Critical race theory is important, should be taught in schools

ByAlyssa R. Elliott

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Brett Bonneté/The Cougar

Critical race theory is vital to society. Without it, racism and its institutional effects on society will continue to damage minorities. 

Conservatives spare no time in creating false narratives of the indoctrination of wide-eyed youth via a liberal public education system. 

This indoctrination has recently taken form in what conservatives like to call critical race theory. 

To understand the inner workings and implications of critical race theory, there needs to be an understanding of its purpose. 

The goal of critical theory is to indefinitely alter society so that the oppressed are no longer entrenched by the discriminatory methods imposed on them in a society that does not even recognize their suffering.

Some forms of critical theory posit the average person as a victim of this oppression. Societal norms have been created to keep them from living in absolute freedom and understanding the world.

Examples of critical theories that are widely known include Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, queer theory, crip theory and psychoanalytic criticism. 

There also exist many forms of critical theory that revolve around systems that oppress minorities including feminism and queer theory for instance. 

Very much like the latter, critical race theory is the approach to society that seeks to bring to light systems of oppression that are created by assumptions made by the oppressor regarding race.

In critical theory, there must be a power structure that unjustly targets a group at hand. In critical race theory, this power structure is white supremacy. 

Critical race theorists are those who seek to explain the many ways through which the intersection between race and law in America keeps minority peoples from accessing society. 

One of these explanations includes race as a cultural concept that is invented by white people to segregate against and oppress people of color.

There are many ways through which these theorists go about breaking down and naming the means through which this oppression is transgressed. Many call upon intersections between gender, race or essentialism. 

This is the definition in the most layman of terms which can seem complicated to many. 

Recently, younger generations of teachers are unafraid to approach conversations with students about the harsh truth that there weren’t two equal sides to the Civil War. 

Because of this, alt-right parents are starting to believe that their students are being taught to feel white guilt and that the United States was born of racist roots. 

This outrage was also put at the forefront of these parents’ minds when former President Donald Trump focused on the 1619 Project, a project launched by New York Times Magazine that aimed to rewrite history by changing the narrative to one that is truly reflective of its racist history.  

“Students are being subjected to a new curriculum designed to brainwash them,” said Trump. He, as well as his followers, believe that critical race theory is un-American and twisted. 

This outrage is simply a reactionary response to white supremacist ideology being pulled from history lessons across America where the colonizing actors are no longer being treated as war heroes.

Teachers should continue to teach their students about critical race theory as it is at the forefront of America’s history.

Critical race theory is necessary to build a society that can view their wrongs and face them rather than pushing them under the rug.

Without it, white supremacists will continue to pretend nothing ever happened and praise their war heroes for their senseless actions against minorities.

Brett Bonneté is a political science junior that can be reached at [email protected]

Tags: critical race theory, education, politics