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Many CRT Critics Probably Don’t Understand CRT

As more evidence that most people squawking about “critical race theory” don’t know what they’re talking about or are just abusing words to protect their apartheid privilege, Philip Bump notes that most of the people claiming to have heard about and deeply grok critical race theory are knuckleheads who probably don’t read books:

It’s important to note that most Americans admit that they aren’t particularly familiar with “critical race theory” or its tenets. Earlier this week, YouGov released polling conducted for the Economist that explored the extent to which Americans were familiar with the concept.

Only about a quarter of Americans said they’d heard “a lot” about the theory, though nearly half of those who said they’d voted for President Donald Trump in 2020 made that claim. About two-thirds of Americans overall said they’d heard at least a little about it.

…Among Trump voters, more than half said they have a good idea of what critical race theory is. Of that group, nearly all (91 percent) say they view it unfavorably and about the same number (94 percent) declare it to be bad for America [Philip Bump, “Embracing Juneteenth Is Entirely Consistent with the Pushback Against Discussing Racism in Schools,” Washington Post, 2021.06.17].

Typical Trumpists: the less they understand something, the more they claim to understand them. On critical race theory, their understanding isn’t based on deep study; it’s based on hearing slogans shouted from a demagogue’s platform and the warm fuzzy feeling those slogans rouse in their dark ids.

Don’t listen to idiots or racists. Download a good book, read some articles, know what you’re talking about.

And be antiracist.


  1. Ryan 2021-06-18 10:27

    I am no expert so nobody should listen to me, but my opinion is the more I learn about CRT the more I think it perpetuates the problems it alleges exist.

  2. Dicta 2021-06-18 10:46

    CRT makes some very, very strong points about the systemic nature of racism and the impact it has made on certain groups of people within the United States. I don’t always agree with it, but it’s hard to deny the impact of slavery, Jim Crow, etc. on the lives of minorities in the US.

  3. MD 2021-06-18 11:16

    The Dunning-Kruger effect strikes again

  4. Porter Lansing 2021-06-18 12:21

    Tell a group of females that they’re treated equally in every facet of their lives.

    From applying for a job, to their salary, to the cost of their medicine and the cost of their dry cleaning.

    That’s Critical Gender Theory.

  5. O 2021-06-18 12:23

    It all reminds me of when Obamacare was universally held in contempt by Republicans, but when shown elements of the Affordable Care Act they were in favor of them.

    The GOP “reasons” on labels not issues.

  6. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-18 12:32

    Well,,,at the time of Washington’s ascendency to the Presidency, a white man could not vote in Virginia unless he owned 20 slaves. This law was adopted by other southern states in one form or another and was on the books for over 30 years in most of those states. In the few New England states (3, I believe) where slavery was restricted (not abolished) descendents of slaves who had been freed did not have full citizenship. There were many freed blacks in New England. Many were sailors and whalers from the Cape Verde Islands. Wahington had a mulatto nephew who was his brother’s grandson and for whom he was guardian. In his will, Washington did not free him. Jefferson freed some of his slaves but did not free his children by Sally Hutchings his housekeeper and common law wife. Abolitionists, primarily Puritan Congregationalists from New England, were very much a fringe group until the 1850’s when the Dred Scott decision and the publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin gave them some popular momentum. At the time of the civil war, abolitionists were a small minority of voters.Lincoln freed the slaves in the areas of the south controlled by the Northern Army after the battle at Antietam when he concluded the North could not win the war as long as the South had over 2 million slaves working in support of its Army and economy.The withdrawal of federal troops after the “election” of Rutherford Hayes, led to the nearly immediate restriction of citizenship rights for blacks throughout the south.John F. Kennedy was not, himself, very sympathetic to the Civil Rights movement, but was forced into action by the violent opposition of southern Governors and the infamous chief of police in Montgomery Alabama, Bull Conner.The violent racists in the South actually brought about a swifter response from the political establishment through their opposition and Martin Luther King and others were able to keep the focus on injustice.Republicans in Congress supported civil rights in the 50’s and 60’s, Southern Democrats were opposed. t’s been a long time coming. Happy Juneteenth.

