To the editor:
In a recent letter to the editor (Aug. 13), Don Dreher asked why there is so much fear about CRT. He then posited a definition: “CRT is just a new fancy word to describe American History.” Well, to respond simply, no. A very cursory perusal through Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic’s Critical Race Theory: An Introduction will show Dreher’s proposition to be demonstrably false.
On page 8, they posit two fundamental premises of CRT: “racism is ordinary, not aberrational … the usual way society does business;” and, “the system of white-over-color ascendancy serves important purposes, both psychic and material, for the dominant group.” Influenced by the postmodern philosophy of Michel Foucault and the revolutionary rhetoric of the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, Critical Race Theory is an activist movement which seeks to both understand the history of the United States according to the Marxist dialectic of class struggle, and to change society.
Moreover, as Delgado and Stefancic themselves attest, CRT “questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law” (Delgado and Stefancic, 3).
In other words, racism is the central organizing principle upon which the United States was founded. Therefore, the liberal principles and the legal system they support are intrinsically racist and must be overturned. If, according to Dreher, “social studies class is to prepare all students with a background of information to live and interact in a diverse community,” then a theoretical model that questions the very principles of our country’s founding documents should not be the foundation of our social studies curriculum. If anyone is interested in alternatives to CRT/Antiracist pedagogy, I would refer them to the pioneering work of Robert Woodson and his “1776 Unites” project.