Critical race theory sells. “Lean on the culture war,” urges Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana) to members of a conservative group in the House of Representatives. If you thought American political discourse couldn’t get any dumber … Buckle up!
In a memo sent to the Republican Study Committee on Thursday, Banks told colleagues that “we are in a culture war. On the one hand, Republicans are working to renew American patriotism and rebuild our country. On the other, Democrats have embraced and given [sic] platform to a radical element that wants to overthrow the United States. “
That’s pretty standard rhetoric for warriors in Republican culture. The new twist is that this time around, it is not communism or feminism or gay rights that have induced this hyperbole, but a relatively obscure legal / academic framework (until recently) known as “critical race theory“(CRT). His ideas have somehow escaped from academia and other outlandish circles to become a focal point of a very phony, very stupid, and yet very conventional culture war.
Yes, some concepts in CRT can to be illiberal and out there. But Republicans have begun grafting the label on some discussions or ideas about race they don’t like, while endorsing the more outlandish concepts of the CRT as if it were new Democratic dogma.
“The Democratic Party has fully embraced Critical Race Theory and all of its conclusions,” Banks writes in his memo, adding that these Democrats think that American institutions are so racist that they “must be destroyed from scratch.”
It’s the same fantasy-world nonsense that saw Republicans flaunt their fear during the 2020 election about how perpetual crime warrior Joe Biden and former cop Kamala Harris were going to defund the police. Meanwhile, in the real world, most Democrats in power are humble centrists with very standard ideas about race and racism. And most people in the real world have no idea what CRT is really about.
The fact that it is so dark is, in fact, what makes it a perfect canvas for conservative culture warriors to confirm their base’s worst fears of the radical left. (Talking about CRT “is how we are going to win” seats in the House, said Steve Bannon Recently).
So, Mexicans and antifa are out; Critical theorists of race, by which many Republicans basically mean anyone who mentions “privilege” or says that racism is still a major problem in America, agree.
But conservatives aren’t the only ones shy about the CRT. Many people on the left, and the supposedly neutral media, are not always honest about it either.
Wear this Political piece about the Banks memo. “Critical race theory refers to the concept that racism has become systematically ingrained in American society and institutions,” the publication says. “It has caused a republican revolt by the presence of ideology in schools, arguing that it teaches children to believe that the country is racist.”
Political and many others who defend the CRT these days give the impression that believing in the CRT simply means believing that systemic racism was or is real, when there is much more to it than that.
It is a perfect example of a phenomenon that leftist writer Freddie deBoer delved into last week in his newsletter:
CRT is now a completely floating signifier thanks to the reasoned reasoning of those who defend it. The conventional center-left liberals feel compelled to defend the CRT because the conservatives attack it, but some aspects of that academic field are extreme enough to make their defense unsavory, so the definition of the CRT is simply transformed to conform to your limits of legitimate opinion. For many or most of the people who defend critical race theory today, tradition is just a vague statement of the prevalence of racism, dressed in a bit of academic jargon, because this conception is much more convenient for them. to deal with what the CRT really is. … It has become a cultural and professional imperative that good liberals adopt CRT, so they have embraced it.
But how [Matthew] Yglesias points out here that a large part of the CRT implies a skepticism or a total rejection towards some elementary aspects of liberal society. This is part of a broader academic left trend; Certainly, when I was in the humanities academy half a decade ago, it was considered terribly shameful to believe in individual rights and the Enlightenment, etc. But many everyday progressives still embrace that tradition. Rather than letting their social need to defend CRT conflict with that attachment, they simply invent an imaginary CRT in their heads so that there is no conflict. And this is the selfish fallacy.
Here is the now deleted point from Matthew Yglesias deBoer refers to:
The saddest part of the entire CRT culture war is what it emerges from and what it gets distracted from. It seems to emerge and overwhelm the mass movement against police brutality and racist law enforcement that was growing and, for a brief moment, seemed to have the ability to help make serious and legitimate reforms possible.
