Critical race theory on topic


Critical race theory (CRT) examines social, cultural and legal issues as they relate to race and racism. It is an academic discipline composed of civil-rights scholars in the United States who have examined how ostensibly colorblind laws may enforce societal or structural racism; and how transforming the relationship between law and racial power can achieve racial emancipation and anti-subordination more broadly. Critical race theory examines how the law intersects with issues of race, and challenges mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice.Critical race theory, a derivative of Critical Theory, was founded in the mid-1970s in the writings of several American legal scholars, including Derrick Bell, Alan Freeman, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Richard Delgado, Cheryl Harris, Charles R. Lawrence III, Mari Matsuda, and Patricia J. Williams. It emerged as a movement by the 1980s, reworking theories of critical legal studies (CLS) with more focus on race. Both critical race theory and critical legal studies are rooted in critical theory, an approach to social theory founded by the Frankfurt School, which argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors.Critical race theory sees racism as systemic and institutional, rather than just a collection of individual prejudices. It also views race as a socially constructed identity. The theory emphasizes how racism and disparate racial outcomes can be the result of complex, changing and often subtle social and institutional dynamics, rather than explicit and intentional prejudices by individuals. In the field of legal studies, critical race theory emphasizes that merely making laws colorblind on paper may not be enough to make the application of the laws colorblind; ostensibly colorblind laws can be applied in racially discriminatory ways. Intersectionality – which emphasizes that race can intersect with other identities (such as gender and class) to produce complex combinations of power and disadvantage – is a key concept in critical race theory.Opponents of critical race theory argue that it relies on social constructionism, elevates storytelling over evidence and reason, rejects the concepts of truth and merit, and opposes liberalism. Critical race theory has also been criticized in regards to its relation to some controversial diversity training practices. Since 2020, Republicans and conservatives in the United States have sought to ban or restrict critical race theory instruction. As of June 2021, eight U.S. states have enacted laws banning the teaching of critical race theory, and nine others are in the process of doing so. Critics of the efforts to ban its teaching say that critical race theory has been unduly elevated in importance, that its contents have been misrepresented, and that the goal behind these efforts is to silence broader discussions of racism, equality, social justice, and the history of race. Christopher Rufo, a leading activist against critical race theory, has described his strategy to oppose critical race theory as intentionally using the term to conflate various unpopular left-wing race-related ideas in order to create a negative association.
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