Critical Race Theory Essay
Students will write a 6 to 8-page analytical paper discussing Critical Race Theory (CRT). Utilizing original source material written by at least three CRT proponents, students will communicate the main ideas informing the theory. They will then critique the theory, exploring both pros and cons of the theory for use in and by individual Christians, churches, and various ministries engaging in the work of racial reconciliation and justice. Students should utilize Scripture to critique the theory biblically, as well as various authors speaking for or against CRT's usefulness/appropriateness. A rubric will be provided in Canvas to guide studentsâ€™ preparation and writing.
Analysis of Critical Race Theory
Many Christians may not be familiar with the phrase critical theory – yet it determines much of what they see and hear in modern society. Social sciences such as transgender, queer, feminist, and ethnic studies are linked to this theory. Notably, the theory is widespread in the contemporary debate surrounding race. For instance, terms like white privilege, social justice, critical race theory, and wokeness are part of the critical theory. Furthermore, since the hypothesis impacts many issues in contemporary theological and political discourse, Christians must comprehend it from a biblical outlook. Further, several state laws have limited or banned the teaching of critical theory in K-12 classes (Morgan, 2022) Critical Race Theory Essay. Thus, this paper will examine the central tenets of critical theory. Also, it will critique the theory and examine the pros and cons for utilization by Christians and churches.
Critical Race Theory
The critical race theory (CRT) is among the many types of critical studies. Further, while critical race theory initially tried to examine the issue of Black Americans in America, it has been partitioned into various branches like Asian and Latino critical race studies. The theory initially started in the 1970s and 1980s as a lobby for legal scholarship, and it materialized out of the civil rights crusade and critical legal education (Ladson-Billings, 2020). This legal education contends that the law is intrinsically discriminatory and cannot be split from social and political matters. It presumes that people who develop legislation do so in a manner that favors the privileged and hurts the underprivileged. Moreover, the developers of this critical race theory used critical legal education since they wanted to elucidate why benefits accrued during the civil rights movement were being reversed or stalled. There is no standard denotation of CRT. However, some thinkers explain it as an entity of legal scholarship conceptually devoted to the fight against racism, mainly as institutionalized by law. Notably, the critical race theory can also be elucidated as a social and cognitive movement and generally organized structure of legal evaluation founded on the supposition that race is not an innate, biologically founded component of physically diverse subclasses of humans but a socially constructed categorization that is utilized to persecute and manipulate minorities. In the United States, critical race theorists contend that racism is intrinsic in the law and legal organizations of the nation since they function to design and sustain political, economic, and social imbalances between Whites and minorities, mainly African Americans.
Central Tenets of Critical Race Theory
There is no deficit of declarations about this theory about what it teaches or not. Further, while no single cluster of philosophical thinkers will agree, there are central tenets that many proponents of the theory comply with.
The first premise is the ordinariness of racism. This premise contends that racism is typical, not an irregularity. Further, many believe that racism emerges in an individual’s actions and thoughts now and again. Still, the critical race theory asserts that racism infiltrates all societal structures such that it mutates into a mode by which people function. Hence, racism is challenging to tackle or rectify since it is unseen.
The second tenet is interest convergence, which means that white individuals will only champion minorities’ civil rights that serve their concerns. For instance, Derrick Bell contends that the historical case Brown v. Board of Education was because it correlated with the white aristocracy’s inclination to foster democracy overseas and the South’s awareness that discrimination would impede its long-standing economic growth.
The social construction of race is the third tenet. According to Delgado & Stefancic. (2023), this tenet claims that race and race resulted from social associations and thought. Further, society accepts that specific groups of individuals share particular physical attributes like hair texture and skin color. Also, overemphasizing these inconsiderable variations over more prominent ones like intelligence and personality portrays race as a social construct instead of a biological actuality. Besides this concept comes the idea of differential racialization, which examines how superior societal groups progress their concerns by racializing particular minority communities by creating popular imagery and stereotypes Critical Race Theory Essay.
The last tenet is intersectionality, a phrase conceived by Kimberle Crenshaw, a formative thinker in the critical race theory crusade. It explains how individuals can encounter unique types of persecution or privilege grounded on an amalgamation of numerous facets and identities like class, race, sexual orientation, and gender (Coaston, 2019). For instance, a black female may encounter unique oppression from the amalgamated disadvantages of being a woman and black. Nonetheless, if the female was non-disabled, from upper-middle-class, and heterosexual, she might experience privilege. Delgado & Stefancic. (2023) assert that everybody has potentially overlapping, conflicting allegiances, loyalties, and identities.
Critique through Biblical Scriptures (Pros and Cons)
Critical race theory accurately identifies the actuality of evil and repression (Zechariah 7:9-10), actuality and abuse of supremacy authority (Ephesians 6:12), and the significance of listening to the experiences of others (Proverbs 18:13).
Furthermore, ideologies like intersectionality and convergence bear some integrity to them. With interest convergence, society understands that individuals are sinful and often do good deeds for others due to egocentric incentives (Matthew 6: 1-3). Furthermore, with intersectionality, the theory rightly recognizes that individuals can simultaneously see others via many lenses and treat them wrongfully. For example, the Samaritan woman was belittled because of being a Samaritan, having five past husbands, and being a woman.
