By Don Rush

It sounded like the right thing to do — I mean, all the cool kids are doing it. And, as a super-hip, mod, groovy and sick individual I think it is my duty to follow the herd, to swim upstream with the salmon to their death, to boldly go where everyone else has already trodden. Let’s talk about this thing everyone is yelling about.
I’ve noticed on a number of local social media pages, scores of commentary about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and whether or not it is being taught in our local school districts. So much so, I even asked all my editors and reporters to ask the local school districts, “Is Critical Race Theory being taught here.”  To date, the official answers have ranged from  “No,” to  “Of course not.”
You might think, “Well, Don, that’s it then. No means ‘no’ and that means there is no story here.” And, yet my spidey senses tingle still. Red flags popped up in my reasoning. A question lingered in my head, “If CRT is not being taught here why are folks so bent out of shape about it?”
First, I had to figure out what CRT was, even though I had an idea, and have seen enough clips and stories about private companies’ Human Resources folks having seminars on the evils of being “white.” I am sure most of those clips and stories were to some extent taken out of context to elicit a certain emotional response. Yet, I still didn’t know what CRT was so, I went online and the first thing I saw was from — the online version of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Here’s what they state, “critical race theory (CRT), intellectual movement and loosely organized framework of legal analysis based on the premise that race is not a natural, biologically grounded feature of physically distinct subgroups of human beings but a socially constructed (culturally invented) category that is used to oppress and exploit people of colour. Critical race theorists hold that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist insofar as they function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans.”
Yikes, that sounds pretty incriminating. Sounds like America has done nothing good (except to help whites), has lifted no one up from poverty (except whites), has not upped the standard of living for all through medical, scientific and technological advancements, and did not (through political will) eliminate laws on the books which harmed minority groups.
To some critical race theorists I bet that sounds about right. To others, I would say CRT sounds like America sucks, and that ain’t right. So, the way I see it is we have two groups who are on opposite sides of the proverbial venn diagram.
Further, while passion is good to have, many times we humans — in the heat of our passionate beliefs — forget to show compassion or empathy to any beliefs other than our own. It’s time to step back and breathe.
This weekend after reading a ton of individuals posting comments on all sorts of platforms, locally and nationally, I think I can boil down the two camps into two just sentences:
1. “CRT is just the teaching of the real American history not history whitewashed.”
2. “CRT just teaches young whites to hate themselves and American individuality, stick-to-it-ness, can-do mentality, rule of law and work ethic.”
So, what is it? Is it either or, or are both sides maybe a little bit correct?
I firmly believe most folks agree on American history — it’s full of awesomeness and at the same time ugliness. I would believe most reasoning and thinking mortals would also agree this is the history of most nations throughout history. What I am not too sure of is how many folks think the United States of America is — with all it’s problems — still the greatest country our world has seen. Ever.
This is where we need to get away from our passionate, emotional stances and step up to the light of reason. Just as we should not view America through the Rose colored glasses where all is good, nor should we view America through just the prism of race. The old saying is true, “If all you are looking for are negatives, negatives are all you will find.”
Folks, America is not perfect, nor is it inherently evil. Aside from agitators, elitists and politicians who have sold their souls, most Americans all want the same things. They want a chance to make good; to shelter, feed and clothe their families. They want the chance to give their children a better chance than they had. They want their endowed-by-the-Creator right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I think most Americans will tell you life is not fair, nor is it equitable — and really, if you think about it, it never can be. Some people are smarter. Some people are taller and stronger. Some are faster. Some can do math. Some play musical instruments. Some people are better looking than others. Some people — through no fault of their own — are born with handicaps. It ain’t fair. But, you know what? So, what.
Just do your best at being your best. And, as far as CRT goes . . . I forgot where I was going with it. However, I do know one thing: CRT is just a theory and theories ain’t facts.
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