Critical Race Theory in Indiana Education
Critical Race Theory (CRT) cannot be identified within a school district through a search of the phrase as a noun. The theory is set of ideas which aim to challenge the understanding of our foundation and change society moving forward. The idea was originally coined by Derrick Bell to oppose what he perceived as America’s inherent racism. The CRT movement was renewed and expanded by Kimberlé Crenshaw who combined the belief that America is systemically racist with another term she developed: Intersectionality. Intersectionality is the belief that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class overlap creating a hierarchy of oppressions by institutionalized white supremacy.
Crenshaw—who coined the term “CRT”—notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. -American Bar Association, Janel George
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, an advocate of Critical Race Theory, broadened the concept with focus on “Color-Blind Racism”. He believes whites use a racialized social system approach to preserve the racial status quo regardless of changes made in the past to overcome inequalities. In short, racism can appear hidden but deniers of the racist aspects of situations are (in reality) exceptionally racist.
Critical Race Theory concludes American institution’s, political structures, and economic & social systems are founded upon race (which they believe is a social construct). This ideology is a key element in social justice agendas. The following K-12 policies, programs & competencies (likely) engage a CRT approach & should be further examined immediately.
- Social Emotional Learning Programs
- Black Lives Matter in School
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (Office, training or counselor)
- Anti-Racist Lessons or Training
- Unconscious Bias Lessons or Training
- Culturally Responsive Practice
- Social Justice Lessons or Training
- Understanding Whiteness or White Supremacy Lessons or Training
Why Indiana must REJECT Critical Race Theory,
An American-born author, mathematician, and political commentator, Dr. James Lindsay lists major problems with the use of CRT.
Critical Race Theory
- believes racism is present in every aspect of life, every relationship, and every interaction and therefore has its advocates look for it everywhere
- relies upon “interest convergence” (white people only give black people opportunities and freedoms when it is also in their own interests) and therefore doesn’t trust any attempt to make racism better
- is against free societies and wants to dismantle them and replace them with something its advocate’s control
- only treats race issues as “socially constructed groups,” so there are no individuals in Critical Race Theory
- believes science, reason, and evidence are a “white” way of knowing and that storytelling and lived experience are a “black” alternative, which hurts everyone, especially black people
- rejects all potential alternatives, like colorblindness, as forms of racism, making itself the only allowable game in town (which is totalitarian)
- acts like anyone who disagrees with it must do so for racist and white supremacist reasons, even if those people are black (which is also totalitarian)
- cannot be satisfied, so it becomes a kind of activist black hole that threatens to destroy everything it is introduced into