Critical race theory holds that society is “structurally racist” and that only its wholesale “restructuring” can fix the problem.
Many schools and workplaces have embraced the idea by implementing training programs. Employees are browbeaten into accepting the concept and then forced to take their own “responsibility” in perpetuating a racist society. Those courageous enough to resist this heavy-handed attempt at mind control are scorned and rebuked in front of their colleagues.
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Now, critical race theory is moving out of the classroom and workplace and into the courts.
Legal Traditions and Radical Ideas
While some radical judges and “progressive prosecutors” embrace critical race theory, their actual impact on the legal system itself is limited. This is due in part to the English/American system called common law, which places great emphasis on stare decisis, the idea that today’s decisions are determined mainly by legal precedents. Insofar as stare decisis adheres to tradition, it protects the nation from sweeping and sudden changes in the law. Thus, radical ideologues hate the system and seek to destroy it.
A proposal by the Nashville Bar Association (NBA) will introduce the new theory into law practice. It calls for all lawyers in Tennessee to submit to annual training in critical race theory. Currently, the Tennessee State Supreme Court, which sets such rules, requires lawyers to take fifteen hours of “Continuing Legal Education” (CLE) each year. If the rule prevails, a radical social revolution will become part of the legal tradition.
“Rooting Our Systemic Racism”
The Tennessee Star quotes the NBA petition. “Rooting out systemic racism, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination within the judicial system requires active efforts by all of those involved, including the judiciary and attorneys… lawyers cannot fulfill their duties without ongoing training, education, and active engagement in the areas of diversity, inclusion, equity, and elimination of bias.”
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These phrases could come right out of the critical race theory handbook. This new demand for training changes the criteria that the law should be “colorblind,” the Civil Rights Movement’s standard. Now, lawyers must become activists and root out anything that offends the radicals.”
Consider this description of the legal implications of critical race theory, found on the Harvard University website called The Bridge. “One key focus of critical race theorists is a regime of white supremacy and privilege maintained despite the rule of law and the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws. Agreeing with critical theorists and many feminists that law itself is not a neutral tool but instead part of the problem, critical race scholars identify inadequacies of conventional civil rights litigation.”
Envisioning A Justice System Without Justice
The social unrest shaking the country gives some idea of how radicals envision a legal system without “a regime of white supremacy and privilege.” It would reflect perspectives that hold that the “law itself is not a neutral tool but instead part of the problem.”
Some indications of this vision are the demands of the radicals who promoted critical race theory at the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) in Seattle over the summer. The list is long and includes:
- Abolish the police department and the attached court system.
- Ban use of armed force by police.
- Abolish juvenile detention centers.
- Reparations for victims of police brutality.
- Retrials for all “people of color” in prison for violent crimes.
- End to evictions for non-payment of rent.
Indeed, such a justice system designed around these tenets would be no justice system at all. No one would enforce the law, and no one would be punished for breaking it. Citizens would not be safe under such a regime.
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In the summer of 2020, the group promoting these ideas took over a portion of a major American city. Their opinions were taken seriously by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin and Washington Governor Jay Inslee. No state court should dignify this radical doctrine by forcing every lawyer to study these radical ideas against order.
Of course, the only real answer to the problems raised by racial issues is a return to the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church that informed Christian civilization. United by the love of God and each other, the Church has always held out the promise of dignity for all, regardless of race or ethnicity. The Marxist roots of critical race theory, motivated by hate and extreme egalitarianism, can never create the unity they pretend to espouse