Our nation has been rocked by at least two significant acts of domestic terrorism in a five-month span. Last week, Frank James opened fire in a New York City subway, injuring 23 people. In November, Darrell Brooks drove his SUV through a Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing 6 people and injuring 60 others.
Both perpetrators are black, which is a bit unusual given that mass shootings have historically been perpetrated by white men. More significantly, both Brooks and James had expressed radical views on social media advocating violence towards whites in the lead-up to their attacks, strongly suggesting race relations were a key motive for their acts of violence. (Naturally, the mainstream media has neglected to find out if it was indeed their motivation).
Ditto for Quintez Brown, a Black Lives Matter activist who was charged with the attempted assassination of Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg in February, and Micah Johnson, who killed five Dallas police officers in 2016. Meanwhile, public perceptions about the state of race relations in the country have plummeted.
These anecdotes, particularly during increasing dissemination of critical race theory (CRT), suggest CRT has been a detriment to racial progress rather than a force for good. The harmful impacts of CRT on race relations are unsurprising when considering several of its basic tenets.
CRT Teaches America Is Racist
The New York Times Magazine’s “1619 Project,” the brainchild of Nikole Hannah-Jones, expresses a historical view in which America’s true founding was in 1619, the year African slaves were first brought to the United States. American history is thus viewed and analyzed through a lens of anti-black racism.
For example, Hannah-Jones controversially asserts that the Revolutionary War was primarily fought to preserve slavery, argues that the U.S. Constitution was meticulously crafted to establish a “slavocracy,” and criticizes Abraham Lincoln’s approach to the issue of slavery and race. Similarly, a report last June from our very own National Archives argued that America’s founding documents are steeped in “systemic racism.”
Philadelphia-based attorney and radio host Michael Coard perhaps best sums up the CRT view of American history, as he decried the Fourth of July as “a celebration of kidnapping, transporting/buying/selling human beings, separating families, torture, whippings, rapes, castrations, lynchings and enslavement.” The conclusion, then, is that the history of slavery persists, impacting all aspects of American life to this very day.
CRT Teaches American Government Is Racist
The Constitution remains the law of the land, and if you believe that the Constitution is racist, then it follows that the American system of government, which is based on the Constitution, is also racist. This is a core argument of CRT: American institutions, including the Electoral College, the Senate, and the Second Amendment have all recently been attacked as systemically racist to justify their abolition.
In the words of The Nation’s Elie Mystal,“[t]he Constitution is kind of trash… It was written by slavers and colonists, and white people who were willing to make deals with slavers and colonists. They didn’t ask anybody who looked like me what they thought about the Constitution.”
Allegations of widespread government-sanctioned suppression of minority voters also continue to persist. Therefore, according to CRT, minorities are forced to live in a system designed to oppress them, and the system is too flawed to allow for any reform internally.
CRT: Non-Whites Cannot Succeed Within the System
Perhaps most important to CRT and “wokeness” is the tenet that you cannot truly be successful as a minority in America. This was most clearly illustrated in a July 2020 display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which accredited several objective measures of successful behavior (e.g. hard work, planning for the future, delayed gratification, the scientific method) as part of “White Culture.”
Minorities who achieve wealth and/or educational success in the United States are openly attacked as exhibiting “white characteristics” or “acting white.” Successful African-Americans who don’t adhere to every woke political or social stereotype are quickly dismissed as “cornball brothers,” “oreos,” or “Uncle Toms.”
Thus, success for minorities in America is not taken as evidence of racial progress, but as a sign of conformity with “white” values and a betrayal of racial identity.
That Leaves Violence as the Only Option
If you wholeheartedly believe in those three statements, violence inevitably becomes your only option for progress. You live in an oppressive society, with built-in systems of oppression that prevent you from altering that society, and have no way to be successful within the system while staying true to yourself. Your only alternative is to destroy that system.
That is the thought process that Brooks and James expressed. “White people and Black people should not have any contact with each other,” James argued. A June 2020 tweet by Brooks was even more direct: “[W]hen we start bakk knokkin white people TF out ion wanna hear it…the old white ppl 2, KNOKK DEM TF OUT!! PERIOD.”
Of course, the leaders of the CRT movement who craft these beliefs and pass them on to others clearly don’t believe their own teachings. Prominent CRT figures such as Ibram Kendi, Patrisse Cullors, and Robin DiAngelo have achieved tremendous financial and professional success within the very systems they rail against. They are able to live in upscale neighborhoods and run in social circles that are far removed from the violence and poverty that plague many minority neighborhoods.
The corporate, educational, and entertainment institutions that score public relationship points by peddling CRT propaganda are similarly largely insulated from the harm that their teachings cause. Unfortunately for passengers on the New York subway and parade-goers in Waukesha, some people believe in CRT wholeheartedly, and thus embrace violence as the ultimate solution to systemic racism.