White Paper: Critical Race Theory 102
by Jeff Abbott, Ph.D.
Some people believe there is a hidden conspiracy among certain groups to clandestinely push Critical Race Theory (CRT) upon the nation’s school children. However, they are wrong. No one is covertly pushing CRT upon innocent school children from the shadows. They are instead pushing CRT from their public web sites and training sessions. They are using “racial sensitivity” and “cultural competency” training to train teachers and supervisors in CRT principles. The expectation is that teachers will use this training to enlighten America’s K-12 school children to become racially sensitive and culturally competent, and to accept the basic principles of CRT.
This article is not intended to discuss the pros and cons of teaching CRT to K-12 students. That will be offered in the third course: “Critical Race Theory 103 – The Good, Bad & Ugly of CRT.” This article is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of which organizations are advancing the cause of CRT. The reader may be surprised to learn how many national organizations are endorsing CRT principles.
The article is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of all organizations who promote principles of CRT. The author apologizes to any organization who is left off this list who would have liked to have been included. Neither is the list a random sample. It merely reflects the author’s guess as to what national organizations might be involved in advancing CRT principles in the public and private K-12 schools in the nation. An exhaustive and complete compilation would take multiple researchers’ years to compile. In all organizations that were reviewed, there were none that did not at least partially advocate CRT principles.
A list of key words that describe CRT principles was developed by the author using the literature about CRT. These key words were used when examining web sites, and to determine eligibility for the list of organizations advancing CRT. Some web sites used a multitude of these terms, and a few used only one or two.
Key words or elements of CRT are racial equity; systemic race discrimination; racially discriminatory policies; institutional racism; race-based disparities; suppression; oppression; slavery; Jim Crow laws; segregation; reparations; white privilege; bias; implicit bias; white power; white dominance; white nationalism; resistance; disrupting inequality; interpersonal racism; white fragility; amoral sadists; racial caste system; second class citizenship; micro-aggressions; stereotypes; violence, fear, and trauma; white legacy; equity lens; and other words of like import. Please note that the list does not include the term equality as this concept is not an element of CRT.
The organizations listed below are listed in random order, and not necessarily in order of importance or success in advancing CRT principles. Italics are usually not in the original web sites and documents examined but are used as pointers to CRT terms and concepts. Here is the list:
Democrat National Committee.
The 2020 Democratic Party Platform States the Democrat party’s goals regarding advancing the CRT cause. The platform was considered by the 2020 Platform Committee at its meeting on July 27, 2020. The platform was approved by the Democratic National Convention on August 18, 2020.
“Democrats… recognize that race-neutral policies are not sufficient to rectify race-based disparities…. Democrats believe that we can only build a more just and equitable future if we honestly reckon with our history and its legacy in the present. We support removing the Confederate battle flag and statues of Confederate leaders from public properties. We recognize Black history has too often been intentionally suppressed or excluded from our history books, and will invest in recovering, celebrating, and highlighting Black history as American history. We believe Black lives matter and will establish a national commission to examine the lasting economic effects of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and racially discriminatory federal policies on income, wealth, educational, health, and employment outcomes; to pursue truth and promote racial healing; and to study reparations. We must acknowledge that there can be no realization of the American dream without grappling with the lasting effects of slavery, and facing up to the centuries-long campaign of violence, fear, and trauma wrought upon Black Americans”
National Association of Colored People (NAACP)
The NAACP Condemns Anti-Critical Race Theory Bills and Calls for Teaching About American Slavery from a Black Perspective
On the NAACP web site is an op-ed that criticizes bills in state legislatures that are anti-Critical Race Theory. NAACP asserts, like the “teacher loyalty” bill recently introduced in New Hampshire, these bills are oblivious solutions looking for a problem. These bills typically prohibit teachers from advocating “communism, socialism, or Marxism” or the “overthrow by force of the government of the United States.” Interestingly, says the NAACP, the only time teachers are likely to teach about an overthrow of the U.S. government by force is when teaching about the Confederacy.
The captivity and forced labor of Africans in the Americas (despairingly known as slavery) is presented the same way to students. It is taught from the captor’s perspective, re-imaging labor camps into “plantations” and amoral sadists into “masters.” The universal heroism, endurance, and resistance of African forced laborers are recast as passive “slaves” who were waiting for the White conscious community to free them, according to the NAACP.