“Why did you march, when you took to the streets last year?” deBoer question in another recent post on CRT. “Was it so that an obscure set of legal education theories could be clumsily grafted into school curricula to be implemented by overworked, sometimes hostile teachers, and taught to bored and listless students no more committed than them with algebra? “
It wasn’t, of course. People called for an end to non-hit raids and an end to qualified immunity. Reform of police practices. Less police funding. Bail reform. Recognition that they are not just bigots and individual thugs in the police force leading story after story of abuse, but over-criminalization and bad laws. Abolish mandatory minimums and sentencing disparities. Better treatment of people in prisons and jails. And more…
Instead, we get real criminal justice reform bills stalling and President Joe Biden funnels pandemic relief funds into police salaries, while the left and the right double down to go to war for something no one can really define.
The culture war is easier and more viscerally satisfying for political audiences, than hard and incremental changes. And school curriculum boost more voters to help the incarcerated. Thus, the police can still kill people with impunity, people arrested but not convicted can still spend months in jail because they cannot pay for their freedom, and non-hit raids continue at an accelerated rate in most of the places as the press blows up the local school curriculum battles and trainings on corporate diversity in national crises and politicians shout their opinions on whether a seventh grade teacher in Podunk district schools can utter the words white privilege.
Ufo take a second look from the United States government:
The US intelligence community, in conjunction with the Pentagon, is due to present a report to Congress on the issue in the coming days. In recent years, the Pentagon has released or confirmed the authenticity of videos of naval aviators showing enigmatic aircraft exhibiting speed and maneuverability that exceed known aviation technologies.
In the run-up to their next report, Defense Department officials have made it clear that they take the issue seriously while sidestepping questions about any possible extraterrestrial origin. The report marks a turning point for the US military after decades of deflecting, debunking, and debunking observations of unidentified flying objects and “flying saucers.”
Most misleading coverage on capitalism and socialism. To be sure, the media coverage of polls on capitalism, socialism and youth exaggerates the love of young people for socialism these days. Case in point today: an Axios study titled “America’s Continuing Movement Toward Socialism. “The story begins by noting that” only half of the youngest Americans now have a positive view of capitalism, and the appeal of socialism in America continues to grow. “
The story reports on a new Axios / Momentive poll. But survey believes that views of capitalism remain overwhelmingly positive, with 57 percent of all respondents saying they view capitalism positively and only 36 percent view it negatively. Positive views on capitalism are slightly below 2019 (when it stood at 61 percent), but negative views are stable at 36 percent.
Meanwhile, “overall, perceptions of socialism are still submerged nationally, with 41% of Americans saying they have a positive opinion and 52% saying they have a negative opinion,” the survey page notes. This 41 percent positive it is slightly across all age groups, from 39 percent in 2019. But among young people, positive views of socialism actually rejected in the last two years.
Only 51 percent of those under 35 now say they have a positive view of socialism, up from 55 percent in 2019.
Perhaps the most interesting finding is about the young Republicans, who seem to have become significantly more socialist in their thinking. For example, the number of Republicans ages 18 to 34 who said the government should try to reduce income inequality has risen from 40 percent to 56 percent. And while 75 percent of Republicans overall still view capitalism positively, the number is lower (66 percent) among the younger cohort, where it has dropped from 81 percent in the 2019 poll.
This is your brain on the TV news https://t.co/zD536Txe6F
– Jesse Walker (@notjessewalker) June 24, 2021
• The federal ban on evictions, which was scheduled to expire at the end of this month, has now been extended until the end of July.
• Update on Afghanistan: “Approximately 650 US troops are expected to remain in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats after the main US military force completes its withdrawal, which is expected to take place largely in the next two weeks. “said Associated Press. reports.
• Derek Chauvin, the cop who killed George Floyd, is scheduled to sentence today.