Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Uncomfortable Truths: Critical Race Theory


Uncomfortable Truths: Critical Race Theory

by C. A. Matthews

This is the third and last article in this series highlighting Black History Month. (You can read the first article here and the second here.) I decided to save the most controversial topic for last.

What is Critical Race Theory exactly? Here's a definition from Britannica.com:

Critical race theory (CRT), intellectual and social movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of colour. Critical race theorists hold that racism is inherent in the law and legal institutions of the United States insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans. Critical race theorists are generally dedicated to applying their understanding of the institutional or structural nature of racism to the concrete (if distant) goal of eliminating all race-based and other unjust hierarchies.

Why is Critical Race Theory controversial at all? I suppose most persons currently in power (i.e., wealthy white males) consider reparations a non-issue because they know they'll never utter a word for it, and they assume no legislation will ever be passed concerning it. But the very idea of discussing how our white-dominated society continues to treats people from various racial, ethnic, gender identities, and religious groups in an abhorrent fashion makes the powerful feel uncomfortable. And they can't allow others to make them uncomfortable--that's for them to do to the rest of us and how we're supposed to feel.

For example, what if teachers started conversations with grade school children on the topic of the horrors of slavery for enslaved Africans? Speaking frankly on the subject could open the white status quo up to criticism and blame. No longer would the kindly, white grandfather stereotype be seen as benign or  generous. No, quite the opposite. He'd be painted in an entirely different light, a much more sinister and selfish light.

Those in power can't stand having their image tarnished. They long to be seen as Santa Claus, not Captain Hook. But once the whole sordid truth of American history is revealed, there's no way to get that cat back into the bag. Children will cast a critical eye at every action powerful whites make from now on and will become sensitive to the consequences of these actions. Are the people in power acting fairly? Are they hurting others? What group(s) do those being hurt belong to? What benefits do the wealthy whites gain from hurting others unlike themselves?

Encouraging empathy, a sense of fairness, and a love for the rule of law aren't the kinds of traits white employers would like instilled in their potential wage slaves. The next thing you know, these enlightened youth will grow up to start their own unions and protest for human rights, such as the right to health care and due process in a court of law. 

Think about it from the oligarchs' point of view. Black, white, brown, red, yellow, and purple people shouldn't be able to organize and work together toward common goals of equality and justice. They'll get ideas… Ideas that all human beings are created equal. And what would happen to the status quo then? 

Hierarchies are created to keep those in power on top of the heap and those stuck below subjected to the whims of the upper classes. Equality and justice only muddy the waters and allow the classes to mingle. There's no more cheap prison labor if you can't lock up African American males on petty drug misdemeanor charges. The top tier hates anything cutting into their profits.

Let's be honest. The only people who are against teaching unvarnished and uncensored American history are those who fear they'll lose their ancestors' ill-gotten gains when the ugly truth is revealed. And outright racists. And those who fall into both categories.

The only true controversy I see brewing here is why we've allowed these racist oligarchs to rule over us for this long and what method is best to put them away for the good of all humankind.

Related links:

Confronting Right Wing Attacks on Racial Justice Teaching https://popularresistance.org/confronting-right-wing-attacks-on-racial-justice-teaching/

Real CRT: The Whiteness of Organizations (podcast) https://open.spotify.com/episode/2zOcsy5yc8bITg2BQP5sbk

Whitewashing 101: How To Rewrite Black History  (video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3uvcydrxYk&t=1s 

College Faculty Are Fighting Back Against State Bills on Critical Race Theory  https://www.rsn.org/001/college-faculty-are-fighting-back-against-state-bills-on-critical-race-theory.html

A Century Ago Mississippi's Senate Voted to Send All the State's Black People Back to Africa https://www.rsn.org/001/a-century-ago-mississippis-senate-voted-to-send-all-the-states-black-people-to-africa.html 

A Persecuted Father Deported to Haiti Fights to Reunite with His Family in US   https://truthout.org/articles/a-persecuted-father-deported-to-haiti-fights-to-reunite-with-his-family-in-us/

Seen on Twitter:



Families Belong Together (Logo)

The reports are sickening: Black migrants tortured by U.S. immigration officers and forced to sign their own deportation orders. Some were beaten, others choked.

