…and if there is, it's a good thing. The Fresno Bee this weekend published a "Valley Voices" op-ed from college administrator Noha Elbaz who attempts to make the case that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is nothing more than a boogeyman designed to gin up fear, distrust and anger.
What is [CRT]? Not many can really tell you. Who does it effect? In reality, college students, though the public comments at local school board meetings might lead you to think hordes of CRT teachers were coming out of the air vents at your local elementary school. How does it affect your daily life? Short answer: it doesn’t. Long answer: it affects you if, and only if, you want to know about an important and enduring legacy of our nation’s history that continues to impact millions of Americans today.
And here some of you may have thought I was joking in how I characterized this piece at the very top. As the Babylon Bee has come to discover in recent years, satire is hard because reality has become insane.
This is really the case Elbaz chooses to make. CRT is not happening, but if it is, it's only because you wish to become informed about history.
CRT is a variant of traditional Marxist class theory. Instead of the bourgeoise and the proletariat, we have oppressor and oppressed based upon race and privilege. If you're white, male, and straight, you're very privileged. If you're black, trans, and two-spirit, then you're oppressed. Under this worldview, a white kid from dirt-poor Appalachia has more power and privilege than President Barack Obama's kids.
Of course, Elbaz pretends, as many before her have, that this just isn't occurring at the K-12 educational level. She willfully ignores cases like this one last year at an elementary school in Cupertino, Calif., where 3rd grade students were exposed to one of the primary tenets of CRT.
Based on whistleblower documents and parents familiar with the session, a third-grade teacher at R.I. Meyerholz Elementary School began the lesson on “social identities” during a math class. The teacher asked all students to create an “identity map,” listing their race, class, gender, religion, family structure, and other characteristics. The teacher explained that the students live in a “dominant culture” of “white, middle class, cisgender, educated, able-bodied, Christian, English speaker[s],” who, according to the lesson, “created and maintained” this culture in order “to hold power and stay in power.”
This is what CRT is. In order to distract readers, Elbaz writes a lot about what CRT is not.
After denying CRT's existence, Elbaz spends much of her disinformation piece suggesting that it is little more than teaching students today some of the uglier aspects of U.S. and world history.
Teaching about the experience of those who came to the United States through Ellis Island, or who were brought here via slave ships, or the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust or the forced relocation and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II are not what CRT is.
That's simply teaching history, and aside from a handful of nuts on the extreme political fringes, there's no one who objects to teaching students any or all of those subjects. Those opposed to CRT in the K-12 setting aren't calling for burying the U.S.'s history of slavery, though Elbaz's allies on the left often characterize their opposition that way.
Over the past several years we have become wrapped up in the argument over Critical Race Theory, with one’s opinion being used as a litmus test for checking the “R” or the “D” in party affiliation. In reality, we’re not asking about conservative or progressive; what we’re really asking is, do we want to bury our heads in the sand because it makes us feel bad? Or do we want to be intellectually honest, and examine painful truths?
CRT isn't about teaching painful truths. CRT is about assigning labels of "oppressor" and "oppressed" to children based upon their skin color and background. It's about heaping blame and scorn on some children and praise and righteousness on others based not on their own innate qualities or deeds, but upon what people who look like them did long before they were born.
Don't be fooled by the likes of Elbaz.