[THREAD]

1/ The Montana Attorney General has just released his opinion on critical race theory (CRT) instruction in that state's public schools, and it's reasonable, well-argued, and worth reading.

This thread summarizes it.

media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/upl…
2/ "A school unlawfully discriminates on the basis of race if it has effectively caused, encouraged, accepted, tolerated or failed to correct a racially hostile environment."
3/ "Antiracism therefore assigns immutable negative characteristics to individuals solely based upon their race or ethnicity. And it manages to frame any philosophical disagreement or objection to this assignment as—you guessed it—racism."
4/ "The driving force behind CRT and antiracism is the total acceptance of a specific worldview... Being a so-called 'antiracist' requires individuals to accept these premises... Individuals who do not comply cannot truly be 'antiracist,' and are, therefore, considered racist."
5/ "Disagreement with any aspect becomes irrefutable evidence of its premises of systemic racism, bias, fragility, or white supremacy. In short, it is a conclusion in search of a methodology..."
6/ "Committing racial discrimination in the name of ending racial discrimination is both illogical and illegal."
7/ "[R]acial segregation, race stereotyping, and race scapegoating. These concepts violate civil rights laws because they constitute racial harassment and/or require authority figures to engage in activities that result in different treatment on the basis of race."
8/ "This opinion, therefore, should not be construed to limit a school or government entity’s ability to use, present, or discuss these materials, where appropriate."

[ANRC: This qualifier is important, necessary, and good.]
9/ "But the law will not tolerate schools, other government entities, or employers implementing CRT and antiracist programing in a way that treats individuals differently on the basis of race or that creates a hostile environment."
10/ "Government entities also may not engage in 'race scapegoating,'’ which means assigning fault, blame, or bias to a race or to members of a race because of their race."
11/ "[A] school that permits, promotes, or endorses curricula or pedagogical methods that tell an individual that he or she should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish... on account of his or her race, almost certainly creates a racially hostile environment."
12/ "A school may not advocate that students adopt specific beliefs based on their race, such as urging that white students be white without signing on to whiteness. Schools may not attempt to purge the idea of 'whiteness' (or any other race) from schools."
13/ "Nothing in this opinion shall be construed to restrict any expressive activities protected under the U.S. Constitution, including academic freedom or student political speech.'

[ANRC: CRT can be *discussed* in classes, but not taught normatively.]
14/ "The First Amendment prevents the government from restricting protected speech, but it also prevents compelled speech."
15/ "Trainings, exercises, or assignments which force students or employees to admit, accept, affirm, or support controversial concepts such as privilege, culpability, identity, or status, constitute compelled speech."
16/ "Schools or other entities that violate state or federal civil rights laws jeopardize their funding and may be liable for damages. There are a variety of legal avenues available for victims of discrimination."
Post-Script/

The only weakness in the opinion — and it's not a major one — is that he over-cites Kendi and DiAngelo, both of whom are probably best viewed as popularizers of CRT ideas rather than established scholarly critical race theorists.

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21 May
1/ Republicans have apparently been instructed to publicly refer to all incidents of CRT-influenced weirdness as "Marxism," even though this is rarely accurate. It's every bit as laughable and transparent as Democrats referring to stuff they don't like as "white supremacy."
2/ The fact that some CRT ideas draw from Critical Theory ("Frankfurt School"), which was a neo-Marxist approach to society and culture, doesn't make CRT "Marxism."
3/ The route looks like this:

Marxism (economics and politics) ---> Critical Theory (neo-Marxist approach to society and culture) ---> Critical Race Theory (racialized variant of Critical Theory)
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