University college lecture
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Martin Center Column Highlights Critical Race Theory Backlash

Sumantra Maitra writes for the Martin Center that opposition to Critical Race Theory is growing.

[W]hat seems to be the issue? Democratic systems perform on the fundamental premise that representatives will legislate to implement public opinion on which they win elections. If a politician stands on a platform and persuades a majority of the people, he gets elected and is free to legislate his platform into effect. By that logic, none of these bans are problematic. In fact, this process is exactly how the system is supposed to work—and was not working so far. The market was rigged and needed an intervention. …

… [T]here’s a philosophical difference in legislating course curriculum, which can be used as propaganda, and legislating pseudoscience and divisive concepts out of the curriculum.

The two are not the same, just as a man pushing a woman in front of an oncoming train isn’t the same as a man pushing her out of the way of an oncoming train just because he is pushing a woman (to paraphrase William F. Buckley).

There is a qualitative difference between the two acts. Activists on the left frame any governmental limits on racial trainings as “ideological incursions,” but claim that stuffing every institution, funding committee, and public body with radicals is the march of progress toward objectivity and enlightenment.

Legislation to bring a semblance of balance is in fact necessary when the entire ideological edifice is under the control of the left. Legislation is not value-neutral, but it is the only way to implement policy in a democratic polity. At the time of writing, Ontario and Calgary in Canada have legislated and mandated free speech in schools. Most importantly, in Britain, the higher ed department has taken the fight in a landmark policy by mandating free speech on penalty of fines, putting the burden of implementation on universities.

There is some difference between studying critical race theory as an academic discipline and using critical race theory to purge opposing ideas in the academy.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...