According to the establishment media, critical race theory, or CRT, is a distraction. It is a right-wing smear. It is a conservative attempt to quash the dark side of American history. Most of all, according to the establishment media, you must never — ever — pay attention to the infusion of CRT into the nation's institutions of power.
According to MSNBC's Chuck Todd, controversy over CRT is a "creation...it keeps people watching or it keeps people clicking." According to CNN's Bakari Sellers, CRT is just "America's history." According to The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart, those who criticize CRT are merely attempting to prevent "us from learning our history."
Critical race theory, of course, is not America's actual history. It is a perverse worldview, unsupportable by the evidence, in which all of America's key institutions are inextricably rooted in white supremacy; it is an activist campaign demanding the destruction of those institutions. The founders of CRT have written as much. According to CRT founders Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, CRT is founded on two key premises: that "racism is ordinary, not aberrational — 'normal science,' the usual way society does business, the common, everyday experience of most people of color in this country" and second, that "our system of white-over-color ascendancy serves important purposes, both psychic and material." This means, according to Delgado and Stefancic, that "racism is difficult to cure or address" and that a formal commitment to legal equality on the basis of color-blindness is merely a guise for further discrimination. Furthermore, CRT founders say that whites are unable to understand racism, and that "minority status...brings with it a presumed competence to speak about race and racism."
CRT therefore holds that racism is embedded deeply in American life, unconsciously into white American psyches, and that it is impossible for white Americans to understand their own racism or that of the system, let alone to remove it. The only solution: tearing away the only systems that have ever provided widespread liberty and prosperity. As fellow CRT founder Derrick Bell wrote, "The whole liberal worldview of private rights and public sovereignty mediated by the rule of law needed to be exploded."
CRT isn't merely a tool of legal analysis, either, as many of its dishonest defenders claim. Delgado and Stefancic are clear: "Although CRT began as a movement in the law, it has rapidly spread beyond that discipline. Today, many in the field of education consider themselves critical race theorists...political scientists ponder voting strategies coined by critical race theorists...unlike some academic disciplines, critical race theory contains an activist dimension."
So, what has CRT accomplished? The near-complete subjugation of our higher educational system, which now traffics regularly in CRT-related theories, the corruption of our establishment media, who parrot the anti-Americanism of CRT as "just history," the infusion of CRT into nearly every area of the government, under the Biden-esque Newspeak of "equity." And yet, if Americans notice this — if Americans lobby school boards to bar indoctrination in the cultish nonsense of CRT — these institutional actors tell those Americans that there is nothing to see.
The grassroots pushback against CRT is rooted in the best of the American tradition: a rejection of racial essentialism in favor of individualism, an enthusiastic endorsement of agency rather than determinism, a willingness to stand united against tribalism. We all ought to fight those who have hijacked and weaponized our institutions against all of these traditionally American ideals. Anything less would be an abdication of the trust we have been given — a trust that has resulted in liberty, equality, and prosperity beyond imagining for nearly all of human history.
Ben Shapiro, 37, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of "The Ben Shapiro Show," and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers "How To Destroy America In Three Easy Steps," "The Right Side Of History," and "Bullies."