  7. Mark Anderson 2021-06-18 12:37

    Let’s see, to be a trumpie today you must hate CRT, you must hate transgenders, you must love guns and pray for all those who die because of them, you hate lockdowns that save lives but force you to wear a mask of all things. Question any shot you are supposed to take when it just saves lives. You must leave your trump flag under the American or Confederate flag you fly at all times, putting the police flag under all the flags would help too. You must work to make it harder for those folks to vote since they outvoted you to steal the election for the chosen one. Turn Juneteenth into June 14th. You must help complete the wall and stop the browning of America. You must like Putin, he’s such a nice guy, he would be a good vp. Don’t worry about anything related to the fictitious global warming. Banning Muslims would make us all safe. Above all South Dakotan’s, you must eat your steak well done.

  8. David Newquist 2021-06-18 13:02

    The point misunderstood about CRT is that it is not a doctrine, but a thesis proposed for examination. As such it has First Amendment protections. I assume that there are lawsuits forthcoming over the laws passed to forbid its teaching aimed at the Supreme Court. Academic freedom is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, but past court cases have seen it as a parallel to freedom of speech and freedom of the press: “The Nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth ‘out of a multitude of tongues, [rather] than through any kind of authoritative selection’.”[United States v. Associated Press (1943)]

    And: “Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us, and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment.” [”Keyishian v. Board of Regents (1967)]

    In the meantime, a few blogs such as the Dakota Free Press, canary to explain to those with enough literacy to comprehend what CRT actually is. That is a daunting task in a state that is 60 percent magat with a declared devotion to malice and ignorance.

  9. David Newquist 2021-06-18 13:09

    Auto correct changed “can try to” to “canary.” Sorry.

  10. Donald Pay 2021-06-18 13:33

    Yes. I suspect we all need to bone up on Critical Race Theory. CRT has a 45 year history. Catching up with that is a daunting task. It’s kind of funny how conservatives think they know everything about everything if they hear some caricature of a subject from some foaming-at-the-mouth nimrod spouting ridiculous claims. We progressives are much more likely to read something before we spout off.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-06-18 13:36

    Mr Blundt lays out a number of reasons the constitution should be viewed as a living, breathing document subject to debate and changes as crises arise in America such as voter suppression by magats and expanding a certain religious view above all others.

  12. Mark Anderson 2021-06-18 15:11

    The Republicans hate CRT because it exposes the contemporary nature of racism. The village of conservatives is all about keeping fact from their fictional minds. You can’t have white children feeling bad about our greatness can you? One of the biggest reasons now is their overwhelming desire to push back on the recent advancement of African Americans due to protests. You knew it was coming didn’t you?

  13. DaveFN 2021-06-18 15:18

    “Critical race studies” is preferable to “critical race theory.” There is no single theory being proposed but rather a mosaic of hypotheses requiring depth examination around which various levels of scholarship have evolved with a wide array of motivations.

    Not that reframing the topic correctly would prevent its attack. University “feminist studies,” “queer studies,” “gender studies” to name a few have each had their set of detractors at one time or another.

  14. Eve Fisher 2021-06-18 15:30

    GOP: Masks, vaccines, vaccine passports, and being required as a doctor / nurse to treat everyone who comes to you are all slavery*, and unbearable. Also, slavery was good for the slaves, and paying taxes is just like slavery. Also, everything is like slavery and horrible, except for slavery, which was OK.

    *Rand Paul, of course, Politico May 11, 2011.

  15. Porter Lansing 2021-06-18 19:19

    America’s foundation and basic principles relegate Black people to the sticky end of the poop stick.
    It’s time we did something to level the playing field for Black people.
    That’s the theory.
    I agree.
    Do you?
    Or, do you believe that white people are also victims of inherent unfairness within America?

  16. Arlo Blundt 2021-06-19 00:07

    well…of course white people have been exploited by the system and victimized by the power structure. But not all white people. the difference between me or a factory worker and Bill Gates or the scions of Wall Street is the difference between corn on the cob and corn whiskey.

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-06-22 10:16

    The “critical theories” examine systemic inequalities (ways in which our governmental systems are unfair).

    Critical race theory is about inherent racism in America.

    Critical gender is about inherent unfair treatment of women.

    Now let’s examine “critical education theory”.

    It asserts that poor peoples kids aren’t offered the same educational opportunities as their wealthier neighbors.

    Your Governor Noem and the MAGA’s are in agreement that teaching about unfair treatment of Blacks, Mexicans, and Indians is evil and to be avoided.

    However, they do partially accept the theories about women and poor kids.

    Why pick on the Black and Brown people? You know the answer, don’t you.

    Wealthy, white males wrote the laws that determine what happens in America and they wrote the laws to favor themselves and their male offspring for all time.

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