- Aug 2021
The Attack on "Critical Race Theory": What's Going on?
Lately, a lot of people have been very upset about “critical race theory.” Back in September 2020, the former president directed federal agencies to cut funding for training programs that refer to “white privilege” or “critical race theory, declaring such programs “un-American propaganda” and “a sickness that cannot be allowed to continue.” In the last few months, at least eight states have passed legislation banning the teaching of CRT in schools and some 20 more have similar bills in the pipeline or plans to introduce them. What’s going on?
Join us for a conversation that situates the current battle about “critical race theory” in the context of a much longer war over the relationship between our racial present and racial past, and the role of culture, institutions, laws, policies and “systems” in shaping both. As members of families and communities, as adults in the lives of the children who will have to live with the consequences of these struggles, how do we understand what's at stake and how we can usefully weigh in?
Hosts: Melissa Giraud & Andrew Grant-Thomas
Guests: Shee Covarrubias, Kerry-Ann Escayg,
Some core ideas of critical race theory:
- racial realism
- racism is normal
- interest convergence
- racial equity only occurs when white self interest is being considered (Brown v. Board of Education as an example to portray US in a better light with respect to the Cold War)
- Whiteness as property
- Cheryl Harris' work
- White people have privilege in the law
- myth of meritocracy
People would rather be spoon fed rather than do the work themselves. Sadly this is being encouraged in the media.
Short summary of CRT: How laws have been written to institutionalize racism.
Culturally Responsive Teaching (also has the initials CRT).
KAE tries to use an anti-racist critical pedagogy in her teaching.
SC: Story about a book Something Happened in Our Town (book).
- Law enforcement got upset and the school district
- Response video of threat, intimidation, emotional blackmail by local sheriff's department.
- Intent versus impact - the superintendent may not have had a bad intent when providing an apology, but the impact was painful
It's not really a battle about or against CRT, it's an attempt to further whitewash American history. (synopsis of SC)
What are you afraid of?
- racial realism
- Jul 2021
In our case, a system intended to expand equality has become an enforcer of inequality. Americans are now meritocrats by birth. We know this, but because it violates our fundamental beliefs, we go to a lot of trouble not to know it.
Class stratification helps to create not only racist policies but policies that enforce the economic stratification and prevent upward (or downward) mobility.
I believe downward mobility is much simpler for Black Americans (find reference to OTM podcast about Obama to back this up).
How can we create social valves (similar to those in the circulatory system of our legs) that help to push people up and maintain them at certain levels without disadvantaging those who are still at the bottom and who may neither want to move up nor have the ability?
- Jun 2021
<small><cite class='h-cite via'>ᔥ <span class='p-author h-card'>Jeet Heer</span> in Freedom to Teach in North Carolina - The Time of Monsters (<time class='dt-published'>06/17/2021 09:41:33</time>)</cite></small>
Michael Young coined the term, formed by combining the Latin root "mereō" and Ancient Greek suffix "cracy", in his essay to describe and ridicule such a society, the selective education system that was the Tripartite System, and the philosophy in general.
Meritocracy was coined to describe and ridicule a society and its selective education system.
Diminishing social mobility excludes the middle class from the hope of achieving the American Dream.
Do we actually need social mobility?
Social mobility and the goods it can purchase can be a useful social motivation.
However, social mobility for the poorest amoungst us would be good, but how much additional marginal good does society derive from continued social mobility of the middle and upper classes continuing to gain wealth and moving up?
Perhaps there's a myth of social mobility confounding the issue with the myth of meritocracy as well.
Certainly the idea of raw capitalism without caps is at play as well. Could providing better governmental oversight of this be a helpful factor for society? (At least American society at the moment? As international competition may drive other broader problems vis-a-vis other pieces of global domination...)
for some analysts this myth of meritocracy entrenches gender and racial inequality.
I want to explore this idea a bit. Resources, citations? Which analysts?
That the belief that the United States is a meritocracy is an inherently racist or sexist belief, or that the United States was created by members of a particular race or sex for the purpose of oppressing members of another race or sex.”
the United States is a meritocracy
We've liked to tell ourselves this myth, but it's demonstrably untrue.
- Feb 2021
Some people "get" the idea of systemic privilege and ask "But what can I do?" My answer is, you can use unearned advantage to weaken systems of unearned advantage. I see white privilege as a bank account that I did not ask for, but that I can choose to spend. People with privilege have far more power than we have been taught to realize, within the myth of meritocracy. Participants can brainstorm about how to use unearned assets to share power; these may include time, money, energy, literacy, mobility, leisure, connections, spaces, housing, travel opportunities. Using these assets may lead to key changes in other behaviors as well, such as paying attention, making associations, intervening, speaking up, asserting and deferring, being alert, taking initiative, doing ally and advocacy work, lobbying, campaigning, protesting, organizing, and recognizing and acting against both the external and internalized forms of oppression and privilege.
Think about why U.S. people, especially White people, have trouble seeing systemically. Explain the myth of meritocracy: that the unit of society is the individual and that whatever one ends up with must be whatever that individual wanted, worked for, earned, and deserved. Why do you think this myth survives so successfully, suppressing knowledge of systemic oppression and especially of its "up-side,"systemic privilege?
I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me, white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy.
We need more research and details on the idea of the American myth of meritocracy.