In this essay, I would like to spend some time to talk a bit about Critical Race Theory. Instead of arguing whether critical race theory is true or false, we’ll be talking about identity politics, what critical race theory is in its most simple form, and then talk about why it’s absolutely unhelpful.
What is Critical Race Theory:
For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just be using critical race theory in the way it’s used in the recent Black Lives Matter protests—the idea that the African Americans and certain racial, or minority, groups are indeed being institutionally discriminated against. This could be by institutionalised legal systems or that society themselves discriminate against them, either via conscious or subconscious methods.
So why this viewing of the world is completely unhelpful, not only for the everyday person who aren’t part of these alleged “victim” groups, but also completely unhelpful for the people who actually are supposedly the victims. Why is telling African Americans that they’re constantly being institutionally discriminated against not very helpful for them, or why it isn’t very right to see it against LGBTQ people saying, well, you’re just being discriminated all the time. The reason why you’re not successful in life is because you’re being discriminated against. And yes, in those situations, that might be true. But in my experience, there are very significant downsides to such an ideology, such thought, because I think that it can lead to horrible outcomes.
First Problem (Marxism):
The first problem that we can identify in Critical Race Theory is that it is fundamentally a very Marxist ideology—a worldview that believes humans are ultimately a result of their socio-economic backgrounds instead of their individual will. Of course, this is not to deny the fact that everyone will have certain economic, financial, or sociological motivations, but that this view is unable to fully explain the human condition and human responsibility. By attributing all things to one’s socio-economic reasons, critical race theory puts the fundamental blame of humanity on this social-economic structure, or this institutional racism, instead of the humans itself, and it shifts the blame. And when it shifts the blame, the logical consequence is that people then lose their moral responsibility for what they do.
The problem then clearly arises. When people actually do blame the people, for example, in critical race theory, they’re saying, “well, the police are racist, that is morally bad.” But that is in clear contradiction with the idea that something is institutionally racist. Why? Well, because if you’re saying that someone is only a result of their socio-economic background then it doesn’t matter who they are. If they fit in the system, then they’re racist. If that’s the case, then well, they no longer have any moral responsibility.
If I was just born into this certain economic structure, and there is no other reason for my actions, apart from the fact that I’m part of the structure, if I don’t have any individualism to not be part of this structure, then surely the blame doesn’t lie on me at all. It lies in the structure. And if that’s the case, then in extension, a fortiori, I don’t have any blame at all. I don’t have any more responsibility.
Problem 2 (A Shift of Responsibility):
The second problem is that it puts people’s guilt on the system instead of the individuals within the system. When you’re saying that the system’s institutionally racist, you’re saying, “well, the problems are inherent in the system, not necessarily with the people. It could be a completely different set of people, and it will still be institutionally racist.” If that’s your theory, then the blame and responsibility does not lie on the people and lies on the system, which I don’t think anyone would agree with.
Problem 3 (Counter-productive):
The third problem with Critical Race Theory is that it leads people to start blaming the system instead of taking moral responsibility for the situation. Even if you face insults and discrimination, in most situations, you still have the ability to work hard and move towards a higher goal.
While it is not good that you are being racially abused or insulted, it is absolutely vital that we still give it our all and rise up beyond the discrimination. We would all face problems, inherent to life. But we have to work hard and overcome them. It may be fair, it may be unfair. But that’s part of life.
This is a summary for what we have discussed recently in a video on my channel. For a full analysis about the counter-productivity of Critical Race Theory and its implications on our lives feel free to check it out by clicking (here).