A political theory stands behind the racial unrest shaking the nation. It employs expressions like “systemic racism” to describe the nation’s attitude toward racial relationships.
The theory is called Critical Race Theory (CRT). It has long incubated in leftist academia. Its central thesis makes race the prism through which all aspects of life must be viewed. As such, its promoters seek to re-write history, economics, sociology and other sciences to accommodate its Marxist focus.
The theory destroys the possibility of social harmony, as taught by the Catholic Church. Thus, all Americans who love their country should reject Critical Race Theory as an attempt to condemn the nation and its history. Catholics should also reject the theory because it is contrary to Church social teaching.
Here are six reasons why Critical Race Theory is wrong and must be rejected.
Reason #1: Critical Race Theory makes use of the false Marxist analysis of class struggle. It divides society into two categories of oppressors and oppressed and pits them against each other, in constant strife
There is nothing original about this foundational aspect of CRT. Its promoters make race the basis of class struggle, dividing the country into oppressors and oppressed based on skin color. Thus, the theory creates and encourages the conditions for conflict, unrest and bitterness. It allows for no peaceful racial coexistence.
This theory is wrong because the Church teaches that society should live in social harmony, not conflict. Society is not made up of two intrinsically inimical categories. Rather, it is formed by an enriching variety of groups that, united in the same worship of God, give rise to a harmonious Christian civilization.
Reason #2: Contrary to what Critical Race Theory affirms, race is not the prism that must be used to see all things
Critical Race Theory holds that race is the sole prism through which history, economics, sociology, science and all aspects of life must be seen. Its promoters allow for no other explanation on how society works and always frame the debate to favor their class-struggle narrative.
While race may be a prism to see reality, it can never be the prism. Other modern theories have tragically made similar erroneous claims. For Marxism, it was an economic prism. For Freud, sexuality was the prism. No single natural discipline can claim a monopolizing perspective.
Only the Catholic Faith can inform an all-embracing and true perspective on God and the created universe. The Church provides this universal vision. She teaches that God and His Revelation are the supernatural prism through which a true universal worldview is possible. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Light. The Church is the infallible interpreter of this Revelation, and She teaches, governs and sanctifies all peoples and races in the one true faith. Only lives of virtue and supernatural grace will give rise to the harmony and peace that neutralize Marxist racial unrest.
Reason #3: Culture does not determine the behavior of Individuals endowed with free will
Critical Race Theory holds that cultural beliefs and social structures are imbued with racism and determine the fate of societies and individuals.
Those who are oppressors can do nothing to rid themselves of their supposed biases. They have “subconscious codes of instructions,” which determine their behavior even when they want to do the contrary. The oppressed also have embedded responses that can even impede revolution since they adhere to their oppressors’ cultural beliefs.
CRT holds that people are absorbed by their group identities and thus absolved from personal responsibility. Therefore, CRT calls for dismantling all societal norms through relentless criticism until all power systems have been replaced.
The idea that culture determines the destiny of individuals is a denial of free will. It prepares the way to deny personal responsibility for one’s actions and prevents real solutions based on effort and virtue. On the contrary, the Church teaches that culture can influence but never determine the destiny of persons. All individuals are endowed with free will by which they can change from a bad life and sanctify themselves. They can free themselves of sin, vice and bias through their efforts and the help of God’s grace. Many virtuous individuals’ actions give rise to a Christian culture that creates even more favorable conditions for everyone’s full development and sanctification.
Reason #4: Critical Race Theory proposes revolution, not reform
Like all revolutionary theories, Critical Race Theory does not desire to see the reform or improvement of present society but wants to overthrow it. Its advocates falsely point out that all current governing and cultural structures are tainted with racism. The problems are “systemic,” they claim, meaning they are based on the very structure of society’s institutions. Because racism is supposedly systemic, the present institutions cannot be redeemed or modified; they can only be destroyed. Indeed, critical race theory questions notions basic to the U.S.A. Its radical egalitarianism, for example, clashes with America’s strong protection of property rights.
