Understanding Critical Race Theory

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Local Voices

Frank Fetters

My current understanding of Critical Race Theory is that public figures who deemed themselves to be experts on this topic offered general opinions without debating the individual points made by the people who made these claims. The effect of this is to dismiss Critical Race Theory out of hand, simply by identifying whatever opinion or facts they disagreed with as “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) and calling it false. Not everyone did this, but many of the people who did challenge CRT seem to be using this approach.

The most important idea I gleaned from this Wikipedia report is that there is NO ONE THEORY. All theories that could be classified as CRT are lumped together, making it almost impossible to consider the individual points of anyone’s arguments and determine which are valid and which are suspect, thereby making an intelligent discussion of the merits of these theories impossible.
That is pretty much all I have to say on the topic right now, but I do want to add this information related to the book Mr. Bob Malkas purchased for me and mailed to me.

1. I made the assumption without evidence that the book was likely to be racist, But when I began reading it, there was a positive aspect to it that I had not considered. Instead of writing as a detractor of racial theories, the author, David Barton demonstrates on the very first page that he respects and values the contributions that African-Americans have made as citizens and defenders of democracy. And although I don’t agree with some of his conclusions, I think his research is impressive, and many of the facts that he identifies are important and valuable.

2. I believe Barton’s book, AMERICAN HISTORY IN BLACK AND WHITE, is an icon of critical race theory because it offers important, critical opinions about race in America. For that reason alone, it should be an instrument to provide clarity for people who care about these issues.

3. One thing I believe for sure is that nothing valuable can be accomplished in the service of democracy and human rights if we dismiss CRT out of hand without regard to how what has been written affects all of us, regardless of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other arbitrary category which is used by public figures to divide us as a country.

Respectfully submitted,
Frank Fetters


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11 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this article.
    Critical Race THEORY is exactly that a THEORY. To those out there who are not sure what a theory is PLEASE look it up, it’ll help clarify the misunderstanding that most people have about CRT.
    I personally think that this is a detractor from what is really happening in our government.

  2. “One thing I believe for sure is that nothing valuable can be accomplished in the service of democracy and human rights if we dismiss CRT out of hand without regard to how what has been written affects all of us, regardless of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or any other arbitrary category which is used by public figures to divide us as a country.” I agree!

  3. Thank you, Mr. Fetters, for bringing a voice of reason and thoughtfulness to this subject. I appreciate that you took a step of actually reading a book on the subject, and not just reacting according to whatever news station or social media page you happened to read. A second look and deeper thought is often necessary as we confront the conflicts that seem to divide so many of us.

    • Thank you, Jennifer. Quite frankly [no pun intended], my first reaction was a kind of knee-jerk response because I see so much commentary about ciient social terms as an attempt to turn everything into a buzzword that people want to criticize without defining it. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who is not pleased by this.

  4. (CRT) Critical Race “opinion”? A theory will always be an opinion wrapped in factual clothing.
    That “factual clothing” is a costume; similar to a judges robe. There is value in humans being able to extrovert their opinions, thoughts, and ideas. The dominant thinkers (adult / mature) of the tribe will always collectively preside over matters of appropriateness. There is always a companion, subordinate (group or individual) within the tribe whose opinion is trumped. The strategy is simple. If you want to change what is appropriate; go after the children. 2 adults discussing an opinion is a social event. Take that same opinion to a learning institution full impressionable children who deem every word spoken by an adult as authoritative. Children do not have the same identity arsenal that empowers adults to think “critically”. The direct result is indoctrination. Indoctrination is abuse. CRT has always been an adult topic.

  5. Frank-I recommend that you read four articles posted under my name Bob Malkas on Facebook. Critical Race Theory-History 101-History 103-The 1619 Project
    It will provide you with many answers to your questions.
    It might be a good for the parents of all Lansing school children to do the same.
    I invite comments-If you wish send them to World in the Wind P.O. Box 168, Lansing Illinois-Don’t bother the Lansing Journal.

  6. Robert-

    Right now I am swamped by my current workload and really don’t have a lot of spare time, but I want to thank you for sending me the book. If you will contact me by email and let me know the total cost of your doing that [book plus [postage], I will send you a check for that amount.

    Sincerely,

    Frank

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