Letter: Kennedy’s analysis of critical race theory is inadequate

Dr. Sheila Suess Kennedy’s piece on critical race theory—or CRT—asserts that students are barely learning civics and certainly aren’t learning enough background information to study CRT or its predecessor, critical theory [“Uninformed frenzy over critical race theory is all politics,” July 9]. At best this assertion is naive.

An application of CRT, the Black Lives Matter narrative of systemic racism and oppressed vs. oppressor finds itself in high schools across the country. Rather than inform us of CRT’s roots, she conflates CRT with accurate, balanced history classes (which are to be commended), and proceeds to relay a plausible historical narrative in which two similar men with different skin colors achieve disparate financial results due to their skin colors. While the story sadly does point to actual injustice in America’s past, it is not CRT and doesn’t help the reader understand CRT.

Mrs. Kennedy would do a better service to the reader by mentioning CT’s roots in the Institute for Social Research at Goethe University in the 1960s. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory, it is historical, subjective and a part of society. Thus, it is neither “critical” (instead, it’s subjective) nor a “theory” (it can’t be tested).

CRT is built on that same construct of class warfare and power struggle, reframing it in terms of race and oppression, and accusing U.S. society as a whole as being racist. It will never be satisfied; it offers only guilt and never reconciliation. It pits one collective against another, rather than treating people as individuals empowered to influence their own outcomes. Its only purpose can be to tear us apart. Strange how the piece failed to mention any of that.

Is it really so astounding that a large portion of society stands against this latest iteration of Marxism, an ideology that killed more than 150 million since its inception? What’s more worrisome is that the political left openly supports it.


Matt Leinhos

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.