Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Critical Race Theory Hysteria and Today’s US Civil War

As one whose lifelong goal has been to end US imperialism, I’m all for Republican secession (or Democratic secession or something else secession).

By Crawford Kilian, The Tyee

Republicans are waging slow-rolling secession, state by state. Tactic: Cancel history.

The Republican party, and the U.S. media, have been exercised recently about critical race theory. The Republicans see it as a dire Marxist threat to children, who are supposedly being indoctrinated in CRT in the public schools. It’s nothing of the sort, of course, but it’s a useful tool to help the Republicans conduct what you might call “artisanal secession” — the careful, step-by-step separation of Republican states from a federal state run by anyone but themselves.

Let’s deal with CRT first. It’s an academic approach to American law and history intended to study ingrained racism in U.S. laws and institutions. It’s been around since the 1970s, the domain of a small number of scholars, and it’s rarely if ever taught outside post-secondary.

CRT has gained attention in the last few years, largely because of heightened public awareness of police violence against Black people. The ability of most cops to escape punishment for murder has seemed increasingly unjust, and CRT does help to explain how laws and courts favour the police over their mostly non-white victims.

Admittedly, you don’t need arcane legal analysis to demonstrate the racism in American laws: it was wired in, right from the start, in Article 1 of the constitution. The “three-fifths clause” gave the slaveholding states extra clout in Congress by pretending that five enslaved persons, with no vote, would be counted as three free persons for purposes of representation. So southern whites’ votes counted for more than northern whites’ did.

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