Things I’m tired of hearing about CRT:

1. “It divides people into oppressor/oppressed groups.” No, it recognizes empirically discovered existing social group oppressive hierarchies.
2. “CRT teaches that White people are ‘intrinsically’ and necessarily oppressors.” No, so-called “oppressor groups/oppressed groups” are not essentialist categories, such that, e.g., “white” or “male” equals “oppressor” as such, nor “black” or “female” equals “oppressed” as such.
3. “Intersectionality teaches that layers of oppression add up based on identities.” No, intersectionality teaches that social group identities are “reciprocally constructing phenomena.” They ….. intersect(!) and create unique social locations.
4. “Standpoint epistemology claims that minorities have more authority.” No, SE teaches that some have had experiences that are “particularly epistemically salient for identifying and evaluating assumptions that have been systematically obscured as the result of power dynamics.”
5. “Commitment to story telling means the real truth isn’t what matters.” No, everyone is storytelling, but counter-storytelling by subordinated groups can help expose the false assumptions of dominant groups.
6. “CRT teaches there is no such thing as objective truth.” No, CRT teaches there are no perfectly objective individuals and that claims to objectivity often obscure dominant group assumptions.
7. “CRT is worldview.” Uh, then so is Legal Formalism, Legal Postivism, Legal Moralism, Legal Pluralism, Legal Realism, Critical Legal Theory, and every other legal analysis you can think of?
Actually, this could go on way too long. Ugh.

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More from @AlsoACarpenter

8 Jun
Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge argue in their book, Intersectionality (Key Concepts), that though there are “varied and sometimes contradictory answers” to “What is intersectionality?,” “[m]ost would probably accept the following description”: 1/
2/ "Intersectionality is a way of understanding and analyzing the complexity in the world, in people, and in human experiences. The events and conditions of social and political life and the self can seldom be understood as shaped by one factor. They are generally shaped by many
3/ "factors in diverse and mutually influencing ways. When it comes to social inequality, people’s lives and the organization of power in a given society are better understood as being shaped not by a single axis of social division, be it race or gender or class, but by many axes
Read 8 tweets
6 Jun
Broadly speaking, two visions of civil rights law emerged out of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM). The tension between them explains much of where we are now.

A thread:
2/ On the one hand, White progressives, along with the developing Black middle-class, centered their continued civil rights vision on the analytics of prejudice, discrimination, and segregation.
3/ That is, the social problem of racism was understood to be personal prejudice and bias due to irrationally allowing physical and ancestral difference to justify partiality; discrimination was thought to be the specific, individuable, and intentional actions resulting from
Read 16 tweets
4 Jun
I believe the social construction of race thesis is central to Critical Race Theory analysis and has wide ranging, radical, and inescapable implications.

A thread:
2/ The social construction thesis is, in short, that race is not a natural, biological, “out there” entity such that it exists independently of law and society. Rather, it is a product of human social interaction, a construction of social reality.
3/ Further, race and racial categories were historically created to justify and maintain social hierarchy, slavery, and other forms of group-based exploitation, as well as to distribute rights, citizenship, privileges, access, and disparate advantages/disadvantages.
Read 12 tweets
13 May
The letter announcing the very first Critical Race Theory Workshop, sent out on April 19, 1989, included a “provisional definition of CRT” which is quite interesting when telling the story of the movement’s development:

2/ "[C]ritical race scholarship generally challenges the legitimacy of dominant approaches to race and racism by positing values and norms that have traditionally been subordinated in the law. Critical race theorists thus seek to validate minority experiences as an appropriate
3/ "grounding for thinking about law and racial subordination …. Many approach antidiscrimination law as ideological discourse which does not so much remedy racial subordination as provide continuing rationalizations for it. Traditional notions of civil rights are simply
Read 6 tweets
9 May
After having studied Critical Race Theory, I don't think I can take any negative critiques seriously that do not at least explicitly interact with the following essays:

1. “Serving Two Masters: Integration Ideals and Client Interests in School Segregation Litigation," by Derrick Bell…
2. “Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest Convergence Dilemma," by Derrick Bell…
Read 18 tweets
6 May
Color-blind standards & decision-procedures also encode racial preferences.

Given the fact that White people are MUCH less likely to see "race" as a significant aspect of their identity or personal formation when compared to, especially, African Americans (& for good reason) 1/
2/ then institutions which downplay or censor race-consciousness tend to deselect for people of color. In other words, color-blind institutions simply normalize dominant White cultures and self-identities as race "neutral" and treat those who inescapably connect socially applied
3/ racial categories with self-identity and personal history and story are treated as aberrant, illicitly race-conscious. And if the latter choose, therefore, to self-censor in such institutional environments, they also are left unable to be known authentically, to be able to
Read 5 tweets

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