What is Critical Race Theory?
Critical Race Theory is the idea that racism is inherent in American social norms and governmental institutions and this system also causes people to be racist. Terms such as “systemic racism”, “institutional racism” or “structural racism” all refer to this idea. Norms and values ordinarily considered virtuous - such as equality, rule of law, hard work and academic success - are considered racist tropes and rouses. It teaches that certain racial groups are helpless victims and others are inherent oppressors who bear the guilt or responsibility for racist acts of all members of the group, even in the distant past. It endorses government racial preferences to compensate for group statistical disparities. It holds that two wrongs make right, and that ends justify the means in the name of "equity".
Ok but why is it bad for students?
CRT dehumanizes children by reducing their identity to a racial identity or other group or groups instead of acknowledging their individual personhood, character and moral agency. It teaches that some children are perpetual victims of a “system” designed by evil people long ago to oppress them, and that others are members of an oppressive class that is responsible for slavery and is irredeemably racist. It holds that each member of each group is defined by the group moral characteristic – something called a “stereotype” until a few years ago. Both are absolutely false and absolutely horrible and destructive to a child’s sense of self and self-worth, and so to their academic achievement.
Is it really an issue in Seattle Public Schools?
Over the last several years, CRT concepts have been incorporated into almost every part of the Seattle Public Schools curriculum, in the name of “anti-racism” and “equity”. Administrators and teachers have been taught how to “deconstruct” their racism and identify their group status, as well as identifying "enemies" and "allies". Teachers and children are forced to categorize themselves. Several state laws were recently passed mandating teachers, professors and medical professionals be trained in “combating institutional racism” by "deconstructing" their own identities and world view. See detail examples from SPS training and materials below.
Isn’t “anti-racism” a good thing?
In order to be “anti-racist” under CRT, you have to be against “the system”, because the system is the source of oppression. As a result to be “anti-racist”, you have to be against the fundamental building blocks of our society and civic culture, things like equality, individual rights and free speech, or even just norms of hard work or showing up on time. These are all seen as tools of oppression by the “white supremacist culture”. This definition is included in SPS' anti-racist policy 0040.
What about all that talk about “equity”? Isn’t equity good?
The word "equity" is everywhere in the Seattle Public School system right now. The term “equity” is used in CRT to imply there is a moral debt to be paid from an oppressor group to a victim group, and that all social disparity today is the result of the bad actions of someone in the past or the oppressive system in the present. It is used as the reason for race-based policies that would ordinarily be illegal racial discrimination. True equity and fairness requires equal individual treatment for individual provable acts, not an examination of one's genetic heritage or group identity.
Examples of Toxic CRT Content at Seattle Public Schools
SPS training materials for administrators and teachers, to be applied in the classroom with students, explaining how to identify "enemies and allies", to avoid "spirit murder of blacks", the importance of teaching "racial literacy skills" and the need for whites to "bankrupt your privilege and acknowledge your thieved inheritance". Despite some positive aspects and need, the true intent of Social Emotional Learning as implemented is indoctrination in CRT.
SPS "Anti-racist" Policy 0040 defines "whiteness" and "white supremacist culture" as "US culture", "a focus on individuals over groups, for example, or an emphasis on the written word as a form of professional communication. "White supremacy culture" "binds together the United States white supremacy system.".
SPS Racial Equity Policy 0030 authorizes racial preferences to "eliminate disproportionality" with "differentiating resource allocation;" between racial identity groups.
The Seattle Excellence Strategic Plan endorses racial preferences, calling it "targeted universalism" and conflating racial preference programs with need based programs.
SPS Department of Equity and Race openly admits working to "transform attitudes, beliefs and behaviors" of students, with or without permission or knowledge of their parents. "Whiteness" is defined as something evil or wrong.
From SPS' Department of Equity and Race Relations -
Using "Racialized Educator Identity Lens"
Teaching about "Whiteness and Privilege"