Discussion Leader: Kim Everett
What is the overall purpose to Critical Race Theory?
What do you think the purpose is?
- Purpose of CRT is based on action/praxis – Race is endemic – it moves further — what are the actions we will take to
Ladson-Billings, Tate — It is a step to take to get rid of all parts of oppression – are there any thoughts there?
- We have a long way to go…
- If it is not race it will be something else
- Race is a good place to start… racial identity is a good place to start
- I like to optimistic about things… other forms of oppression — the race piece – formation and construction – are different thing — tied to property
Why do we need to unpack race?
- Race is complex because it is changing constantly…
- Because of the dominant narrative it is hard to unpack it
If race is socially constructed – why do we want to base something on the phantom thing called race?
- Because it is real…
- It still informs decisions we make…
- It is my identity… I want a theory that helps describe my culture
What does it mean to be socially constructed?
- There is no biological underpinnings for it – a set of rules were established for the sake of classification – there are no real rules — they are constantly changing
- We all follow it – we all buy into it – it may look different from generation to generation but it is still there…
What are some of the tenets behind CRT
Key Assumptions Underlying Critical Race Theory
Handout from Critical Race Theory on July 9, 2008
- Race is socially constructed product of social thought and relations.
- Racism is normal, ordinary and ingrained into society, making it difficult to recognize.
- Traditional claims of neutrality, objectivity, and color-blindness must be contested in order to reveal the self-interests of dominant groups.
- Social justice platforms and practices are the only way to eliminate racism and other forms of oppression and injustice.
- The experiential knowledge of communities of colors or their “unique voice” is valid, legitimate, and critical toward understanding the persistence of racial inequality.
- Communities of color are differentially racialized depending on the interests of the dominant group.
- History and historical contexts must be taken into consideration in order to challenge policies and practices that affect people in color.
- The ideological contestation, deconstruction, and reconstruction of race is often demonstrated through storytelling and counter-narratives.