The NAACP states on its Know the Issues section, that the organization is committed to dismantling racism and disrupting inequality to create a society where all people can truly be free. They state that their work includes civic engagement, systemically building racial equity, and supporting policies and institutions that prioritize the urgent needs of Black people, who are most impacted by race-based discrimination.
The NAACP affirms that every child deserves an opportunity to reach their full potential. But our education systems are collapsing under inequity, and it is mostly because of poverty. Students who experience severe economic obstacles perform worse than students who have access to more wealth. To bridge these gaps and ensure that all children get a real chance at a fulfilling education, they conclude we need to address systemic racism and poverty as tangible barriers to learning and future achievement. They further conclude that every Black student deserves access to great teaching, equitable resources, and a safe learning environment from grade school classrooms to college campuses. Black students matter and working on their behalf has never been more urgent.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
From 2016 to 2021 The AFT passed five resolutions that support CRT. They are summarized below:
AFT Resolution 2016 RACIAL EQUITY
AFT argues that systemic inequity in education has relegated millions of children of color to under-resourced, struggling schools. The union promises that it will advocate for the development and implementation of programs to provide professional development and cultural competency training that helps teachers and other school staff understand the effects of long-term discrimination and pervasive poverty, and to helps them examine bias that exists in all.
AFT Resolution 2021 BLACK LIVES MATTER AT SCHOOL WEEK—FEB. 1-5, 2021
AFT Local 1, Chicago Teachers Union, supported the development and implementation of the “Reparations Won” curriculum, which was a part of the nationally historic and precedent-setting reparations package, whose requirements included that the history and fight for justice of the John Burge police torture survivors be taught to all eighth- and 10th-grade students in Chicago Public Schools.
AFT affirms its commitment to ending systemic racism in American society, and to removing all manifestations of that racism from America’s schools. AFT says that to achieve these goals, the AFT will work with organizations committed to ending systemic racism in American society, such as Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, and the NAACP, and with organizations committed to ending racism in schools, such as the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools; Black Lives Matter at School; Facing History, Facing Ourselves; and Teaching Tolerance.
AFT Resolution 2021 – MAKING “BLACK LIVES MATTER” IN OUR SCHOOLS
AFT argues that it is essential to develop inclusive curriculum and employ culturally responsive pedagogy that reflects the full diversity of our students, especially the historical experience and heritage cultures of Black students. AFT affirms its commitment to ending systemic racism in American society, and to removing all manifestations of that racismfrom America’s schools.
AFT Resolution 2020 – ENOUGH
This resolution argues that white supremacy is systemic and institutionalized, and that it influences the lives of everyone living in the U.S., albeit in very different ways. The union further argues that the eradication of this white supremacy is a necessary precondition toward creating a culture of equity and equality and, therefore, must be a primary goal of education.
The AFT promises it will support racial, social, and economic justice by: (1) …writing strong anti-racism and anti-oppression language into governance documents; and (2) providing anti-racist and anti-oppression trainingfor all union members and employees of the unions.
AFT Resolution 2020 – CONFRONTING RACISM AND IN SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES
This resolution states, at a time when a global health pandemic is exposing and exacerbating long-standing and persistent inequities in health, education and economic security, murders of black people underscore the destructive impact of systemic racism, a culture that enables white nationalism and white supremacy and the resultant violence on African Americans, other people of color, Native Americans, and other vulnerable groups such as transgender and gender nonconforming individuals. These evils have extracted a costly toll on our nation, as a divided whole they assert.
The AFT has established a Racial Equity Task Force charged with addressing the crisis of anti-Blackness and its harmful effects. AFT thereby renews its commitment to end systemic racism in America and to fight to ensure fair and equitable treatment of people of color, as well as members of other marginalized communities.
The AFT commits to advocate for professional development that includes cultural competency, implicit bias, and trauma-informed practices.
National Education Association (NEA)
The National Education Association (NEA) has numerous online resources about CRT. Its Focus Academy Online Series includes a topic of “Advancing Racial Justice.” Participants explore the fundamental concepts of understanding racial justice: unconscious bias, racism in the United States, framework of expressions of racism, acting to interrupt racism at all levels, and system analysis.
