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If I had to point to one thing that I believe divides this country the most, it would be ‘Critical Race Theory’ (CRT).  A theory which has gained currency ever since the Black Lives Matter movement took hold of our attention after George Floyd was murdered.

The truth is, however, CRT is not easy to define.  A lot depends on who’s defining it.

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If you are left of center, my impression is that you see it as a sort of catch all non descript way of dealing with racism in this country that seeks to rectify it in our day. And that it is not any kind of clearly defined ideology. They don’t even like using the term.

If you are right of center, you see it as a destructive ideology used by those who seek to radically change the way in which we see ourselves as Americans and how we see the founding fathers. In both cases as inherently racist.  In this view it is white privilege that got most Americans where they are and kept black people down.

Where does the truth lie? Is CRT a valid way of dealing with racism as the left of center might see it? Or is it designed to destroy this country as we know it as the right of center might see it?

I lean toward the latter view. I truly believe that CRT is being used by the extreme left as a means to destroy the great legacy of equality the founding fathers gave us.  And replace it with their version of a leftist utopia where equity replaces equality.

Instead of equal opportunity that has worked its magic over the last 2 centuries they seek an equal outcome for all.  It is an ideology that disregards what you ‘put in’ and instead considers important only what you ‘take out’. And it better be the same for all. In the meantime reparations need to be paid to black people for all past racial injustices caused by white people by over 200 years of ‘white privilege’. Which has left black people behind .

Not for a lack of trying by the  extreme left – but I don’t believe the latter view will prevail. Thank God. It is because Americans are smart enough to know that this country is not about racism – while acknowledging that it still exists and has had negative consequences for black people in the past. Most Americans correctly believe that the ideals of equality built into the very fabric fabric of this country is what makes it so great. Ideals that have benefitted many black people. too. Especially ever since the Civil Rights act of 1964.

While equal opportunity for black people has not always been the case, as was the case during the height of slavery when the Supreme Court sadly had come out with their infamous Dred Scott decision. Things have changed considerably since then. That has not eliminated racism. But neither should it trash the advances made since Dred Scott. There are thousands of black people that used that opportunity to seek and achieve great success in all facets of American life. Success that sees increasing numbers of black Americans living the same middle class lifestyle that white people do.

The question arises, how do black people see CRT? My guess is that their views are not monolithic. And that there are actually a lot of black people that view CRT the same way I do. It is instructive to see how Alveda King, the niece of the late American icon feels about CRT. It’s hard not to agree with her. From an article by her in the New York Post:

In the enduring song, “Georgia on my Mind,” the great Ray Charles sang, “no peace I find” in his home state during the civil rights movement. Indeed, Georgia was at the heart of the movement, and a troubled time it was. Yet we persevered, and we won — schools were desegregated and our civil liberties were enshrined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Where did that victory go?

Both unity and victory have been undermined by critical race theory (CRT). This new approach to race actively divides our kids every day by leading them to believe that the color of their skin holds more importance than the content of their character. This is precisely the type of ideal that leaders in the civil rights movement fought against, yet here it is again, right here in Georgia.

She is absolutely right. This why Glenn Youngkin has become Governor of Virginia. he did not win because of racism. He won because mainstream Americans see CRT taking hold in this country and they reject it. It would not surprise me if many black people feel the same way and voted for Youngkin too.

Something we should all think about.

{Reposted from the author’s blog}

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Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.