Always eager to find a new way to undermine our country, critical race theory (CRT) is the latest malignancy unleashed on our society and political system by predatory nihilists of the left.
Notice the word “theory.” Dictionary.com gives the following definitions of the term: “(1) a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity; (2) a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact; (3) mathematics: a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory; (4) the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory; (5) a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles: conflicting theories of how children best learn to read; and (6) contemplation or speculation: the theory that there is life on other planets.”
To determine which of these definitions best fits CRT, we must define CRT itself. A Google search reveals almost as many definitions as sources but here we will rely on www.britannica.com: “Critical race theory is an intellectual movement and a framework of legal analysis according to which (1) race is a culturally invented category used to oppress people of colour and (2) the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, political and economic inequalities between white and nonwhite people.”
Returning to our definitions of “theory,” we may observe that CRT’s adherents assign it to # 1 whereas more correct assignments would be #’s 2 and 6.
Perhaps “hypothesis” would be more appropriate. According to www.merriam-webster.com, “A hypothesis is an assumption, an idea that is proposed for the sake of argument so that it can be tested to see if it might be true.”
Or perhaps “scientific law” which, according to study.com, “ . . . is a statement that describes an observable occurrence in nature that appears to always be true” would best describe CRT. But no, CRT is not yet ready to join Newton’s laws of motion.
The best label for CRT would be hypothesis or theory # 2 above. It is a proposed explanation of a particular arrangement of alleged facts which now needs to be subjected to rigorous analysis to determine how well it fits objective reality.
Let’s return to our original definition. “Critical race theory is an intellectual movement and a framework of legal analysis according to which (1) race is a culturally invented category used to oppress people of colour and (2) the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, political, and economic inequalities between white and nonwhite people.”
This definition has as many holes as a chicken-wire fence. Race is not a culturally invented construct; it is an obvious biological phenomenon. Relationships, however, are culturally, socially and individually created in a complex flow of interactions, some of which are neutral while others benefit some and harm others.
The assertion that “ . . . the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, political, and economic inequalities between white and nonwhite people” is false on its face and reflects a profound and perhaps intentional ignorance of history.
The legal tradition of the United States can be traced back to the Judeo-Christian and Greek philosophic traditions based on divine and natural law, synthesized by the Stoics, Augustine and Aquinas, reformed by Luther, codified by Coke and Blackstone and transported to America by the Puritans and other Europeans. When CRT attacks American law, it attacks this tradition, the tradition that repeatedly has sought justice and fairness and has proclaimed equality. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female.”
Yes, regrettably, there were, at certain times and in certain places, laws that did not conform to these principles, but they were invalid aberrations and contradictions of the real law and now have been overturned. CRT focuses on this subchapter of history, incorrectly makes the exception the rule and improperly elevates it to the status of scientific law.
To be continued.
Winfield H. Rose taught political science at Murray State University for 39 years and is now retired. He is active in the Calloway County GOP, but speaks here as an individual and not as a representative of either of these organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.