This is not another post about kneeling protests. It is a post about how all these actions are intertwined and the root from which these “protests” stem. I have long understood that the progressive movement cannot be explained as a function of a singe event, rather it is a string of events over time forming a continuum. The kneeling is such an event in a string of events that can be traced back to a single root.
Something that is always true is this: when any argument stems from a false or erroneous premise, the entire argument is in error and is fallacious. To reach a true and correct conclusion, the false premise must always be negated. Most of our vaunted “national conversations on race” we are always encouraged to have are fallacies as they stem from fallacious premises based on something called Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Developed by Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell, CRT is based on the simultaneous theories that 1) white supremacy is the organizing principle of American society, 2) racism is prejudice PLUS power (no matter how virulent and hateful a group is, if they don’t have power – they cannot be racist) and 3) to eliminate racism, the culture seen as wielding power must be overthrown.
CRT, somewhat unsurprisingly, owes its existence to Marxism. In the 70’s Bell and other legal scholars began using the phrase “critical race theory” as a spin-off from “critical legal theory,” a branch of legal scholarship challenging the validity of concepts such as rationality, objective truth, and judicial neutrality. Critical legal theory branches from critical theory, a philosophical framework with roots in Marxist thought.
Bell and his contemporary CRT believers sought to explain the lack of progress of the black community even after legal equality was official attained. In doing so, they developed a number of reasons, all ignoring successful members of black society (and how they became so) and concocting scenarios so that the black community avoided any responsibility for its own situation.
In any situation, if one can generalize guilt to an entire majority group, individuals and minority groups can act with impunity. If one can place responsibility for their actions on another party, any action can be considered valid – no matter how illogical, unreasonable or violent.
Critical Race Theory is little more than an intellectual “get out of jail free” card, an excuse allowing the “oppressed” group to excuse their own racism even as they accuse others of being racist.
From a philosophical position, it is a simple matter to see the flaw in CRT. Racism has little to do with power, it is a state of mind in which an individual person hates another due to nothing but their race. Discrimination requires power, being a racist does not. If one applies the “racism requires power” to the KKK for example, the KKK could not be considered racist because they have no power – the only way to maintain that the KKK is racist is to generalize that their beliefs extend to all people of the same skin color – this is simply not rational.
Application of CRT also depends on how “power” is defined –
minorities can possess power and often do possess disproportionate power in societies designed to protect minorities from the majority (as in America). One might argue when a majority acts to create preferential situations for a racial minority or changes its mores to accommodate demands from that minority, the racial minority actually has the power over the majority. Seen in that light, #BLM is clearly racist by their own definition.
The one aspect that makes all of this understandable is when one realizes none of this is about actual racism, it is about political power. Pure, unadulterated political power. Just another front in a long war for control.
Carl von Clausewitz said “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” If that is true, in a cultural war the Marxist definition of “racism” is simply one of those other political means.