CRT vs. the Privilege of Being An American

As a licensed mental health professional my entire therapeutic orientation was geared toward helping people rise above their unfortunate circumstances to achieve their dreams. It is from this paradigm that I view critical race theory (CRT), and it leaves several unanswered questions. For instance, why is race deemed “critical“ if it is the one aspect of a person he or she cannot control? Holding a person accountable to something beyond one’s control is the opposite of empowering, in fact it’s rather shaming. 

Moreover,  CRT has been around since the 1980s. What happened to make it experience such a resounding comeback in 2019? 

During the Obama years the Left deployed the Occupy Wall Street crew to push the “99 percent vs 1 percent” version of class warfare. As wealthy liberals never seem burdened by self-awareness, well-heeled celebrities such as Susan Sarandon and Alec Baldwin were happy to cheer along from the Upper East Side. Despite rabid media support, the Occupy movement collapsed under the weight of people realizing the prospect of upward mobility, human aspiration, and the realization that self-determination is far more rewarding than retribution. Occupy didn’t take. So the Left needed another plan. In other words, instead of swimming against the current of the human spirit, the Left needed a way to create an impression of permanent class struggle, so racial strife became the new weapon of choice. 

In addition to the collapse of the Occupy movement, critical race theory exploded on the scene because African-American unemployment decreased to an all-time low of 6.1 percent under President Trump. A self-sufficient, independent minded, and financially successful African-American population is too much for the Left to withstand, so as this prospect inched closer to realization, something had to be done. Van Jones—who had no problem standing with President Trump while supporting his criminal reform package, the First Step Act—and other TV leftists sounded the alarm and stoked passions because self-determination is a major obstacle to the adoption of the socialist movement. 

Something many people forget is that when Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, he did so at the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” King saw employment as the road to self-determination and liberty. But now we are supposed to believe that destroying businesses and offering cash incentives not to work are even better than economic freedom. And the Left refers to themselves as progressive without a hint of irony. 

Interestingly, Malcolm X said that the biggest threat to African Americans was white liberals who professed their love and support. This presents an interesting juxtaposition to Joe Biden’s “you ain’t black” comment, directed at black voters considering voting for Trump. How did Joe Biden become the arbiter of personal identity? Similarly, why don’t we worry about white liberals lacking the wherewithal to obtain a driver’s license? How did they decide that it is black folks who lack this capacity?

But the CRT folks are happy to scapegoat a population to achieve their ends, and white liberals are the main enforcers of this philosophy that blacks need white liberals to be their saviors. 

Abraham Maslow was a humanist psychologist, who developed a hierarchy of basic needs and human motivation to fulfill these needs. The pinnacle of Maslow’s pyramid is neither equity nor intersectionality; it’s self-actualization. People are designed to flourish by maximizing their inherent and unique talents. Within this framework, character is rewarded, and individual freedom is essential for each person to chart his own destiny. 

Instead of designing a system based upon free will and self-efficacy, the architects of CRT created a racial hierarchy where people are ranked according to skin color. Within their blueprint, resentment, fear, blame, and anger reign supreme, and people are constantly pitted against one another. If race were truly the ticket to fulfillment, then why are so many Haitians, Cubans, and Guatemalans flocking to join the American melting pot? 

Even though the nation’s highest ranking military official, General Mark Milley, was lauded for his defense of CRT during his Senate testimony, he inadvertently may have disavowed the theory. Milley said “I read CRT, Karl Marx, Mao and Lenin because I want to understand white rage and I’m white.” If CRT is so on point and worthy of scholarship, how is it that Milley, a white man, didn’t know why whites are supposedly so enraged? He could have shared his profundity with the group, “here’s why whites are pissed, and here’s why I’m exempt from this aspect of whiteness.” Unfortunately, his Marxist scholarship only allowed him to conclude that he is, in fact, white. Too bad he didn’t explain why he lumped CRT in with noted communists Lenin, Marx, and Mao, as opposed to Abraham Lincoln.

During the 1996 Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton defended her book It Takes a Village by stressing the importance of parent-teacher conferences in addition to calling for the expansion of the Medical Leave Act to allow parents greater flexibility to participate in their children’s schooling. 

Fast-forward 25 years and the modern Democratic Party now embraces former Clinton acolyte Terry McAuliffe’s statement I’m not going to let parents come into schools, and actually take books out, and make their own decisions about their children’s educations.“ Attorney General Merrick Garland is even involving the Department of Justice to discourage parent participation so the teaching of CRT will not be impeded. Wouldn’t children be better served if our expert class pushed STEM classes with such vigor? 

The Berlin Wall was constructed to lock people in because people naturally want to flee an oppressive system of mandated equity where individuality and self-determination are subjugated to the group. This explains why Milley included CRT in with Communism, because both philosophies negate free will and subordinate the individual to the group. We are told to “Check your privilege,” but why can’t the privilege, which should be open to all of us, be that of being an American? 

About Art Kleinschmidt

Art Kleinschmidt, MBA, PhD is the former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He also served at HHS at the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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