Principally, the critical race theory has compelled people to consider American history. Much of the deliberations about whether the theory should be incorporated into the school curriculum revolve around how American history will be taught. Further, Christians must be honest and truthful (Ephesians 4:15, Psalm 32:2). Conventionally, multiple of the United States’ horrid past with slavery and racism have been disparaged or incorrectly depicted, which is wrong. Instead, American society must accept past misdeeds and deal with them honestly by teaching facts. Simultaneously, it is vital to note that teaching history is challenging without a complementing story that connects all facts.
Further, while the critical race theory can draw people’s consciousness to multiple essential challenges and issues, it also possesses some cons. For instance, the theory’s explanation of racism is controversial. Further, the Bible undeniably tackles racism as a demonstration of portraying discrimination (James 2:1-9, Acts 10:34-35), failing to love neighbors (Luke 10: 25-37), and hatred (1 John 4:20-21). Nonetheless, much of the critical race theory’s scholarship is postulated on the notion that material discrepancies seen along racial lines are due to racism. Moreover, while people should embrace multiple ways in which past and present misdeeds lead to racial inconsistencies or other brutalities, making an instant connection between racism and inequality is shallow.
In addition, since the critical race theory delineates from postmodernism, it depicts minorities’ lived encounters as a powerful origin of truth. Also, it is essential to listen to one another’s lived encounters because it assists in making people knowledgeable of existing blind spots in how people think. Nevertheless, if the lived encounter is viewed as the top source of understanding, this subverts the power and adequacy of God’s word as the ultimate mediator of integrity (2 Timothy 3: 16-17). This becomes evident if the sincerities delineated from lived encounters were to dispute with the Bible.
Moreover, the critical race theory highlights group identities and racial variations on balance. From one perspective, part of the aim of this theory is to delineate awareness of how race plays a critical function in society and can proceed incognito by the superior culture. On the other hand, the theory can filter everything via group or racial identities. Thus, focusing on group recognition goes against the biblical story, which portrays humanity as elementally consolidated. People are consolidated in creation, being designed in the Lord’s image (Gen 1:26-27) and possessing a standard lineage to Adam, the first man (Acts 17:26) Critical Race Theory Essay. Further, people are consolidated in their sinfulness and their demand for forgiveness in Christ and Jesus, they possess unity, faith, and unity that surpasses group distinctiveness (Colossians 1: 19-23).
Lastly, the theory is excessively cynical of individuals’ stimulations and racial advances that have been accomplished. As earlier stated, interest convergence possesses some honesty to it. However, Christians are directed not to be selfish (Philippians 2:3-4). Notably, even if a person possesses aspirations, if they achieve authentic good, people should celebrate the good that is achieved.
Political and Academic Criticism of CRT
Several facets of this theory have been disparaged by jurists and legal scholars across the political gamut. Most commentators have faulted the theory for acknowledging a disconnected, post-modernist-inspired uncertainty of truth and objectivity. Further, others contend that critical race theorists undervalue the conventional liberal epitomes of fairness, equality, and neutrality in the law and legal processes and immoderately decline the idea of objective norms of excellence in public and private employment and academia, instead, explaining racial imbalance or inequity in economic, academic, or legal results as evidence of institutional racism and as reasons for directly instigating racially impartial results in those spheres. Additionally, proponents of this theory have been charged with unjustly considering any external censure of their perspective, however well-meaning.
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Implications of the Theory
This theory possesses significant inferences for several facets of society, mainly in social justice and law. For instance, the theory provokes conventional comprehension of the legal system, spotlighting its function in preserving racial discrepancies. Further, the hypothesis calls for a crucial assessment of judicial resolutions, policies, and laws via a racial justice mirror. In addition, the theory acts as a structure for social justice activism, fostering advocacy for minority communities. It encourages collaborative action to tackle systemic racism and imbalance.
In various ways, critical race theory is the best elucidation that worldly human rationality can generate apart from comprehending the gospel and sin. It can correctly outline some of the actualities of living in a ruptured world contaminated with sin. Society is full of sinful individuals (Romans 3:23), and some may continue to use race as a sinning technique against others. Conversely, the critical race theory can be superficial in recognizing race, and other group recognitions will fundamentally further segregation instead of unification. Moreover, Christians can embrace genuine observations that the theory makes without accepting the belief framework or narrative that follows it.
Coaston, J. (2019). The intersectionality wars. Vox.
Delgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2023). Critical race theory: An introduction (Vol. 87). NyU press.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2020). Just what is critical race theory and what’s it doing in a nice field like education? In Critical race theory in education (pp. 9-26). Routledge.
Morgan, H. (2022). Resisting the movement to ban critical race theory from schools. The clearinghouse: a journal of educational strategies, issues, and ideas, 95(1), 35-41.
Solórzano, D. G. (2021). Critical race theory’s intellectual roots: My email epistolary with Derrick Bell. In Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education (pp. 44-61). Routledge Critical Race Theory Essay.