutalities.

Critical race theory is an academic discipline, formulated in the 1990s, built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism. Relegated for many years to universities and obscure academic journals, over the past decade it has increasingly become the default ideology in our public institutions. It has been injected into government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs, and corporate human resources departments in the form of diversity training programs, human resources modules, public policy frameworks, and school curricula.

Christopher F. Rufo