Whoever unwarily accepts CRT’s false premises is dragged forcefully, by logic, to this disastrous conclusion. Like all Marxist-oriented movements, CRT seeks to carry out a revolution. By their radical assessment of modern culture, its promoters frame the debate. They set the stage for revolutionary action based on class struggle templates.1
Wherever the Church has gone, She seeks to remove the harmful and sinful practices and structures that destroy societies and ruin individuals’ lives. However, the Church also gently adapts anything wholesome to Her teaching and, thus, encourages the full development of cultures. She enriches cultures and works with all peoples to help their sanctification. The Church can never be the agent of Marxist-style revolution.
Reason #5. Critical Race Theory denies the progress of science, logic and reason
Critical Race Theory affirms that all things must be seen through the prism of race, including the sciences. Its promoters declare falsely that science, reason and logic are “white” ways of knowing things. They represent racist-tainted Western thought. CRT theorists stress that things like storytelling and lived experience are “black” alternatives to the rigid Western thought system.
CRT promoters claim that science encodes and perpetuates “white dominance” and thus must be rejected. This core tenet of critical race theory holds that “counterstories” and narratives are more important than facts and truth when combatting systemic racism.
While storytelling and lived experiences are helpful elements in discerning truths, they cannot be the foundations for whole systems of thought, lest societies fall into superstition and subjectivism.
In questioning these universal sciences, CRT promoters undermine Western society’s certainties. Science introduces methods and objectivity into society. It allows things to be judged by dint of evidence and rules.
The Church has always sought to cultivate reason and logic as a means for interpreting reality. Indeed, the first universities came from the Church’s development of reasoned thought. Wherever the Church has gone, it has established educational institutions and vanquished superstition. The Church affirms the role of the intellect and free will in individuals’ development and sanctification. The Catholic worldview is fundamentally contrary to CRT’s skewed, fatalistic and deterministic view.
Reason #6: Critical Race Theory excludes Christian charity
Critical Race Theory is based on an identity-politics analysis of society. This false perspective sees the nation as a boiling cauldron of victimized groups oppressed by the dominant white racist culture. Like all Marxist activism, it seeks to fan discontent and accentuate resentments.
Individuals are encouraged to think in terms of “intersectionality,” whereby they can claim to be oppressed in many ways by identifying with more than one social group, race, gender or class. This model of viewing society is an abandonment of reality for the embracing of fantasy. It weakens the bonds that create trust and the means for civic engagement.
The Church’s action opposes this divisive characterization of society and seeks to bind all together in charity. The virtue of charity brings all together cohesively and harmoniously, in true and perfect unity. When charity rules a social order, individuals become self-sacrificing for the common good. They love their neighbors as themselves, for the love of God. The Church’s action teaches and spreads unity in Christ to all in society, not division.
A Different Perspective that Invades All Aspects of Life
There are other aspects of CRT that might be analyzed. However, one important thing to remember is that CRT is a comprehensive, albeit false, way of looking at reality. It subverts and is irreconcilable with traditional Western and Christian criteria. It pedals a twisted, deceitful perspective of humanity that contradicts Church teaching and must be rejected.
CRT is harmful because it seeks to impose its Marxist-inspired views upon society. It is intolerant, judgmental and systematically destructive of the Western world it falsely claims to be “systemically racist.” It is an ideology that demands universal and unqualified submission. It is totalitarian and allows for no opposing opinion. The theory has long undermined all fields of knowledge, education, employment, media, entertainment and social life. It must be opposed now before it blows the nation apart.
Those who desire harmony and peace among the many members of the human race should look to the Church’s traditional teachings. They will ever find a view of humanity informed by the love of God for all. This Christian way is the easiest, surest and quickest path to harmonious relationships among the globe’s various races and ethnicities. Based on charity and the love of God, it is as far removed from the hateful Marxist overtones in Critical Race Theory as Heaven is from Hell.
1. Derrick A. Bell, the godfather of the CRT movement, spells out its revolutionary goals: “As I see it, critical race theory recognizes that revolutionizing a culture begins with the radical assessment of it.”Derrick A. Bell, “Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?” University of Illinois Law Review, no. 4 (1995): 893, https://sph.umd.edu/sites/default/files/files/Bell_Whos%20Afraid%20of%20CRT_1995UIllLRev893.pdf.