The flip side of the apartheid coin - Post

25 August 2021 - Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an academic theory, the purpose of which is to convince people that in order to overcome racism they need to embrace antiracism. This theory is perpetuated by creating a method for addressing racism.

Sara Gon

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an academic theory, the purpose of which is to convince people that in order to overcome racism they need to embrace antiracism. This theory is perpetuated by creating a method for addressing racism.

However, while CRT purports to end racism, it does, in fact, entrench it. CRT propounds that black people are eternal victims of "white supremacy", and whites are eternally guilty as "white supremacist" victimisers, irrespective of them never having participated in the subjugation of black people. The theory suggests that the only way to change these black/white power relationships is to destroy "the system".

The theory originated in the US and is framed in the context of slavery and white dominance in the power structures. This means destroying law enforcement and implementing a Marxist-socialist political governing structure.

CRT was devised with reference to American history, structures and a black population that comprises a 13% minority. Like much that originates from American academia, CRT has found its way to our shores.

CRT is little known in South Africa in general, but of concern is the increasing implementation of it in our schools. This is a pernicious development because it is a form of indoctrination based on Marxist ideas.

CRT seeks to install the paradigm of victim/victimiser in a society where more than 90% of the population is black and less than 10% is white. Theoretically, it should be relatively easy to marginalise whites from blacks here, particularly given our apartheid history. Most of us take it as a given that to develop healthy race relations is to know and to understand our history; to know what makes us different, but also what makes us similar. It is the humanist response to try to get different races, creeds and religions to understand and appreciate one another as equals.

Any idea that promotes victimhood and encourages guilt for historical injustices, solely due to the colour of our skin, is opprobrious. It is designed to keep people separate and wary of each other it is the flip side of the apartheid coin.

Schools that instil CRT damage the mental and psychological development of children by teaching them that racial discrimination and segregation is acceptable because different races have mutually incompatible characteristics, beliefs and values that should not be shared across racial lines. This is a depressing thought.

CRT came to our attention mostly during the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall protests on university campuses from 2015 to 2017. Our concern is that it is being introduced into schools to indoctrinate chil dren into adopting a particular political view. It is not the role of a school to indoctrinate a child into what to think politically and CRT is a political movement.

It certainly does not preclude a school from dealing with racism and, if it occurs, it must be the subject of serious discipline. If a child says or does something racist, the management may not assume that all the children are racists who are required to be subjected to CRT. One of the most insidious features of CRT, which we have been exposed to at certain schools, is the separation of pupils by race in order to educate each group into the fundamentals of "antiracism".

We have not been privy to what is communicated in the groups for black pupils, but what is being reported from parents about what white pupils are exposed to is disturbing. In essence, white pupils are being told that their skin colour identifies them as being "associated" with the harm caused by white colonialism.

This is terrifying for a number of reasons: It is immoral to imbue children of any colour with hackneyed and shameful characteristics simply because of the colour of their skin. The colour of one's skin tells us nothing about the attitudes, morality and opinions of the individual. To attribute guilt to young people for something done by people whose only shared characteristic is their skin colour even if their ancestors did not commit any cruel act is bizarre and cruel. No account is taken of the person's personal or family history, which may have been blighted by hardship, sometimes by other whites. Individual white history does not count.

The same applies to young blacks being told that they come from victimhood, irrespective of whether or not they remain blighted by victimhood. No credence is given to improvement of their conditions and therefore the mitigation of positions of weakness and victimhood. It makes no sense for a society that is trying to overcome a recent history of legislated discrimination to perpetuate division, mistrust, and attitudes of superiority and inferiority.

It cannot be good for society, and gives the lie to CRT's claim to be promoting "antiracism". The appeal of CRT is that it is presented as a way to promote social justice and uses language that supports that goal. For this reason, some teachers and parents believe that CRT is aimed at achieving a laudable goal. Many people have the best of intentions in applying CRT to achieve social justice.

The Institute of Race Relations has developed a website, Educate Don't Indoctrinate, to explain what CRT is. We explain CRT's origins, the language it uses, how to identify it and what to do about it. https: edonti.org Parents, teachers and school administrators may feel uncomfortable with what appears to be undertaken for the sake of social justice. We encourage them to seek further information.

Gon is the head of strategic engagement at the Institute of Race Relations.

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