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Critical theory: Anything can be anything

This week in the Philadelphia Inquirer writer Solomon Jones lamented how he always asks himself “was he black?” when he hears of a crime being committed.

Worse, he feels responsible.

“I’m not a member of the family in Disneyland who engaged in a violent fracas [see here]. I’m not the group in Wisconsin that stole $30,000 worth of clothing in 30 seconds [see here]. I’m not one of the gunmen who terrorize communities of color,” he writes. Though “not normal,” Jones says many blacks feel at least a little responsible for the actions of other African-Americans.

The reason? Internalization of the effects of the racism.

To validate this claim, Jones quotes a psychologist who says such feelings are a “defense mechanism” because in the US there’s a “tendency to view blacks as a monolith.” As a result, some (like Jones) feel as if they “have to defend the whole race because of what others do.”

Taking it a step further, critical race theorist Tim Golden of Walla Walla University confirms the racism claim:

Racism has a way of denying a group’s particularity. It doesn’t take individuality into account. Racism says when a white person sees a black person do something out of bounds or illegal, it becomes a way of imputing ill will to the entire group without any consideration of the individual members of that group.

Golden criticizes how society views blacks in the “abstract” rather than individuals with “unique histories and circumstances.”

But … if the phenomenon of lumping everyone together by racial group and holding them accountable for the actions of that group indeed exists, whose fault is that? Answer: progressives and academics!

Institutions of higher learning routinely separate their student bodies by race and ethnicity; indeed, there is no lack of minority group demands for “safe spaces” (and college officials’ caving to them), spots where students supposedly can feel comfortable among those of like hue. This includes racially separate student orientations and graduations.

And what of black conservatives — their “unique histories and circumstances”? Progressives and university types treat them as if they’re lepers. They are denigrated as “mediocre”,  lambasted on social media, protested and ostracized.

Lastly, when it comes to Caucasians where’s the concern with viewing them as a monolith? No one cares about this in the academy. In fact, the monolithic concept of “whiteness” is actively taught. College students are told Caucasians are automatically privileged just because of their skin color, and when whites get defensive they’re denounced for exhibiting (the made-up term) “white fragility.”

Confused? Sound hypocritical? Recall the words of Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner:

“Rather than marshal logical arguments and empirical data, critical race theorists tell stories — fictional, science-fictional, quasi-fictional, autobiographical, anecdotal—designed to expose the pervasive and debilitating racism of America today.”

MORE: Prof’s op-ed shows superficiality of critical race theory

MORE: Critical race theory and free speech limits based on feelings

IMAGE: Anisha Jagpal / YouTube

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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