Another training online session titled “Speak Truth in Teaching not Critical Race Theory“, NEA members are instructed that right-wingers have resorted to their usual dog whistle strategies of distraction and division. The NEA claims that right wingers have co-opted the phrase “critical race theory” as a catch-all for their anxieties about losing power and dominance. Like with “political correctness” in the ‘90s and “cancel culture” today, they have made public schools, college campuses, and school boards a primary battleground, stoking fears about how and what is taught to our kids so they can undermine trust in and funding for schools and teachers. The NEA says members will learn how to develop powerful race and class messaging appropriate for any campaign they are working on.
Another NEA training session held last year was for UniServ Directors (who are state union employees assigned to one or multiple local teacher unions). They often serve as union negotiators; organizers; recruitment of members; public relations mouth pieces; strike planning and organization; and provide pseudo legal advice to members and local unions. The training is entitled “Advancing Racial Justice through UniServ Work.”
The NEA Center for Organizing and the NEA Center for Social Justice partner to provide a training designed to build participants’ skills through awareness of implicit bias, interpersonal racism, and institutional racism. UniServ Directors learn how to :
• Establish a common language for talking explicitly about race
• Develop a shared understanding of the levels of racism and its impact
• Develop a common toolset for next steps in applying an equity lens to their work
• Build and deepen awareness of implicit bias, micro-aggressions, and stereotypes
• Identify skills and strategies to confront implicit bias, micro-aggressions, and stereotypes
Another online training session is also titled “Advancing Racial Justice through UniServ Work.” UniServ Directors work with members, supporters, and partners to address white supremacy culture in many settings. They must be highly skilled in leading, coaching and organizing across racial differences and especially in dealing with white fragility and interpersonal oppressions. UniServ Directors also support the organizing efforts of members and leaders who are working to dismantle systemic racism. They learn to:
• Establish a common language for talking explicitly about white supremacy culture
• Develop a shared understanding of the levels of racism with a focus on system examples
• Develop a common toolset for dismantling systems of privilege and oppression
• Deepen skills and strategies to confront implicit bias, micro-aggressions, and stereotypes.
The NEA provides many additional training sessions involving the concepts of CRT. One such item appears as a link to their web site: The Meaning of Anti-Racist Teaching by Franchesca Mejia. She proudly proclaims quoting another teacher: “Practically speaking, teaching through an anti-racist lens simply means helping students understand racism’s origins and guises, past and present, so they can actto disrupt, ratherthan perpetuate, White supremacy,” says Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, a former high school social studies teacher in Portland, Ore.
In a web link NEA offers us “The Truth About Critical Race Theory” (at least the union’s truth). NEA claims it is setting the record straight over the national conversation about critical race theory (CRT)—what it is, and what it isn’t.
CRT they say is based on an understanding that who we are, the laws we have in place, the histories that have been handed down to us, and race has shaped all. It is taught in law schools, graduate schools, and to undergraduates. As for public schools, the NEA offers those students deserve age-appropriate and accurate history lessons. According to the NEA, anything other than this is a dog-whistle strategy that certain lawmakers use to distract and divide.
American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
AASA has a web site devoted exclusively to equity in public education. The material contained therein espouses equity in public education, as opposed to equality of opportunity. By this web site the AASA has implicitly endorsed a key component of critical race theory.
One of the webinars on this site professes: “Rising need for social-emotional learning (SEL): Research shows as terrible as the growing achievement gap is, so is the rise in mental health issues among young people. Students need their schools to help them build SEL skills to prepare them for life outside the classroom.” Again, social-emotional learning is a close cousin of critical race theory, and in some cases is critical race theory.
There are thirty-three other webinars on this site. Almost all deal with the topic of equity. Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity are the new buzz words of public-school administrators. Diversity, and inclusion, and equality of opportunity are concepts that have been around for decades. However, the third element of this triad, equal opportunity, has only been recently replaced with the equity concept.
National School Boards Association (NSBA).
“Reimagining School Board Leadership: Actions for Equity” is a recent publication by NSBA’s DIRE (Dismantling Institutional Racism in Education) and the Center for Safe Schools.
The publication argues that if all students are to be educated in a manner that prepares them for success in school and in life, school board members must lead with an equity lens. Because the notion of educational equity means different things to different people, the NSBA suggests it is important to clearly define what educational equity is and is not. NSBA’s Center for Public Education defines educational equity as being achieved when all students receive the resources, they need so they graduate prepared for success.
