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Column: Money, power, and revenge are feeding the critical race theory machine

From the column: "CRT is more of the age-old, ugly ideology of divisive, hateful racism, and its proponents can’t describe their better world because they don’t offer one. Today more than ever, we must stand united in rejecting hatred and division."

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Nearly six decades ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., fought for a better world, imploring us to judge others by “the content of their character.” He offered a vision of an America that united people across racial, political, and economic lines, a vision that we can all believe in.

The proponents of critical race theory, or CRT, offer no such vision. They propose instead a world of endless grievances and revenge, petty cons, and abusive power that threatens to ruin lives.

Where Dr. King saw a world of equals, CRT envisions victims and vengeance. Where Dr. King called upon Americans to see the content of each others’ character, CRT calls for acts of theater and human sacrifices to cancel culture. Where Dr. King offered equality before the law — the only true, objective equality — CRT proposes “equity,” the subjective decisions of petty tyrants over who gets what, when, and how.

CRT is an enrichment scheme perpetrated by self-proclaimed “victims.” It is a sham that makes money for CRT’s rabid proponents, granting them power over the lives of others and allowing them to exercise revenge for seemingly endless slights, whether real or imagined. CRT doesn’t solve problems; it shreds the social fabric of a nation by perpetuating an us-versus-them mentality.

While the proponents of CRT insist their platform only serves to expose America’s racist past, little about it offers a way to shape a better future. The evidence of CRT’s do-goodery is strikingly scarce. It lays the blame at the feet of all white Americans, no matter their thoughts or actions. If whiteness is inherently oppressive and evil, then America is a morally bankrupt entity that deserves nothing but reproach. America is then evil, and so are all patriotic Americans, white or otherwise.

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At the heart of CRT is the concept of “equity” (not “equality,” which is an important distinction). The proponents of CRT promote equality of outcome, with all Americans ending up at the same place, rather than the meritocracy implied by equality of opportunity.

Which brings us to the fundamental question: What does CRT’s better world look like? I can see Dr. King’s vision of a world in which we are all equal before the law, treat one another as we wish to be treated, and succeed or fail based on our own merits. But CRT’s world of equity is indescribable at best and insidious at worst. What makes that world better for everyone?

In effect, CRT only exists to empower a select few in acting out their perceived sense of grievance through racist vengeance against those whom they determine are better positioned in life — undeservedly better positioned, of course.

CRT seems to seek to control the allocation of money — other people’s money — with its proponents grifting their way to success through seven-figure consulting contracts. It is a revenge-based form of propaganda embodied by the woman wishing death on parents who don’t buy into it, as Newsweek reported in July. CRT’s proponents are in the business of punishing children who don’t bow down to them, as the New York Post reported, also in July.

The worst irony of all is that CRT does little to fight actual racism. According to new research out of Israel, as reported by Haaretz, CRT programming cannot train people to be less racist. Encounters aimed at forcing the heavy-handed eradication of racist thought, through weak tools like “diversity training,” do not ultimately alter discriminatory views and behavior. In the words of behavioral scientist Roni Porat, “The paucity of organizations in the field that apply proper scientific methods to examining the effectiveness of their programs is a worldwide problem.”

I’m reminded of Daryl Davis, a Black man known for attending Ku Klux Klan rallies. Inspired by Dr. King, he taught us all how to engage in real, meaningful interactions rather than scoring cheap political points. Davis went out and hugged actual KKK members to convince them about his humanity, and he changed hundreds of minds, as National Public Radio reported in 2017.

But CRT does not seem intended to combat racism. Its fundamental premise instead rests on the endless existence of racism and anti-white racism being the only cure. CRT is apparently not meant to bring Americans together or offer us a better vision of the world. It is a left-wing ideology, but one that never answers the questions: Who pays? Who decides? Who controls?

The entire CRT machine seems to be about money (other people’s money), power (to decide how money is spent), and revenge (for every petty slight, real or imaginary).

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At its core, CRT is more of the age-old, ugly ideology of divisive, hateful racism, and its proponents can’t describe their better world because they don’t offer one.

Today more than ever, we must stand united in rejecting hatred and division — no matter the fancy new label — while upholding Dr. King’s dream of a better world.

Dan Backer is a lawyer and leading Republican strategist and campaign finance expert in Washington, D.C. He has served more than 100 candidates and political action committees, including two of the largest pro-President Donald Trump PACs. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune.

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Dan Backer

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