I have been an outspoken critic of Critical Race Theory, especially this year since researching it. I’m going to break this down into straightforward points and I think you’ll understand why I oppose it, whether or not you agree. And I appreciate your consideration and patience in advance.
Critical Race Theory is based in a faulty premise, that all people are inherently racist, which is untrue. Racism is taught. People are not born racist or privileged. They are born human beings, completely dependent upon whoever raises them. They can’t even communicate aside from cries or movements. Language is taught. Everything else is instinct prior to that.
Critical Race Theory is based on a model of conflict: oppressor and oppressed. This is its Marxist core. There must be revolution to bring about change. Peaceful change is not possible, there must be upheaval. The old (history, legislation including the US Constitution, and traditions based in the culture of the “oppressor”) must be thrown out, destroyed. Canceled.
In Critical Race Theory, reality — and even compromise — is rejected in favor of the new order. Oppressed must become oppressor for justice to occur. Certain races cannot be racist. And yet, Critical Race Theory contradicts this because it presumes everyone is racist, even if they don’t know it. It literally promotes race hatred.
Critical Race Theory and its cousin “Antiracism” (which does not oppose racism, it promotes it) presumes that “white people” (their words, not mine) have always been in power and are the oppressor. It also presumes that all people of color (except Asians, who are somehow closely related to white people, which literally makes no sense) are oppressed. Yet it encourages anti-white and anti-Asian discrimination, because discrimination against the oppressor is justified and some form of justice against past discrimination.
Critical Race Theory encourages racial segregation and discourages interracial relationships. It also promotes the racial supremacy of people of color.
Critical Race Theory is what people want your children and grandchildren to learn in school. It is already being taught in colleges (where it began). It has spread within the US Government.
If I sound alarmist, you’ll have to forgive me. I had to face a lot of racial opposition to my marriage from people of different races. I sacrificed finishing college to be with the love of my life. My three children are multiracial. My middle son has had this hatred shoved at him by college educators and told to write a paper on it. I have stakes in this figurative game. Everyone should.
Critical Race Theory is marketed as harmless, as fixing the wrongs of history and routing out systemic racism. It is (and does) none of those things. Anything that has to lie about what it is cannot be a good thing. It denies the accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement. It opposes Dr. King’s dream.
Lastly, Critical Race Theory has no endgame. What happens when its “racially just utopia” is achieved? All races are segregated, white people and Asians are relegated to second class citizenship, and people hate each other based on the color of their skin. History is rewritten by the new oppressors. This is somehow good?
We would essentially find ourselves in an alternate reality where it’s the pre-Civil Rights Era, but the races have changed. And if you think that can't happen, California recently voted on whether or not to repeal (undo) their Civil Rights legislation. Thankfully, that effort failed. But what was the point of even trying to do that? People wanted to be able to discriminate against other races...legally.
I rarely make such definitive statements, but I believe this way of thinking is evil. It is meant to bring harm — and it has. People are being hurt, even killed. Those carrying out the crimes are being driven by this way of thinking, they are motivated by strong emotion. By hate. There is no justice in this. And the endgame is sadly very predictable.
In the late 1960s, even Star Trek understood the basic idea that two extremely divided views on race cannot co-exist. The idea of any kind of race hatred, no matter who is voicing that hate, will ultimately lead to one terrible end, if followed to its logical conclusion.
I urge you to watch this short clip from “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.”
The Fourth of July. Independence Day. The day the United States of America (USA) was born. A day signifying the results of the War of Independence, when the original colonies severed ties with Britain and declared themselves a new, self-governing country. A day people died for, giving this nation the chance to succeed. A country people have died to protect ever since. And why? Because despite the many mistakes, tragedies and terrible mis-steps the USA has made since its forming, it still offers freedoms no other country does. And it has a Constitution like no other legal framework in existence.
The USA is far from perfect. No country is. No country has existed without conflict, internal and external. The USA engaged in slavery, a horrifying practice. But the USA also fought a blood-filled Civil War to end slavery. Some people act like slavery began and ended here. It didn’t. The Slave Trade dates back millennia and continues in some parts of the world. They just call it “human trafficking” now.
What has made the USA so appealing to people around the world has been two-fold: the American Dream and the fact that it is considered a “melting pot,” where anyone is welcome. The American Dream is simple: With enough hard work, persistence, and enthusiasm, people can become who they want to be. Whether that means starting a business, becoming an athlete or any kind of professional, it is possible. Many people of all races and ethnicities have achieved that. Some have become famous or even celebrities. Not everyone has become wealthy and some have lost their fame and/or fortunes, but the opportunity was there.
I hear a lot of people downplay or even disparage the American Dream (which I will call The Dream from now on) and I don’t understand it. They call it a lie or only for the privileged. And some people act like race automatically prevents people from achieving The Dream. If that is true, please explain Oprah Winfrey to me. And then explain Morgan Freeman, Benicio Del Toro, Jennifer Lopez, Shazad Latif, John Cho, Steven Yeun, the late Chadwick Boseman and equally successful actors, not to mention a huge list of athletes, business owners and beyond. The Dream is still possible. That doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles, sometimes even oneself, but obstacles can be overcome. Even during a pandemic.
I see so much division these days in the USA, mostly along political lines, racial lines or both. I see people disrespecting the US flag or the National Anthem. I see people promoting what is being dubbed the “Black National Anthem” (“Lift Every Voice And Sing,” which is a beautiful song) in the place of the National Anthem.
Despite what people may think and other people’s considerable efforts, the USA is NOT two nations divided by color or race. We don’t have to love everything about the country or its past, but we can respect that we are one nation. We can agree to disagree and we can also have honest dialogue when we do disagree. We can listen to both sides of an argument and not become violent. We can believe in people in general. And support each other as one nation.
Political divisions will come and go. Trends will come and go. Cultures do change over time, putting some old ways to rest and embracing some new ways. That is life.
What doesn’t change is the circle of life itself: Birth, growth, learning, faith (in something), love, the need for family, aging, and death. These are the things that tie us all together, regardless of where we were born, what the color of our skin is, what our culture is or what we choose to believe.
This is what makes us human beings.
We have a right to exist. We deserve a basic level of respect just for existing. And we are ALL biologically similar.
So on this Fourth of July, instead of focusing on over-hyped rhetoric about our supposed differences, I suggest that we focus on our similarities.
We can all get along. We just have to want to try.
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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