As the concept of equity can mean different things to different people, NSBA, its Board of Directors, and staff embarked on a journey to define the concept of educational equity. In 2017, the NSBA Board of Directors adopted the following definition of equity:
“We affirm in our actions that each student can, will, and shall learn. We recognize that based on factors including but not limited to disability, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, students are deprived of equitable educational opportunities. Educational equity is the intentional allocation of resources, instruction, and opportunities according to need, requiring that discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs be identified and eradicated.”
As schools across the country responded to acts of systemic racism in the summer of 2020, NSBA launched the Dismantling Institutional Racism in Education (DIRE) initiative to assist state school boards associations and other education leaders in addressing racial inequities.
The NSBA’s DIRE initiative acknowledges that institutional, structural, and systemic racism has been engrained in the history of America and throughout its public education system. It is dedicated to understanding and recognizing the root causes of barriers to equitable educational outcomesfor each child.
American Medical Association (AMA)
The AMA developed a recent policy that recognizes racism in its systemic, cultural, interpersonal, and other forms, is a serious threat to public health, to the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to appropriate medical care. AMA offers that a proactive approach is necessary to prevent, identify, and eliminate, racism — particularly considering that studies show historically marginalized populations in the U.S. have shorter lifespans, greater physical and mental illness burden, earlier onset and aggressive progression of disease, higher maternal and infant mortality, and less access to health care.
The policy describes the various forms of racism as follows:
- Systemic racism: structural and legalized system that results in differential access to goods and services, including health care services.
- Cultural racism: negative and harmful racial stereotypes portrayed in culturally shared media and experiences.
- Interpersonal racism: implicit and explicit racial prejudice, including explicitly expressed racist beliefs and implicitly held racist attitudes and actions based upon or resulting from these prejudices.
The AMA has been leading an aggressive effort to embed equity in thoughts, actions, and processes so as not to perpetuate inequities and instead help people live healthier lives. In 2018, the AMA adopted policy to define health equity and outline a strategic framework toward achieving optimal health for all. To help navigate these challenges, in 2019 the AMA hired its first chief health equity officer to establish the AMA’s Center for Health Equity to elevate and sustain efforts to address systemic level changes that can improve health.
Black Lives Matter (BLM)
Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to so called state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. They claim that their intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflictedon blacks by the state.
They have expressed their desire to make resistance to oppression the new normal. They declare that they have directly challenged state oppression and violence and disrupted theexisting system.
The BLM also claims that they disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable. Needless to say, a large number of Americans disagree that children should be raised in villages, but argue that it would better for children to be raised in two parent households.
American Bar Association (ABA)
The ABA appears to be an early adopter of CRT. It has a web site full of critical race theory. The ABA web site proffers an article, A Lesson on Critical Race Theory by Janel George, a civil rights attorney.
George poses the question: “So, exactly what is CRT, why is it under attack, and what does it mean for the civil rights lawyer?”
George argues that CRT is not a diversity and inclusion training but a practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society that emerged in the legal academy and spread to other fields of scholarship. CRT critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT theorizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation.
Principles of the CRT Practice
While recognizing the evolving and malleable nature of CRT, George offers that Khiara Bridges outlined a few key tenets of CRT, including:
- …Acknowledgement that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, which replicate racial inequality. This dismisses the idea that racist incidents are aberrations but instead are manifestations of structural and systemic racism….
- Rejection of popular understandings about racism, such as arguments that confine racism to a few “bad apples.” CRT recognizes that racism is codified in law, embedded in structures, and woven into public policy. CRT rejects claims of meritocracy or “colorblindness.” CRT recognizes that it is the systemic nature of racism that bears primary responsibility for reproducing racial inequality….
CRT challenges white privilege and exposes deficit-informed research that ignores, and often omits, the scholarship of people of color. CRT began in the legal field in the 1970s and grew in the 1980s and 1990s. It persists as a field of inquiry in the legal field and in other areas of scholarship. Colleges of Education are also spreading the CRT gospel.
CRT proponents argue that there is a particular limitation of legal efforts to address racial inequality. Ithas been the inability of many legal mandates to reach the covert and insidious nature of de facto racism. This has proved, they argue, that eradicating racial inequality in education is not merely an exercise in ending legal segregation.
ABA Section of Civil Rights.
The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the African American Policy Forum in 2021 collaborated on a four-part webinar series on Critical Race Theory (CRT). Over the past year, the ABA Section representative states that CRT has been increasingly misrepresented by the Right in an organized, widespread effort to stifle racial justice and gender equity, and weaken America’s multiracial democracy. In response to these attacks, AAPF held a 5-day Critical Race Theory Summer School in mid-August 2021 to educate participants about the origins, principles, and insights of Critical Race Theory, and to chart a path forward.
