Critical Race Theory Is False and Endangers Fundamental Rights By Jonathan W. Emord
(WASHINGTON, DC) Tuesday, September 7, 2021 – Jonathan Emord, a top-ranked DC-based constitutional attorney, has authored a pathbreaking new book, THE AUTHORITARIANS, on the history and events leading up to the current #GreatReset, which undermines the best attributes of our nation — our faith, liberty, Constitution, and republic. Read his latest opinion article Critical Race Theory Is False and Endangers Fundamental Rights.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a Marxist educational curriculum that divides students based on race (with “of color” students deemed “oppressed” and “white” students deemed “oppressors”). Some 200 colleges and universities teach CRT. According to Manhattan Institute scholar Christopher Rufo, at least 30 public school districts in 15 states have replaced the standard pedagogy with CRT in the primary and secondary schools. CRT portrays American history not as a triumphant struggle of individual liberty and individual sovereignty against tyranny, as evinced by, e.g., the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, but as an endless replay of white oppression of people of color. CRT defines all American institutions (all governments, businesses, and market-based transactions) as “systemically” and irredeemably “racist.”
The plain implication, and apparent wish of those who subscribe to CRT, is that all American institutions be destroyed and replaced with a new Marxist regime where the racially intolerant supplant the American republic and equal justice under law with a race-based Marxist state and “social justice” for the “oppressed” and where all property of the “oppressors” is redistributed and all rights skewed to favor the “oppressed.”
The aim of CRT appears nothing short of indoctrinating generations of youth at their youngest and most impressionable ages into despising the United States. CRT is not education. It allows for no debate and no dissent. It denounces any who dare challenge its teachings as colonialists, racists, and oppressors. It is not designed to enable students to be facile in reading, writing, and arithmetic. It is designed to turn them into political weapons, racial Marxists, into a new breed of race hating Bolsheviks.
As with all species of Marxism, CRT teaches students to reject individual rights and liberty in favor of unquestioning allegiance to, and service in fulfilment of, collectivist goals announced by Marxist leaders. CRT rejects exceptionalism and meritocracy as white supremacy. It rejects most, if not all, figures in American history as white supremacists or Uncle Tom’s, and it asserts that it is shameful bigotry to be proud of America or take pride in the emblems of America, the flag and the national anthem.
Advocates of CRT, such as 1619 Project developer Nikole Hannah-Jones and BLM leaders, conveniently ignore profound historical contradictions to their selective, indeed distorted, depiction of the American story. They omit reference to repeated efforts since the founding by people of all races and ethnicities to achieve equal justice under law for all. While they are quick to recite that approximately 20 black indentured servants arrived in the Jamestown Colony in Easter of 1619, they ignore that 100 white indentured servants[BK1] (youth) who arrived four months prior thereto from London. They ignore the fact that the arrival of the 20 blacks was a one-off event for Jamestown with recurring shipments of white, not black, indentured servants to Jamestown for years thereafter. They ignore that Irish and English slaves populated all 13 of the colonies and worked alongside blacks past the time of the American revolution, all the way through the late-19th century. They ignore that by 1830 over 3,000 manumitted blacks owned slaves themselves. They ignore the fact that among the wealthiest plantation owners were former black slaves who owned slaves. For example, in 1860 on the eve of the Civil War, a black man Antoine Dubuclet owned over 100 slaves, had one of the largest sugar plantations, and was the richest slave owner in Louisiana. While it is indeed the case that by the time of the Civil War approximately 4 million blacks were in bondage in America, it is entirely untrue that American slavery is a system marked exclusively by white ownership of blacks. The tragedy of slavery affected whites and blacks in all manner of grotesque permutations not only in the United States but around the 16th through 19th century world.
CRT educators recite to our youth the additional falsehood that the founding fathers who owned slaves advocated slavery. To the contrary, as historian C. Bradley Thompson explains in America’s Revolutionary Mind, those primarily responsible for the founding of this country, not least of which are George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin, were opposed to slavery and wanted to see it eliminated through political abolition. Those founders who owned slaves (e.g., Jefferson, Madison, and Washington) teetered on the brink of financial ruin much of the time and, so, unilateral manumission carried with it almost certain bankruptcy. Consequently, they wanted universal political abolition of human bondage, which ultimately came about through the blood and suffering of the Civil War and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. That history is one of a persistent struggle for, and ultimate triumph of, an ever expanding liberty derived from the self-evident truths of the Declaration, not of universal and unrelenting white supremacy.
