Over the past few years, critical race theory has become a hotly debated topic, with many critics fearing that it promotes greater racial division rather than social healing. From the New York Times to former President Donald Trump and several state legislatures, seemingly everyone with a platform has broached the topic, leading many to wonder what critical race theory is all about.
With diversity training trickling down from the university system into secondary and primary schools, many parents worry that their children are being exposed to what some call the “new racism.” While it’s hard to deny that the United States is a nation affected by racial inequality, the Living Church of God reviews critical race theory to objectively decide whether it’s in line with God’s word.
Undeniable Racial Divisions in the United States
At its core, critical race theory is a worldview that history was built on racial division. It argues that the world is divided into systems of power based on race and that those belonging to certain races were able to construct a society in a way that systematically disenfranchised other races to their own benefit.
Proponents of this theory regularly claim that American culture was built on similar institutionalized racism and that its centuries of freedom are insincere. This obviously raises the question of whether there’s any validity to this theory. To answer this question, the Living Church of God turns to statistics.
Although the United States is by far one of the freest nations in the world, there are undeniable and startling divisions between people’s experiences based on race. According to data from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances:
- White families’ median annual incomes were roughly $150,000 higher than those of black and Hispanic families
- White families were 3x more likely to earn an inheritance than black families
- Young white families were 2.7x more likely to own a home than young black families and 1.6x more likely than young Hispanic families
Additionally, black men make up a disproportionate number of arrests for non-fatal crimes, despite making up just 13% of the total US population. These numbers point to a truth at the heart of American society—that people of color do experience a vastly different life than their white neighbors. But is critical race theory the answer to these problems?
What Critical Race Theory Really Says
If we trace critical race theory (CRT) back to its origins, we find that it’s rooted in the ideology of the now-disdained Frankfurt School, which espoused Marxist beliefs throughout the mid-20th century. In today’s strain of the belief, we find a few important tenets:
- Race is a purely social construct designed to uphold white society’s power over people of color.
- Racism is systemic and baked into the backbone of our nation’s institutions, not just general bigotry.
- Anti-racism is a violent movement to destroy institutions deemed racist.
- Whiteness is a set of cultural traits that allow white people to maintain their position as the “dominant” race.
To many, this worldview puts far too much emphasis on division and seeks to destroy the current world rather than working to repair what has been passed down through generations. As a professor at Columbia University puts it, CRT takes power away from minority communities and insists that they are at the bottom.
The One True Solution to Racial Division
At the end of the day, only one judgment truly matters—God’s. Although God’s teachings do argue against racism in all its forms, it’s not man’s place to question power and institutions without first embracing God’s wisdom. Rather than making race the basis of one’s worldview, we should all, instead, turn to the word of God and built society from there.