ABA-Wide 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge ©
The ABA Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council endorsed a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge ©,” and invited all ABA members to join them. The 21-Day Challenge concept was conceived several years ago by diversity advocate Eddie Moore, Jr. to advance deeper understandings of the intersections of race, power, privilege, supremacy, and oppression. The Council encouraged ABA members to use this concept as an educational tool. The goal of the Challenge is said to assist each member to become more aware, compassionate, constructive, engaged in the quest forracial equity.
Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA)
The Presbyterian Church USA is another strong proponent of CRT. Its national governing body, The General Assembly, at the 224th General Assembly (2020) passed a resolution entitled “Responding to the Sin of Racism and a Call to Action.” The motion provides for the following:
- PC(USA) churches and presbyteries would approve antiracism policies.
- PC(USA) agencies are to review business items to be referred to the 225th General Assembly (2022) to ensure coverage under social witness policy.
This 224th General Assembly of the PC(USA) declared that Black and Brown lives matter; that the country’s most important institutions have been built to sustain white privilege, to protect white lives and white property at the expense of our siblings of color; and that the church, through ignorance, denial, and in some cases deliberate action, has participated in this injustice. The Church confessed it has been slow to face the reality of systemic racism. The Assembly pledged to actively confront and dismantle systemic racism in their church and in society at large.
The Assembly said there is a need to address institutional racism and oppression within the church and to call the church to do the hard work of repair necessary for reconciliation. The Special Committee on Racism, Truth, and Reconciliation was directed to prepare for the 225th General Assembly (2022) a report deconstructing white privilege within its own denomination’s (and predecessor denominations’) history of involvement in the colonization, enslavement, oppression, and genocide of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), including theological support and benefits to institutions. The report should also include a study of the denomination’s history of prophetic witness, resistance, and abolition, and make recommendations towards proposed amends, reparations, and reconciliation.
PCUSA says its members have much to lament. Members, in particular white people, in a predominantly white denomination, must confess their complicity in perpetuating systems of oppression against our BIPOC siblings. The church must be the first place seeking racial justice and reconciliation, the dismantling of structural racism, and the healing of our marginalized communities. It has, unfortunately, not often been so.
CENTRAL FLORIDA PRESBYTERY (CFP)
CENTRAL FLORIDA PRESBYTERY STATEMENT ON RACIAL INJUSTICE
CFP is midlevel church bureaucracy of almost 70 Presbyterian churches in central Florida. CFP says the church has failed to take responsibility for its part in the struggle against systemic racism. Historically, white Christian traditions have been complicit in racism. The formation of our nation, strongly influenced by religious conviction, included an acceptance of racism and slavery. The church they say stands guilty of defending the genocide of Indigenous communities, tribes, and people, and of making acceptable slavery, particularly of Black peoples. These long-held beliefs have contributed to structural racism in the country’s education, economic, and judicial systems.
CFP urges members to share the history, dynamics, and consequences of racism as power. CFP also asks white people to strive to recognize the wounding of the soul in the historic role of oppressor and how this continues to affect members’ view of society, culture, and racial tensions. CFP also says it is necessary to recognize implicit bias (attitudes or stereotypes that affect people’s understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner) and the resulting habit of ingrained prejudice. The CFP urges members to repent and atone for valuing law and order and property above the lives of people of color.
CFP argues that faithfulness demands working for restitution and restorative justice. Their opinion is that people of faith should be leading the way into redemption, restoration, and reconciliation.
CFP says it is time to act and balance the inequities inflicted on non-white communities from health care to employment, from education to wealth, from the criminal justice system to housing. CFP says as a Presbytery, they will: (1) require ministers and all staff to engage in anti-racism training on an ongoing basis; (2) urge the leadership, staff, and members of the presbytery’s congregations to participate in the same recurring anti-racism training events; and (3) recommend that all individuals learn about racism.
CFP argues for reparations. Reparations is the act of making of amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury. Reparations for slavery is the application of the concept of reparations to victims of slavery and/or their descendants. Reparations can take numerous forms, including individual monetary payments; settlements; scholarships; waiving of fees; systemic initiatives to offset injustices; land-based compensation related to independence; apologies and acknowledgements of the injustices; and token measures, such as naming a building after someone, or the removal of monuments and renaming of streets that honor slave owners and defenders of slavery.
