Webster’s unabridged dictionary defines the term compulsory as “required by law or a rule; obligatory.” Welcome to the politicized world of Americans. Since words now matter more than ever before, it is important to use the correct word at all times and no “incorrect” words! “Compulsory” should not be allowed to masquerade as “Critical” but it has.
Freedom of speech enshrined in and protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution has finally come a cropper, at least for conservatives. CRT, or Critical Race Theory, spawned by the Marxist intellectual elite in our colleges and universities, has taken hold of how we think, speak, and act in our everyday lives. It is enforced by the cancel culture that is no longer limited to progressive imbeciles spewing divisive drivel on social media and has been speciously elevated (by the legacy media) to extend it beyond academics to society at large. Its proponents believe it constitutes a legitimate and worthy social construct. The time has come to call it out for what it is—an effort to disingenuously reset the premise of all issues of race so desperately needing an honest debate in these challenging times.
As the CitiJournal’s John Sailer has written, “Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) [CRT’s first cousin] has almost single-handedly propounded the pedagogical concept of ‘social and emotional learning’ (SEL).” To hell with objectivity in math and the sciences. Three times three is no longer permitted to equal nine, because that microagresssively ignores the needs of eight and ten, themselves some secret code for race, gender or other self-identifications that only the truly Woke can perceive. As long as the left is permitted to write the rule book, the right will never have a level playing field.
Heather Mac Donald writes of a once highly regarded astronomer, John Kormendy, whose paper was scrubbed from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences despite the paper passing a rigorous three-person peer review process. The rub as Mac Donald says is Kormendy’s aim to reduce the role of individual subjectivity in scientific hiring and tenure processes. It would appear that the National Academy of Sciences has forgotten scientific objectivity in favor of deep, CRT subjectivity. The new standard is whether or not methods and research help or hinder females and underrepresented minorities in STEM subjects. Notwithstanding its arguably superficial appeal, is this not contrary to the very foundation of the scientific method itself?
The academy is not the only unlevel playing field for CRT these days. Corporate America is becoming decidedly woke. For example, Christopher Rufo details CRT at AT&T. For all intents and purposes, it might as well be universities like Columbia, Harvard or U.C. Berkeley. “As part of the overall initiative, employees are asked to sign a loyalty pledge to ‘keep pushing for change,’ with suggested ‘intentions’ such as ‘reading more about systemic racism’ and ‘challenging others’ language that is hateful.’ ‘If you don’t do it,’ the senior employee says, ‘you’re [considered] a racist.’” So, like in the movie Cool Hand Luke, the hard sciences and corporate America demand getting your mind right. CRT is unabashedly Compulsory Racist Training. Its goal is not to advance race relations in our times, but rather to further divide us as a society and make us ever more vulnerable to those who seek control of our liberty and freedom at all costs, by anointing themselves society’s gatekeepers.
It is no longer permitted just to live your life in peace, even if you harbor no prejudices or bigotry: you must now be conscripted into the Army of the Woke and given a duty assignment. If you go AWOL, a scarlet “R” for Racist is emblazoned on your chest, banishing you from society, perhaps even depriving you of your livelihood like Raiders former coach John Gruden. How can you possibly work as a (fill in the blank) if you do not realize you got your job only through white privilege, and not through education, training, performance, talent or skill?
The exponents of CRT seek to purge our history of all things shameful or unpleasant. As Rufo explains in Imprimis, “Critical race theorists, masters of language construction, realize that ‘neo-Marxism’ would be a hard sell. Equity, on the other hand, sounds non-threatening and is easily confused with the American principle of equality.” Supplanting America’s white racist past with a colored racist future amplifies–not expunges–the damage inflicted over hundreds of years.
From the day slavery was abolished up to, perhaps ten years ago, we prosecuted a transformation toward racial equality unlike any experienced in the history of the world, rendering our country inarguably the least racist on the planet. Yes, further enlightenment never hurts but sadly, in recent years, the race peddlers have somehow usurped the leadership role in this quest, and replaced those who genuinely care about equality (this category includes the overwhelming majority of people of all races, creeds and colors) with those who steal their path to power. This theft is compounded by pretending that every action, inaction, and reaction occurring every day is the product of systemic racism, despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary in what was finally becoming a post-racial society.
Compulsory Race Training is just that—compulsory. You have no choice but to think and be woke at all times, and in every situation. America has prided itself on being the place in the world where we aren’t told how or what to think…until now.
History is our greatest teacher. Events of the day are often misunderstood and predicated upon assumptions and beliefs that are later realized to have been wrong. In many cases, it is only when our history is examined with the benefit of hindsight, some twenty, fifty or even hundreds of years later, that we are able to grasp the errors of our ways. This is indeed sad but equally true. If we erase that history, as appears to be the prime objective of CRT, we lose the benefit of that experience, fail to learn from the errors of our ways, and only ensure that we will repeat those errors again, rather than learn from them and give ourselves a fighting chance at improving our lot.
Compulsory Racist Training must be routed out at all levels and relegated to the trash bin of equally pernicious parts of our history. Jim Crow, you know who you are. But this can only happen if we identify it for what it is. CRT, thy name is racial prejudice and bigotry.
Kent Runnells practices real estate law, receiving his law degree from the University of Illinois. He grows coffee down in Central America as an advocation.
Loyd Pettegrew is a Professor Emeritus in Organizational Communication at the University off South Florida. He received an interdisciplinary doctorate in Communication and Psychology from the University of Michigan.