This is not an isolated incident. The U.S. immigration system is incredibly racist. Black immigrants are six times more likely to experience being in solitary confinement than immigrants in general, and are disproportionately more likely to be detained and deported.

Especially sad is that so many Black immigrants are eligible to be freed from this cruelty simply by paying a bond. But many can’t afford it, and that’s where we can help. 

Donate to the Black Immigrants Bail Fund to help pay bonds, hire lawyers, and help them reach their goal of $200,000 to get people to safety TODAY.

DoNate NOW

The Black Immigrants Bail Fund was created in July of 2021 by the Haitian Bridge Alliance and the African Bureau for Immigration and Social Affairs as a way to combat these unjust circumstances. 

So far, they have aided over 173 detainees and given over $2.6 million in bond requests to free Black migrants.

This Black History Month, your donation can help supercharge the work of the Black Immigrants Bail Fund and get Black migrants out of horrific conditions.

Your donation will pay bonds that keep loved ones locked up and hire lawyers to represent their cases in immigration court. will you give in any amount right now to help families stuck in detention centers?

DoNate NOW

What our immigration system has done to Black families seeking safety is gut-wrenching and wrong. Our fight isn’t over until we can welcome every family with dignity and compassion in the U.S.


In Solidarity,

Erin Mazursky | Organizing Director
Families Belong Together


Families Belong Together (Logo)

The number of people seeking safety and left to suffer in detention has skyrocketed to *20,000* since Biden took office.

It gets worse: the government is expanding programs that criminalize families through hyper-surveillance tactics like home curfews and ankle monitors.

These cruel and unnecessary Trump-era policies are issues the Biden administration should be ending, not expanding, if they’re going to live up to their promise of treating families with dignity and respect – and there is a crystal clear alternative to cruelty.

Instead of spending millions on keeping detention centers open, launching house arrest programs, and even robot border patrol dogs, the Biden administration can choose Communities over Cages by investing in caseworkers, lawyers, and community programs that actually help people fleeing danger. 

Let’s make it unequivocal that our community completely rejects any Trump-era immigration policies, and urge President Biden to choose Communities Not Cages in order to welcome people with dignity and respect now?

take action

The Biden administration promised on their campaign trail to immediately end the detention of families, stop the expansion of programs that criminalize families seeking safety, and create *real* solutions to welcoming people with dignity. It’s time for them to keep that promise.

We cannot be a country that meets families seeking safety with handcuffs and ankle monitors. We have to make the choice to welcome women, children, and families with efficient and timely processing, care, and most importantly, compassion.

Let’s make sure that Biden keeps his promise to reform the system with caseworkers, lawyers, and community-based solutions, not expanding detention, by flooding his team with calls from across the country in support of Community Not Cages.

Add your name to pressure the Biden administration to stop detaining families and welcome people seeking safety with dignity and compassion instead.

take action

We need the government to end the inhumanity of detention centers and the criminalization of families seeking safety. Doing this would get us so much closer to opening up legal pathways for people seeking safety rather than completely shutting them down. It’s time we live up to who we can be as a country. 


Thanks for all you do,

Erin Mazursky, Organizing Director
Families Belong Together


In a near-future dystopian world, hope blossoms where mutual aid and democracy begins...

Zonta’s world is turned upside down when Jake arrives at the commune to investigate the disappearance of agents of the Authority. Can she persuade him to switch sides before the Protectors (antifascist fighters) take action?

Available now: https://www.extasybooks.com/Where-the-Bodies-Lie

A great tale of how love, cooperation, and socialism will ultimately save us all. -- Redd Phlagg



  1. We've come so far, yet there are plenty who'd set the clock back a hundred and fifty years. I'm glad that horrible statue of the murderer Bedford Forrest got demolished at last. It's a step in the right direction.

    1. The more Confederate statues they pull down, the better.


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