Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Diversity Training A La The Price Cobb Esalen CIA Model Has Nothing To Do With Critical Race Theory

WaPo  | For decades, the founders of critical race theory hashed out their differences at academic conferences and in journals.

The “crits,” as they are known, disagreed over whether their framework for examining systemic racism was too far removed from activists, and if their approach focused enough on the struggles of the poor.

“This was before the internet, before email. If you wanted exchange of ideas, you met face-to-face,” Mari Matsuda, a law professor at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, said in an email. “This allowed for expressions of difference, questioning, arguing, while forging solidarity.”

But in recent months, critical race theory has leaped from the classroom to conservative news networks, where it has been attacked as divisive. Conservative activists and politicians have seized on the issue, often redefining the academic term to encompass nearly any examination of systemic racism. Several state legislatures are considering whether to ban teaching critical race theory in schools.

In interviews, the scholars who helped create this academic framework said they’re angry about the way the current debate distorts their ideas. They worry about chilling effect this backlash could have on teaching about race and racism in America.

“This is basically an effort to create a boogeyman and pour everything into that category that they believe will prompt fear, discomfort and repudiation on the part of parents and voters who are primed to respond to this hysteria that they’re trying to create,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and Columbia Law School.

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