About this episode:
Critical Race Theory. It feels like all of a sudden, this term is just everywhere.
White parents are protesting Critical Race Theory, falsely claiming it’s being used in social studies and anti-racist trainings to teach their children to hate themselves. Republican-led states across the country are introducing legislation to ban it from being taught in public schools. Fox News mentioned the term almost 1,300 times from March to mid-June.
But here’s the thing: almost everything these people are saying about Critical Race Theory is wrong. It’s not taught in K through 12 schools, it doesn’t say that people are inherently racist due to their genetics, and it’s not a “Marxist doctrine” that is “being deployed to rip apart friends, neighbors, and families,” as former President Donald Trump claimed last year.
Critical Race Theory is a way to study and scrutinize the intersection of race and law, that is primarily taught in law school. It’s a way of understanding how laws have embedded race and racism into our country.
It might be easy to dismiss this as just another battle in the right-wing culture war. But Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, a co-founder of the theory, says the conservative uproar is much more alarming than that.
“When we start dictating what can be taught, what can be said, and what it is, we are well, well, down the road towards an authoritarian regime,” she tells host Trymaine Lee.
Professor Crenshaw explains the origins of Critical Race Theory, and how this backlash mirrors the ugliest parts of America’s racial past.
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Find the transcript here.