What is Critical Race Theory?

You may have seen a recent video of a woman sitting at a Washington D.C. sidewalk café who’s surrounded by angry terrorists who are demanding that she give the Black Lives Matter fist salute. If you listen to the audio of that video clip, at one point you hear one of the protestors scream at her this question, “Are you a Christian?” Now, I don’t know about you but that seems a little bit odd. They didn’t say, “Are you a conservative?” They didn’t say, “Are you a racist?” They didn’t even say, “Are you a Muslim or a Hindu?” The question screamed at that lady was, “Are you a Christian?”
We’ve seen recently Bibles burned in the streets in Portland. We’ve seen cases of churches, not mosques but churches vandalized all across the country. It’s interesting that Christianity is the target of current criticism, but not other world religions. So, the question has to be asked, “Why do Social Justice Warriors hate Christianity?” I mean, why the hostility to this particular religious worldview?

Now when I use the phrase “Social Justice Warriors,” I’m not referring to the average person in America who wants to see poverty eliminated and racism go away. There are people who are interested in social issues but they don’t have the title Social Justice Warriors.  A Social Justice Warrior is not a person interested in an equitable society, it actually refers to someone who is fighting against perceived injustices experienced by specific identity groups and they fight those injustices in a very specific way from a very specific worldview perspective.

Let me give you a historical note. Critical Race Theory. This is a phrase that maybe you’ve heard but you didn’t fully understand what it means. Critical Race Theory evolved from the legal realm as a method for doing the critical analysis of race and racism, highlighting the idea that racism is ingrained in the fabric and the systems of American society. According to the UCLA School of Public Affairs, the works of Derrick Bell and Alan Freeman were instrumental decades ago in the development of CRT. They called it an outgrowth of critical legal studies, which was a leftist movement that challenged traditional legal scholarship.

That idea, Critical Race Theory, has jumped from the legal world into the academic world. It has spread to higher education and it argues that the basic problem of all American issues is White Supremacy built into the system of American society. That’s why you hear people talk about systemic racism. One side is asking for examples of racism. The other side says, “It doesn’t matter if there are examples that we can point to. The system itself is racists.”

Out of Critical Race Theory has come the idea of Intersectionality. Intersectionality is this approach to truth claims. It argues that if you are a part of a recognized victim class, that you have a larger claim to truth than someone who is simply a product of society at large. In other words, Intersectionality teaches that people are discriminated against because of multiple sources of oppression in their lives; either race or class or gender or sexual orientation or something else. The world is divided up into two groups of people. There are the Oppressors, the powerful. And there are the Oppressed, the powerless. Society is built to maintain the power status of the oppressors. So, Social Justice Warriors argue that is doesn’t matter if they can find specific instances of racism because the “system” is racists by definition. Nothing less than a complete dismantling of American society will be sufficient. It requires a societal revolution that takes apart all of those elements that they consider to be built in as the norms.

Now think about this. Social Justice Warriors argue that only those who are in the “powerless, the oppressed” can lay claim to truth. Intersectionality says that if you have access to victimhood from several different categories your claims to truth are stronger than other people’s. For example: If you are a woman, if you are a woman of color, if you are a woman of color with an alternative sexual lifestyle, you’ve hit the jackpot. Because as you can mark up more categories of oppression in your life, it gives you in the eyes of the Social Justice Warrior, a greater credibility as a speaker of truth to power. These groups, women, people of color, poor people, the LBGT segment of society, those groups are victims by definition. The group that is not connected to any of those victimhood categories, particularly straight white males, cannot be heard. They cannot be a part of the conversation because their very existence strengthens the society that was established to maintain their power.

Society is built to maintain the power of the oppressors so nothing less than a complete revolution is acceptable. Social Justice Warriors want an overturn of everything that is considered “normal” in America. For example, they want government, the economy, the traditional family, gender roles, language, education and yes even Christianity to be thrown out because it is unfixable. We are unable to make it relevant to the oppressed. Only those who have a “lived experience,” that’s the phrase they use, only those that have a lived experience of oppression can really have credibility to speak truth. That’s why you hear Social Justice Warriors threaten Christians. When they take power, they say, “We’re going to send Christians to re-education camps.” Don’t think that they’re using hyperbole or that they’re just talking in exaggerations. They literally mean a re-education camp where you’re thinking is replaced by your experience now as a victim.

Here’s what Social Justice argues for. “First of all, everything considered normal must be torn down. And because Christianity is perceived to be the normal religion in America, Christianity has to go.”

The Smithsonian National Museum of History and Culture recently in July had a display on their website. You could get to it through their web portal. It was called Talking About Race. And one section of that presentation was a section called “Whiteness.” Let me read you what was printed on the Smithsonian Museum website.

“White dominant culture, or Whiteness, refers to the ways white people and their traditions, attitudes and ways of life have been normalized over time and are now considered standard practice in the United States. Since white people still hold most of the institutional power in America, we have all internalized aspects of white culture, including people of color.”

Now this is what’s interesting. Their argument is that you can’t help but be racist because the system itself was structured to keep straight white males in power.

Let me give you some of the values that were presented as “white” values with the Smithsonian. Now apparently these are values that have no importance to the victims, the oppressed. These are only values of the oppressors. White values include rational thinking. Yeah, that’s not helpful to anybody else. White values include a family with a father and a mother, hard work, planning for the future, and even the taste for steak and potatoes.

Interesting.

They not only believe that everything normal has to be dismantled. They also believe that because Christianity holds to objective truth, they think that Christianity exists to hold oppressed people down and objective truth is a weapon to do that. Social Justice Warriors won’t accept the idea of objective truth because that argues against their presentation that the lived experience, the emotional impact of experiences is what produces truth in the oppressed. Any supposed external or objective truth is seen as a weapon of oppression.

Finally, Social Justice Warriors understand that Christianity believes the Bible is the Word of God. And because they think the Bible supports slavery, it supports the oppression of women and it supports the discrimination of the LGBT community that the Bible has to be thrown out along with Christianity.

In Social Justice Warrior worldviews Christianity is not merely wrong, it’s evil. That’s why it’s targeted particularly.

Now what’s the reality? How do we respond to this? Well, first of all, we have to understand the truth about all those claims.

First of all, most global Christians, Christians across the planet, most Christians on the earth today are neither white nor American. In fact, no written work in the history of mankind has liberated more oppressed peoples throughout human history than the Bible. The Bible was the driving force behind the Abolitionists movement that removed slavery. The Bible was the driving force for equal rights for women. The Bible is the driving force for ministering, for human rights and economic support around the world. The United States has tremendous influence on the oppressed peoples across the globe because of the Christian worldview. Do not let people cast Christianity with a faulty caricature that says this is an oppressive system. This is the key to liberation.

In fact, Socialism and Communism in their liberation of millions killed more human beings in the Twentieth Century than any other worldview.

Which worldview cares about the oppressed? It’s the Biblical worldview.

Secondly, objective truth is not a tool of oppression. But it is a reflection of God’s nature. And learning to live in line with the way God made us and the way He structured the world is the key to understanding reality and the way to finding meaningfulness in life.

Finally, the best answer to a Social Justice Warrior perspective is an authentic Christianity lived out in human relationships.

Honestly, the Roman Empire two thousand years ago, systematically tried to eliminate Christianity. It was the authentic life of individual Christians that swayed the mindset of the average Roman person. And Christianity outlived the Roman Empire because of the witness and the testimony of her people. Christianity conquered the Roman Empire with authenticity. That is the key for restoring America’s future as well.

This is Truth Currents.

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