By Garth Rowe, July 21, 2022
Racism and ethnocentrism continue to be a blight on this era. It is crucial for global citizens to be aware of the repercussions of biases against any race. Nonetheless, it should also be a quest to find viable solutions.
Critical Race Theory (CRT) postulates that at society’s very foundations lie innate underpinnings that cripple the advancement of people of colour. The proposed purpose of CRT is to bypass these biases and establish equality.
Should one think “critically” on this matter, then a number of questions arise: can CRT really open doors and create opportunities for the advancement of our multicultural and pluralistic society? Can CRT really make our society better? Does it allow for the harmonious existence of diverse people groups? If CRT’s genuine purpose is to correct the discriminatory system that has resulted in racial bigotry, can the introduction of CRT’s alternate discriminatory system in response create a healthy solution?
As an individual who operates in different capacities, all of which involves working with people from diverse backgrounds, I believe I have an informed perspective on these matters. And my experience leads me to no other conclusion than this: CRT is a dangerous social experiment that has the capability to disrupt the functionality of society.
As Director of Operations at the small private school I serve at, I have seen first-hand the tension CRT can cause when allowed to be presented in a classroom setting. And since effectively banning CRT, black, white, hispanic, and brown students have been getting along much better because the victim mentality has been removed from the so-called oppressed group along with the inflicted guilt placed on the so-called oppressors.
This conclusion is entirely predictable. How do we expect to achieve a healthy outcome for all stakeholders if a system that is driven by hate, guilt, revenge, discrimination, and vindictiveness is implemented? If the desire is to truly help individuals to rise above oppression, then it is incumbent on policy makers and leaders of society to formulate solutions that are rooted in such things as love, mutual respect, and justice for all.
As a Professor and Community Leader, I am able to indiscriminately mentor, love, teach, and assist individuals regardless of their race or ethnicity. If I had exercised prejudice based on what CRT encourages – assuming that the race of my students or community members made them inherently oppressed or oppressors – then I would have foregone the opportunity to help my fellow humans and discover the colossal value and relational benefits gained from my involvement with these individuals from other colour groups. To me, CRT is tremendously dangerous; it is racist, destructive, and regressive.
Moreover, CRT assumes that racial groups are monolithic – that the values of a black man are inherently derived from his experiences under an oppressive racial power structure. Yet as a Pastor, I have an entirely different value system from the one that society would impose upon me. This is also true for many people of colour who are also people of faith; they have important worldviews and perspectives on the world that are worth understanding and exploring.
From my view as a Pastor and a Christian, I see no theological justification for CRT as the Bible is colour-blind. It usually categorizes people based on geography, family/genealogy, and language but not on the basis of colour. Our culture talks about colour everyday but not the Bible. Interestingly, the Bible covers a vast array of subject matters but not colour because God is more concerned about one’s character.
The God of the Bible loves diversity; this is borne out through creation. Diversity is good; be it cars, homes, plants, balloons, or even candies. If God, the architect and designer of creation, loves variety then who are we to boil down all of human experience to just colour, or assume that there must be ideological conformity?
Indeed, a Christian perspective holds that there is only one race – the human race. Scientifically, this view is also supported; our genetic makeup is incredibly similar, even between people who we would otherwise stratify on the basis of race. If we are all descendants of common ancestors, all created in God’s own image, it is no wonder the Bible makes no racial differentiation.
A Christian believes that he or she must love their neighbour as themselves, to spread the word of God universally to all corners of the earth, and that God loves us all equally and without any consideration for physical features. Clearly then, a values system rooted in the Bible is antithetical to the values of CRT, which obsesses over racial differences as being the core frame through which its adherents believe we must view the world.
The point is this: though specific religions vary, a faith-based worldview is one that is held by a majority of people of colour around the world, and many people of faith would find themselves in conflict with the values system attached to CRT. Proponents of CRT should therefore be circumspect before assuming that they alone hold the answers for creating a more just society.
Undoubtedly, black oppression is an awful sin, one that was a particularly acute evil of our society’s past. To deny that, or to deny the intergenerational harms engendered by practices like the African slave trade, would be utterly irresponsible. However, CRT’s divisive philosophy of setting one ethnic group against another is not a constructive solution. Ultimately, society needs a love-driven solution that will motivate and mobilize people to care for one another’s well-being.
And society has made great strides when it comes to opportunities for people of colour and in particular black people. There are black CEOs, Presidents of Universities, Business owners, Military Generals, Senators, Governors, Secretaries of States, Supreme Court Justices, National Security Directors, a Press Secretary, a Vice President and even a President of the United States. While more should be done to continue eroding racial animus in society, we can celebrate the many improvements that America and many Western nations have made. As for CRT, it is blinded to this progress and, if allowed to be implemented, will only contribute to dividing society and erase the advancements achieved in interracial relationships.
Garth Rowe is a Professor of Evangelism and Community Outreach at Canada Christian College.