Thomas Jefferson gets a bum rap from CRT educators. He is said to be a white slave owner, a white supremacist, whose immortal lines in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence were meant for white males only. The opposite is true and borne out by the historical record. At the very time Jefferson penned the immortal self-evident truths of the Declaration, he wrote a 168-word paragraph condemning George III for bringing slavery to the colonies, wherein he described slavery as an execrable trade that deprived those in bondage of their unalienable rights. Jefferson explained in his autobiography that the 168-word paragraph he wrote was deleted by demand of South Carolina and Georgia as a concession for their support of the patriot cause in the Revolutionary War. Jefferson thus reveals a meaning for the Declaration contrary to the CRT propagandists’ narrative: He intended the self-evident truths of the second paragraph (e.g., that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights) to apply to humankind (men and women) and without regard to race or bondage status (to those of color as well as whites).
CRT means to destroy each child’s faith in the self-evident truths of the Declaration and in the United States as a bastion of liberty. Indeed, CRT teachings crush youthful hopes, aspirations, confidence and belief in America. Children are assigned to the categories of oppressors (all whites) or oppressed (all people of color). Children of color are led to believe that all whites hold them back. They are thus incentivized to hate whites. Children who are white are led to believe that they are responsible for holding children of color back by their mere existence as white people and are urged to feel guilt and shame for their skin color. The white race is said to oppress people of color even in the absence of overt discrimination: Just being white is oppression.
CRT is racism of the most insidious and egregious kind because it profoundly harms the most vulnerable and impressionable in our society, children. It turns their natural acceptance of others into an unnatural hatred for others, based on an extreme superficiality, variance in skin pigmentation.
CRT is child abuse. It is psychologically devastating to children of color, because it makes them believe from grade school forward that they are destined to fail no matter what they come to know or what they do–all on the false assertion that society is systemically racist and will not let them succeed. CRT is psychologically devastating to all white children, because it demands that they accept from grade school forward that they are unavoidably racist, destined by their color alone to victimize all people of color, regardless of their intentions.
In this way, all children are taught to hate themselves, hate those of other races, hate this great nation, and hate all American institutions. They are led to believe that the solution to this self-loathing and hopelessness is destruction of everything of worth, of all enterprise, and of all governments. By constantly employing race as a means to degrade and demean children, CRT causes children to experience the same kind of post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by other victims of mental abuse and torture. Children whose teachers lead them to understand that they are doomed to failure because of their skin color or are destined to unethically abuse others because of their skin color are invariably driven to perceive themselves of little worth and everything around them as evil. CRT is a doctrine of destruction, self-destruction and societal destruction.
CRT satisfies the classic legal definitions of child abuse common in the states. For example, under New York’s Social Services Code Sections 411-428, mental abuse of a child by a person responsible is subject to criminal and civil penalties. In Rhode Island under Title 40 of the Human Services Code, Chapters 40-11, Section 40-11-2, child abuse occurs when a person responsible inflicts mental injury on a child or creates a substantial risk of mental injury. Rhode Island imposes criminal penalties for child abuse. In California, under Penal Code Section 273a it is unlawful to willfully cause a child to experience unjustifiable mental suffering, punishable by up to 6 years.
Moreover, when public schools force children and state governments force employees, including the police, to be categorized, stigmatized, and treated differently based on race, they patently violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. When the federal government does likewise, it violates the Equal Protection component of the Fifth Amendment. Consequently, CRT may be enjoined by state and federal courts based on these equal protection violations, not to mention comparable state law violations.
What must we do? Whether or not you reside in a school district where CRT is being taught, it is essential for parents to educate their children about the blessings of liberty, about the history of Americans triumphing over tyranny in favor of individual rights and sovereignty, and of what it means to be an American, starting with the self-evident truths in the second paragraph to the Declaration of Independence. Children need to appreciate that America is a land of boundless opportunities where even those wrongly discriminated against have so often overcome that discrimination to achieve magnificently. They need to learn these essentials before throughout their childhood and they need to be encouraged to inform their parents at the first instance if educators trying to convince them that America is evil, their parents are racists, America is filled with race hate or white supremacy, or that they are destined to fail perpetual failure or oppress those of other races.
In each instance where CRT is taught, those responsible need to be identified with their names and positions broadcast to alert all parents of the threat posed. Parents should be encouraged to demand the resignation of those teachers, faculty members, and administrators and should unite to sue the institutions, teachers, faculty, and administrators for child abuse and for violations of the Equal Protection Clause, seeking to enjoin CRT instruction and compensate those whose children have suffered psychological harm, including loss of self-worth.
In those states where CRT curricula have been approved by school boards, parents should vote the members who support CRT out of office, replacing them with those who will teach the facts of the American story without political bias.
Following the great example of Governor Ron De Santis of Florida, parents should only vote for Governors who pledge to legally abolish CRT instruction in public schools (likewise for those running for state representative and state senate). Twenty-five states have either introduced or passed bans on CRT in public education.
The great silent majority now needs to be heard. We need to legislate, sue, vote, and protest CRT out of existence. We need to be relentless in that pursuit, because we can be assured that those who labored zealously for years to overthrow the standard pedagogy and impose CRT will fight tenaciously to preserve that race-based curriculum.