Uncritical Critics

I’ll never forget my first encounter with “critical race theory,” or the sickening sensation it produced in my soul.

I was sitting in the faculty lounge, before or after a meeting whose practical purpose was characteristically impossible to pin down.

One of my colleagues, a friendly and warm hearted man, disarmingly zealous in the service of several academic inanities, remarked to another—quite matter-of-factly—that there is no such thing as reverse discrimination.

Invidious discrimination, he explained, occurs when someone from an officially oppressive group mistreats someone from an officially oppressed demographic.

It follows that those designated as disfavored can mistreat their ostensibly favored counterparts all they like, without incurring the censure attached to one of our age’s most opprobrious terms.

This was one of those moments when the insidiousness of ideology strikes me where it smarts. Consider the implications of this sophomoric show of terminological smoke and mirrors.

Oppression, meaning the abuse of power, is a species of injustice. To reserve the term for members of one class is to divorce it from objective and universal moral criteria.

One is no longer an oppressor because one oppresses, but because one happens to sport a certain shade of skin. Likewise, one is oppressed not because one suffers injustice, but because one’s physiognomy fits the profile.

The truth is, what is wrong for one is wrong for all, or there is no such thing as right and wrong.

To speak otherwise is not, as my well-meaning colleague doubtless supposed, to hasten the liberation of mankind from the last vestiges of tyranny. It is rather to legitimize every act of tyranny committed by (or on behalf of) those dogmatically designated as beyond criticism.

Why are our present governmental and corporate powers suddenly enamored of yesterday’s ivory tower lunacies? Their attraction is decidedly not of the Platonic kind.

Rather, our aspiring oppressors love this pretentious rot because it divides the population into two categories, both of which are very useful to them.

On one hand are those who can do no right, and therefore have no rights. On the other are those who can do no wrong, and whose self-appointed liberators are therefore free to commit any and every abuse of authority, while insisting that we celebrate their crimes.

To those honestly in its thrall, critical race theory is the opposite of critical, if by critical one means discerning. To those with ulterior ends, it is an effective means, not of freeing the oppressed from their oppressors, but rather of converting the entire citizenry into impotent victims of oppression.

To those in love with truth and justice, it is a diabolical deception that we should pray soon collapses under the weight of its own moronic malice.

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