United Methodist Church (UMC)
The Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church (2016) provides a Charter for Racial Justice Policies in an Interdependent Global Community. UMC argues that racism is a system of inequality based on race prejudice and the belief that one race is innately superior to all other races. In principle, the United States has outlawed racial discrimination; but in practice, little has changed, per UMC. Social, economic, and political institutions still discriminate, although some institutions have amended their behavior by eliminating obvious discriminatory practices and choosing their language carefully.
The damage from years of systemic race-based exploitation has not been erased and by all measurable indicators per UMC. A color-blind society is many years in the future, according to UMC. A system designed to meet the needs of one segment of the population cannot be the means to the development of a just society for all. The racist system in the United States today perpetuates the power and control of those who are of European ancestry. It is often called white supremacy. With hopes deferred and rights still denied, the deprived and oppressed fall prey to a colonial mentality that can acquiesce to the inequities. UMC calls for a renewed commitment to the elimination of institutional racism. It supports and participates in the worldwide struggle for liberation in church and community.
The church commits to challenging unjust systems of power and access. UMC will work for equal and equitable opportunities in employment and promotion, education and training; in voting, access to public accommodations, and housing; to credit, loans, venture capital, and insurance; to positions of leadership and power in all elements of life together; and to full participation in the Church and society.
UMC states racism has long been described as America’s “original sin.” The denomination’s Council of Bishops called for every United Methodist to name the egregious sin of racism and white supremacy and join together to take a stand against the oppression and injustice that is killing persons of color. The United Methodist Church has mounted a denomination-wide campaign, “United Against Racism,” that urges its members not only to pray, but to educate themselves and have conversations about the subject, and to work actively for civil and human rights.
The United Methodist Social Principles state: “Racism, manifested as sin, plagues and hinders our relationship with Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. We commit as the Church to move beyond symbolic expressions and representative models that do not challenge unjust systems of power and access.” The church recognizes the existence of white privilege as an underlying cause of inequality. It supports the concept of affirmative action to guarantee more opportunities for all to compete for jobs.
United Methodists are called to continue to live out their vow to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. United Methodists (1) should advocate and work toward dismantling the unjust systems that cause, or even benefit from, continued inequality; (2) call out policies that disadvantage certain ethnicities; and (3) work for change and vote in ways that promote equal justice.
A Salvation Army guide aimed at “courageous conversations about racism” asks “White Americans” to “stop trying to be ‘colorblind.’” The guide, “Let’s Talk About Racism,” was released in April 2021 and created by the Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission. The Army proclaims it was meant to provide internal dialogue on the issue of racism among members of the Salvation Army.
The Army acknowledges in the guide, with regret, that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organizational, and social pressures that perpetuate racism. The guide’s introduction states that Christians need to evaluate racist attitudes and practices. The guide also asks salvationists to apologize for their racism, stating it is “necessary if we want to move towards racial reconciliation.” Additionally, the guide says White culture has challenges it needs to overcome, including denial of racism, defensiveness about race, and further states that White Americans need to stop trying to be colorblind.
The Salvation Army’s website once displayed its “Study Guide on Racism”. They took the guide off their website (and cannot be found anywhere on the web using all the major search engines – it has obviously been censored by big tech). However, using an alternative source the writer was able to find it. The guide claims that “racism can be so entrenched in institutions and culture that people can unintentionally and unwittingly perpetuate racial division.”
After removal of the guide, the Army did some damage control. They said elements of the recently issued Let’s Talk About Racism guide led some to believe they think they should apologize for the color of their skin, or that The Salvation Army may have abandoned its Biblical beliefs for another philosophy or ideology. They claim this was never their intention, so they removed the guide for “appropriate review,” only after a substantial drop in donors and donations.
The Army declares that they remain committed to serving everyone in need—regardless of their beliefs, backgrounds, or lifestyle—and proffers that some individuals and groups have recently attempted to mislabel their organization to serve their own agendas. Opponents to the guide have claimed that the Army believes its donors should apologize for their skin color, that The Salvation Army believes America is an inherently racist society, and that the Army abandoned its Christian faith for one ideology or another.
The Army argues that those claims are simply false, and they distort the very goal of the Army’s work. (However, a review of the guide and positional statement does not support the Army’s arguments that the claims are false).
