Conservatives Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, But They’re Still Real Mad About It
by Nick AshJune 15, 2021
American conservatives have something new for you to be very afraid about. It’s called critical race theory, and right wingers are terrified that teachers like me will be using it in our classrooms. They aren’t really clear on what critical race theory actually is, but just like they were sure the Muppets were canceled (they weren’t), and Mr. Potato Head banned gender (he didn’t), they are sure that critical race theory is coming to get you!
What is critical race theory? It’s a little complicated, but in practical terms it means understanding that racism is systemic—that it is baked into our institutions, rather than just living in the hearts of individual racist people. Fighting racism requires more than just abolishing slavery, ending Jim Crow, and eradicating the Ku Klux Klan. It involves recognizing the unconscious biases that permeate our society.
In my experience, this is the type of thing that comes up in class sometimes, based on what you’re discussing that day. Whether you teach History/Social Studies, English (like me), or any other subject, you need to be prepared for that discussion.