Critical Race Theory is Irrelevant Today

The June 26, 2021 issue of The Washington Post contains a column by Colbert I. King, a regular Post columnist.  His title on this offering is, “In D.C., critical race theory is simple truth-telling.”  King introduces his essay by stating that five Republican congressmen, led by Glenn Grothman (Wis) have promoted legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory in D.C. public and charter schools.  

Grothman said, “Students are being taught that they are defined by the color of their skin, not the content of their character.”  “This-neo-racist ideology,” warned Grothman, “should have no place in our public education system, especially in our nation’s capital.”  Mr. King asks his readers to, “understand, also, that D.C. schools don’t teach critical race theory but do provide anti-racist training for educators and classroom discussions of systemic racism.  Concentrate, instead, on the neo-racist ideology” that Grothman alleges critical race theory teaches.  Such an ideology held firm grip on D.C. public education, as well as the entire nation’s capital, for decades.”  “Grothman suggests today’s  the retelling of actual  history of so long ago not relevant today and is divisive.  He implores schools to tell the story that “share[s] the wonderful gift we all have, to live the American Dream if we work for it.  Mr. King counters with his own experience sixty years ago:  

“That Dream stared me in the face as I read pages of The Washington Post when I was a 1960 teenager looking for work:  BOYS-WHITE  age14 to 18.  To assist Route manager full or part-time.  Must be neat in appearance.  Apply 1346 Conn. Ave. NW.

“STUDENTS Boys, white, 14 yrs. And over, jobs immediately available.  Apply…724 9th St., NW.

“SALESMAN, white.  With a successful background in sales or one who feels he could be successful if given the right opportunity and training.”  

Mr. King concludes, “If we only had a chance, we prayed.”  

How long is it appropriate for a nation to carry a burden into the future, especially one that has been profoundly remediated by both the law and the attitudes of a large majority of both blacks and whites.  In other words, a large majority of blacks do not support what Mr. King claims for today’s experience.  It is more than sixty years since the above grievance, truly representative of 1960, but totally unrepresentative of 2000, let alone today, even less so.  The Critical Race Theory (“CRT”) narrative needs now to be stated in the past-tense, not the present tense.  It is not only a false narrative for today, but is shouted “in your face you white people,” who in nearly all respects were never a party to it, or even alive at the time the narrative allegedly was stated.  It is as if every ethnic German born subsequent to World War II should be charged today with Nazi atrocities based on his birthplace or from parents born subsequent to World War II.  CRT is nothing but attempting to maintain racism beyond its lifetime; let alone calling it ‘critical or systemic.”

I do not believe America is racist, and I do believe a great majority of Americans are not racist!  In 1967, there were only a few states that had sanctions against interracial marriage.  In that year the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia“anti-miscegenation” laws were unconstitutional.  By year 2020 over fifteen percent of all new marriages are interracial marriages.  Public approval of interracial marriage was 80% in 2000 and moving closer to 100% since.  

Having asserted that I do not believe systemic racism exists in America that does not mean in any sense that no one in America is racist.  White Supremacy groups exist.  I refer to the likes of the “Unite the Right” group that marched in Charlottesville, Virginia as a dangerous example.  I am sure there are other such groups in America.  Every race or ethnicity will be reviled by some Supremacist group of a different race or ethnicity.  All minorities of the world have always existed in America; God bless them and they are welcome.  I have never knowingly encountered a White Supremacist  person to talk to, but I don’t dispute their existence and danger to a free country. 

A sixteen year-old Gallop poll of whites and blacks living in three different settings:  Many Whites, Some Whites, and A Few Whites found that whether the respondent was white or black, the relations among them averaged as 66% “good relations” between the races when the respondent was black and 70% when the respondent was white!.  If the poll were repeated today for the same conditions it would undoubtedly show healthy improvement.  The systemic racists are the minority.                                                                                             June 29, 2021