News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Thoughts on Critical Race Theory

“Be egalitarian regarding persons. Be elitist regarding ideas.”

— Peter Kreeft

While studying to receive my MA in counseling, I was introduced to Critical Race Theory the first time through my textbook, which is being used in counseling curriculum throughout the country, “Counseling the Culturally Diverse” (7th ed.); author: Chinese American, Derald Sue and Sue, who served on Bill Clinton’s President’s Advisory Board on Race in 1996.

The book was harsh and confrontational to those of white skin.

I gained a much-needed understanding of what people of color experience in America’s dominant culture! However, the book leaves people of any other race feeling angry and resentful toward whites.

It offers no movement toward understanding, reconciliation, or forgiveness.

Through articles, books, and discussions on CRT I discovered everyone has a life story we must listen to.

Some people of color have genuine experiences of injustice and prejudice and have suffered psychologically.

I empathize with my kind, law-abiding Black friends’ feelings of oppression when they get stopped several times a year by police asking if it is their car.

I don’t downplay the genuine challenges many people of color face due to hidden stereotypes whites can carry.

On the other hand, I’ve experienced some people of color offended by whites’ apologies when they have worked their hearts out for their good job, saying: “If I hear one more white person apologize I am going to explode.”

A young minority man who got a sought-after position in the university later discovered they were awarding his position only to people of color. He was disappointed! He thought he got it because of his hard work and character — not simply because he was a certain race.

I lived in China for 10 years, starting in the mid-1990s.

Between the 1960s and late ’70s, China followed Marxist thinking to the core.

Marx observed that the people around him were discontent over who had what.

He saw economic inequities as the source of all societal ills.

He understood the rich had privilege and power.

If everyone were financially equal, then everyone could be happy and get along.

Sounds good.

The problem was that people would not voluntarily do this, so the Communist Party enforced it, overthrowing the ruling, rich, privileged class.

It failed miserably in its goals and it murdered millions.

Everyone had equity now! They were all equally poor, except the Communist Party, who was now the privileged class oppressing everyone equally.

This was any nation that adopted Marxist philosophy of how to create equity (i.e.: Cambodia, Soviet Union, Vietnam, North Korea). The Chinese today are embarrassed by the cultural revolution, where they took jobs from professionals, doctors, teachers, and sent them to the countryside to experience a peasant’s life. The country underwent famine and many more millions died because of an economic system that does not work.

The founders of BLM (Black Live Matter), strong advocates for CRT, admit they are Marxist-driven — America is experiencing Marx-like, anti-racist training. Shame, intimidation, resentment, and forced confessions across the nation are similar to the “struggle” meetings of the Chinese cultural revolution.

Definitions of CRT found online are soft and truly sound good. But activities which have stemmed from years of the teachings reveal it is no longer merely for lawmakers. It’s throughout universities and flows to k-12 as well (e.g. Tualatin, Beaverton, Tigard).

Good news. We are not beyond reconciliation. We still have time to discover better options, which can bring flourishing to our nation! We must be willing to hear and enter into others’ stories, discover their experiences, and seek to understand and be familiar with cultures other than the dominant one. We must learn to enjoy one another.

Let’s ask ourselves: What are we personally doing with our money, time, and possessions? Can we give time to tutor someone, mentor the broken or oppressed? Can we wisely give money to help others less privileged build their skills, talents, and intellect? Can we be thankful for what we have? Can we respectfully speak when feeling oppressed without accusation or destroying others? Can we keep seeking ideas that work, that promote flourishing and unity in our communities worldwide?

 

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