Is Critical Race Theory “UnChristian” Part 3
Written by: Dr. Matt Mullins (Assistant Professor of English and History of Ideas/Associate Dean for Academic Advising)
In the previous posts I introduced the concept of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and briefly discussed its origins and some of its key figures. In this post I turn to the substance of CRT and explain some of its core beliefs.
Critical Race Theory is just that, a theory; it’s a system of beliefs that attempts to explain why things are the way they are. Specifically, it’s a theory of what race is, how it has functioned, and how it continues to function in society. At its core, CRT holds that race and racism are woven into the very fabric of our society. Racism is not merely how one person feels about another. It is built into the foundations of culture, including in our laws, our customs, and our arts/entertainment. CRT seeks to expose and challenge this racism.
I have done my best to explain CRT in its own terms, but given the medium in which I’m writing, I have inevitably oversimplified some of its core beliefs and left others out altogether. Please approach these posts as a place to start exploring CRT, not as the final word.
What Do Critical Race Theorists Believe?
Before we examine the beliefs that underpin CRT, we should note that any given proponent of CRT may hold a range of views. They may embrace some aspects of CRT and reject others. Like any belief system, there are some values that are not up for debate and others that are optional, or about which like-minded folks can disagree in good faith.
-Race is a Social Construct-
To address the history and effects of race and racism, we first need to understand what race itself is. If you’re not familiar with this conversation, it may surprise you to find out that many scholars and activists disagree about the precise definition of race. There are two major definitions of race:
Race is a biological reality
Race is a social construct