What is critical race theory?
Critical race theory is an academic framework that examines how race and racism operate in society. It challenges the notion that racism is a thing of the past and argues that it is deeply entrenched in law, education, housing, and other systems.
Critical race theory also holds that racism exists between individuals, institutions, and structures. This approach has been influential in fields such as education, which has led to new ways of thinking about school segregation and affirmative action. Critics of critical race theory argue that it is too focused on race and unfairly paints all white people as racists. However, proponents of the idea say that it is a necessary tool for understanding and combatting racism.
Critical race theory, for the first time, has come up as a controversial topic at local school board meetings across the US, picking up speed in the 2020 election cycle; John Oliver did a segment on HBO highlighting issues some parents were concerned about and why critical race theory was being brought up in primary education.
Here is the John Oliver segment on critical race theory:
When did critical race theory come about?
Critical race theory (CRT) is a relatively new addition to the academic world, having only come about in the 1970s. It started as a way to address the issue of race in society, precisely how white people benefit from a system that is inherently biased against people of color.
CRT scholars believe that racism is built into the very fabric of American society and that it can only be genuinely eradicated by addressing these underlying issues. In recent years, CRT has become increasingly popular, with many colleges and universities offering courses on the subject. As America grapples with its complicated history of race relations, critical race theory will likely play an essential role in shaping the conversation.
Who are some famous critical race theory authors?
Several well-known authors have contributed to the field of critical race theory. These names include Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Patricia Williams. These authors have helped shape the conversation around race and racism in America, and their work is essential reading for anyone interested in this topic.
Bell was one of the first to bring attention to the concept of “racial fatigue,” which describes how people of color can feel worn down by the constant fight against racism. Crenshaw is known for developing the idea of “intersectionality,” which highlights how different forms of oppression can interact with one another. And Williams is famous for her work on “Stand Your Ground” laws, which she argued can be used to justify violence against people of color.
These are just a few of the famous critical race theory authors. Their work is essential reading for anyone looking to understand race and racism in America.
What are some core ideas of critical race theorists?
CRT scholars believe that racism is built into the very fabric of American society and that it can only be genuinely eradicated by addressing these underlying issues.
What are some excellent books to get an overview of critical race theory?
When it comes to critical race theory, a few essential reads can provide a helpful overview of the field. One of the most influential texts is “Race, Class, and Gender” by Patricia Hill Collins. Collins examines how race, class, and gender intersect to create inequality and oppression in this book.
Another essential text is “Critical Race Theory” by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic. This book provides a comprehensive overview of critical race theory, including its history and key concepts.
Finally, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding race’s role in the criminal justice system. These books offer a valuable introduction to critical race theory and help foster a better understanding of racial injustice.