from William Galston in today’s WSJ, How Adherents See ‘Critical race Theory‘
I turned to “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction,” co-written by one of the movement’s founders, Richard Delgado. He writes that critical race theory “questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”
I have barely scratched the surface of this complex movement in these paragraphs. But one thing is clear: Because the Declaration of Independence—the founding document of the American liberal order—is a product of Enlightenment rationalism, a doctrine that rejects the Enlightenment tacitly requires deconstructing the American order and rebuilding it on an entirely different foundation.
Galston is one of the more liberal columnists in the WSJ, but is making the case against CRT much clearer than most of the protesters.
Few of those protesting CRT indoctrination in the schools know much about its theoretical foundations, but I contend that many of CRT adherents fail to comprehend the underlaying conflict between the principles and assumptions of CRT and the Enlightenment values inherent in our constitutional order. Those who think this reaction is about limiting the education about slavery, Jim Crow, and racism have their heads in the ground.
As long as CRT was limited to a handful of leftist universities nobody cared, but once it made its way into the secondary and elementary school programs and thus to the kitchen tables, America took notice and while they may not have comprehended the theories and nuances of CRT they did not like what they saw. They recoiled at the undermining of their belief in the American ideals in the curriculum of their children.
They are not blind to the shortcomings of those ideals, nor are they willing to ignore the value of those ideals. Only by demonizing Enlightenment values can we find racism in math and science. In reacting to CRT they are fighting to retain Enlightenment values.