Consequently, for both reasons, the International Social Justice Commission has now withdrawn the guide for “appropriate review.” However, the Army’s 2017 positional statement remains in force.
Indiana University (IU)
Indiana University has extended its financial support to anti-racist initiatives with a CRT bent. The university launched twenty-five research grants ($15,000 each) for faculty studying racial equity and justice. The Indiana University Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design and the Jacobs School of Music hosted voluntary virtual workshops on anti-racism, cultural appropriation, and microaggressions. The Music School’s “Inclusion, Equity, Diversity & Justice” page has a link to “Examples of Diversity Statements and Anti-Racism Resources.” The music school’s Strategic Plan calls for “training in diversity, equity, and inclusivity for all faculty and staff, at the direction of Jacobs Human Resources and Diversity and Inclusion Offices and the Diversity and Equity Committee, in consultation with other units and relevant campus offices, especially the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs (OVPFAA), and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion.”
The university urged students to take the IU Diversity Pledge, which includes commitments “To beware of the bias in my language and actions” and “To understand and acknowledge the race, sexuality, gender, religion, age, education, ability, or socioeconomic privileges I have…” The university also lists the people who have taken the pledge.
The Ruth Lilly Medical Library offered an “Anti-Racism, Inequity, and Implicit Bias in Health Care” research guide. The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs offers “Anti-Racist Agenda, Tools, and Resources.”
The university funneled $55,000 to a conference in 2021. The July conference for educators and administrators was hosted by the nonprofit Indiana Black Expo and had the title “Education Equity: The Role of Schools and Universities in Leveling the Playing Field.” Indiana’s Republican-run government also financially supported the event through grants. It featured two prominent critical race theory (CRT) activists, Dena Simmons, and Bettina L. Love, as reported by The Federalist this summer.
One such workshop was moderated by Monica M. Johnson, assistant vice president for diversity education and cross-cultural engagement for IU. Johnson, who was appointed to her post in September 2020, spoke on “Higher Education’s Role in Advancing Equity.” Johnson was joined by four other IU staffers for the panel, including Rachel Ann Brooks. Brooks, the university’s director of diversity and inclusion, discussed the Black Lives Matter riots last summer. She said students “leveraging their voices” and “saying enough is enough” indicates America is at a crossroads. In her view, universities will either “show up or step back “for the left-wing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda that encourages treating Americans differently based on the inborn color of their skin.
Another workshop IU headlined was titled “Real Talk? How to Discuss Race, Racism, and Politics in 21st Century American Schools.” Delivered by IU school of education professor Marcus Croom and planned by his left-wing consulting group Brio Education, the workshop is the same title as an August book by Croom. The public university instructor, who made $39,700 last year from IU according to public records, is no stranger to controversy. On Oct. 10, Croom shared a lecture on Twitter by openly racist and antisemitic Rev. Al Sharpton with the hashtag “realtalk.” His feed also shows extensive support for CRT czar Nikole Hannah-Jones—the writer behind the ahistorical New York Times “1619 Project.” While Croom’s Black Expo address has not been made public despite his position and the event being sponsored through government agencies, it is clear where he stands on CRT. He is a major proponent and verbatim uses the term, unlike other proponents who use “diversity” and “equity” lingo for the same thing due to public backlash against such initiatives.
Croom proclaims on his school website that he “generate[s] knowledge through case study and qualitative methods using post-White vindicationist philosophy, practice of race theory (PRT), and race critical practice analysis.” Croom also claimed in a Feb. 2020 paper titled “Meet Me at the Corner: The Intersection of Literacy Instruction and Race for Urban Education.” He asserts that “[a]after critical race theory was introduced to the field of education, a number of works advanced our knowledge related to literary instruction and race.”
Indiana State University (ISU)
Indiana State University, another state taxpayer-funded institution, spent tens of thousands of dollars to co-sponsor an education conference that is giving a platform to critical race theory activists. Financial documents reviewed by The Federalist upon receipt of a public records request show ISU has funneled a total of $95,000 to the same Black Expo, Inc. referred to above, a far-left nonprofit.
ISU spent more than $27,000 to support the CRT conference for educators across the state. For the 2021 conference, the documents show, Indiana State sent $27,500 to Black Expo, the same number as its contribution last year, and just shy of its $40,000 contribution in 2019.
