Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The American Spectator on November 1, 2020.
Critical race theory (CRT) is based on flawed and destructive assumptions. Its actual purpose is the complete opposite of its stated intent.
Its leftist creators in academia and media claim it encourages racial understanding. The truth is that its cynical methodology further divides us when racial understanding and acceptance is key to our survival as the freest nation on Earth.
Defined by Britannica, CRT is “the view that legal institutions are inherently racist, and race itself, instead of being biological, is a social construct used by white people to further their interests at the expense of people of color.”
As an African American, I assure the reader my skin color is not a social construct, nor is that of my Caucasian friends and colleagues.
CRT is not curriculum, but a movement of the radical Left to use false charges of institutional racism to con Americans into thinking our history was, and remains, foundationally racist — a tactic within a strategy to move the country toward the tyrannical, self-serving Left.
It encourages people to despise traditional values that nurture safety, opportunity, and prosperity. By turning our backs on historical truth, we allow leftists to work their destruction into our fabric deep enough to change the color of the thread — from red, white, and blue to dark, shadowy, and dismal. With its underlying assumption that all white people are racists, CRT is itself racist.
We are not a perfect nation, but we are “perfectible.” We have met challenges like slavery, civil rights, war, and terrorism. In every case, after mistakes and debate, we got it right. If we seek hard truths, address the right issues, and look for quantifiable solutions to issues of race, we will get it right again.
The primary threats to African Americans in minority areas are crime, inferior education, and lack of economic opportunity — and now, violent leftist BLM and Antifa destruction. There are solutions for these problems, and they are more likely to succeed if people with positive intent don’t have to shout over race-baiting leftists promoting hate.
Shamefully, our nation’s capital is a snapshot of educational failures in minority communities. In Washington, D.C., 90 percent of students are African American, and 63 percent of schools underperform. Only 37 percent of students pass post-secondary readiness exams. Black students receive the highest number of suspensions, and chronic absenteeism for this population is 35 percent, compared to 8 percent for white students.
Other big cities with significant black populations perform similarly and have another thing in common — they have all been ruled by liberal Democrat elites for decades, many who promote CRT.
In December 2016, when the national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, unemployment for black Americans was higher than any other group at 8.2 percent. In February 2020, it had fallen dramatically to 5.8 percent. The Trump administration’s lowering of taxes and regulations gave minority small business owners — who are taxed at individual rates — a chance to expand and hire new employees.
Guided by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), in 2018 the administration created “opportunity zones” for distressed minority communities to create growth and jobs. By summer 2019, the program incentivized the private sector to invest $75 billion in these neighborhoods. By contrast, leftists have scorched many of our cities, causing untold billions in property damage and leaving many minority and immigrant business owners burned out of their shops and incomes.
Two factors have led to pervasive intra-community or “black on black” crime. First is the lack of educational and employment opportunities for young African Americans. Secondly, liberal policies and the Left’s hedonistic pop culture have destroyed the nuclear black family, with 67 percent headed by single moms, who themselves struggle with lack of quality education and job offerings.
Nearly 90 percent of African American homicide victims are killed by other African Americans. Yet liberal city officials encourage criminality by ignoring lawlessness and often refusing to prosecute offenders. And if you bring up black on black crime and its destructive power, you’re a racist regardless of your race.
Actions work. The Trump administration created the First Step Act that reformed mandatory sentencing and led to roughly 2,700 African Americans being released from prison. It also provides acknowledgment to the black community that people in office are willing to address their concerns.
Critical race theory, banned from federal agencies by President Trump, is yet another weapon in the radical Left’s toolbox to legitimize their heartless power grab. They use African Americans and gullible but well-meaning young minds to push destructive lies about our nation, our people, and our future.
Decades of liberal rule in minority communities have turned them into killing fields. We must turn them back to fields of dreams. We can start by eliminating CRT.
America still strives to live up to its ideals. And we can — with measurable, compassionate, realistic policy solutions, not a program that takes the “soft bigotry of low expectations” to devastating and destructive new lows.