Butler University (BU)
A Social Justice and Diversity requirement for students has been instituted. It consists of 3 goals: (1) Recognize multiple and intersecting dimensions of identity and inequity through the study of critical scholarship on the historical, cultural, political, and/or social experiences of marginalized communities; (2) Identify and explain the causes and impact of privilege, power, and oppression and cultivate tools for overcoming conflict and promoting equality; and (3) Recognize and critique local, national, or global conditions that enable, perpetuate and/or challenge social injustice and inequity.
The Butler Giving Circle awarded “its second annual community partnership grant to the College of Education (COE) to support the development of a new mentoring program in which experienced teachers of color from the Partnership for Inquiry Learning’s Leadership Group will mentor small groups of COE students in inclusive, culturally responsive, and anti-racist teaching.” The COE’s proposal, entitled Mentoring Toward Social Justice and Equity in our Schools and Communities, was selected from among three finalists to receive the $12,065 grant at the Giving Circle’s annual shareholder meeting on June 4, 2021.
In the new mentoring program, five teacher-leaders of color from the Partnership for Inquiry Learning will meet with small groups of COE students at least once per month throughout the 2021-22 academic year to focus on relationship building, discussing and applying learnings from shared readings and coursework, and learning about successes in the mentor’s school community. Participants will then share what was learned through the program at local education conferences and with COE faculty, staff, and students, thereby expanding the program’s impact beyond its direct participants.
Dr. Susan Adamson, Director of the Partnership for Inquiry Learning and a COE faculty member, will lead the program in collaboration with COE Dean Brooke Kandel-Cisco, who says she hopes to see the mentoring program become sustainable in the long term as one component of a comprehensive approach to preparing teachers toward social justice and educational equity.
The mentoring program aligns with the University’s Butler Beyond strategic priority of creating an intentionally diverse, inclusive, and equitable learning and working environment through the curriculum, co-curricular learning, scholarship, and community engagement. CRT is endorsed by the top leader of Butler, President James Danko in his 2021 State of the University speech. A central part of Butler’s strategic priority he says is to create an intentionally diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus community. “We must remain deeply committed to our founding mission as we strive for a world in which rights and opportunities are equally afforded to all people. And we still have much work to do,” Danko said. He provided an update on progress in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging that has occurred on campus over the past year, including an increase in staffing and the development of the Hub for Black Affairs and Community Engagement.
Comments. There are numerous organizations and associations, other than those cited above, who support CRT. These organizations were self-selected by the author only because he had some knowledge of their likely support for or involvement in critical race theory activities. There are hundreds or more organizations, businesses, and associations that support elements of critical race theory. The author’s time limitations prevented a more comprehensive search.
There are many consultants who have recently begun to offer diversity, equity, and inclusion training to corporations, schools, and government. Of course, this is a lucrative business for consultants as their client’s storm like sheep to the slaughterhouse of the training room. It may be well to note that diversity and inclusion training has been offered by consultants for over 50 years. It is amazing how consultants are now able to feed at private and public money troughs because the word equality was replaced with the word equity. In addition to training, some consultants have expanded their services to include “equity audits.”
A few of the hundreds or thousands of groups that offer training on diversity, equity, and inclusion are: (1) Compliance Training Group; (2) Critical Diversity Solutions; (3) Linkage; (4) Hackman Consulting Group LLC; (5) Racial Equity Consultants; and (6) Joyce James Consulting. Joyce James Consulting is an example of how lucrative this training can be for consultants.
Adam Cahn reported that Austin, Texas Taxpayers are paying $10,000 per day for “advanced racial equity assistance“ to Joyce James Consulting. The training is for the city’s police officers. Cahn reports that the contract has a maximum of $580,000 per year. Cahn also reports that Joyce James Consulting has contracts with other city departments. According to PJ Media, JJC currently has contracts with the city for similar services worth more than $3 million over the next three years.
“It’s an easy gig for you,” left-leaning attorney Adam Loewy commented on Twitter. “Just say everything is racist in various ways and make $10k per day.” “Funny how we keep spending more and more on equity undoing [racism, CRT, etc.] but we keep growing racism exponentially,” another replied.
As said previously, there are hundreds, or thousands of consultants available for DEI training. Color of Change has a directory of hundreds of racial consultants. The Boston Foundation also has published a directory of racial equity consultants listing 141 different firms. It is comforting that so many consulting firms stand at the ready to assist America’s schools, government, and private sector entities in meeting their new found equity obligations. Their racial equity needs will be well taken of… at a rather large fee.