Critical Theory emphasizes the "critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures," as Wikipedia states. Critical race theory (CRT) is a school of thought meant to emphasize the effects of race on one's social standing. This socially constructed notion of race, which was used to exercise and reinforce white supremacy, was the backbone of Jim Crow legislation in the South, which relied on the one-drop rule in order to separate people by race. Critical Race Theory sees a free society as a way to structure and maintain inequities by convincing racial minorities not to want to do radical identity politics. Derrick Bell is often thought of as the forefather of CRT. Two offshoots are Latina/o Critical Theory—whose leading scholars include Francisco Valdes and Elizabeth Iglesias—and "AsianCrit," whose proponents include Mari Matsuda and Robert S. Chang. It is embraced by today's political and cultural elites because it serves their interests. Critics have slammed the theory, with conservatives accusing. While the theory was started as a way to examine how laws and systems promote inequality, it has since expanded. There were also beginning to be attacks on affirmative action policies, with conservative politicians arguing that they were no longer needed. Richard Delgado is John J. Sparkman Chair of Law at the University of Alabama and one of the founders of critical race theory. A summary of Critical Race Theory and its principles that are the backbones for analysis through its lens. It isn't even exclusively American," Crenshaw said. Instead, race as a way to differentiate human beings is a social concept, a product of human thought, that is innately hierarchical. The impact of the notion (as opposed to the reality) of race is that Black, Latino, and indigenous people have for centuries been thought of as less intelligent and rational than white people. Martin Luther King's civil rights efforts. CRT scholars have also turned their attention to a critique of whiteness, the ways it is socially constructed (as opposed to the standard by which all other groups should be measured), and how its definition has expanded or contracted historically. It arose as a challenge to the idea that in the two decades since the Civil Rights Movement and associated legislation, racial inequality had been solved and affirmative action was no longer necessary. Finally, critics of CRT were suspicious of the movement's tendency to question the existence of an "objective truth." It's an approach to grappling with a history of White supremacy that rejects the belief that what's in the past is in the past, and that the laws and systems that grow from that past are detached from it," said Kimberlé Crenshaw. Critical Race Theory uses case law and evidence of discrimination, such as economic status, incarceration rates, and medical outcomes to examine the effects of systemic structures. He made important theoretical contributions, such as arguing that the landmark civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education was a result of the self-interest of elite whites instead of a desire to desegregate schools and improve education for Black children. NYU Press. Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT) October 1, 2020, (CNN)Critical race theory. 15th Amendment Grants Voting Rights to Black American Men, Understanding the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Shaw v. Reno: Supreme Court Case, Arguments, Impact, The Civil Rights Act of 1866: History and Impact, Scientific and Social Definitions of Race, Defining Racism Beyond its Dictionary Meaning, Understanding and Defining White Privilege, Your Social Science Hub for Race and Racism, Ph.D., Ethnomusicology, University of California Berkeley, M.A., Ethnomusicology, University of California Berkeley. "It bears acknowledging that we've been here before: for his non-violent agitation for civil rights, MLK was targeted by the FBI as the most dangerous man in America," Crenshaw said. He's since thrown other social justice-oriented thinking onto the pile, such as gender equity work, which is a wide umbrella that incorporates sexual orientation, gender identity and the like," Crenshaw said. Answer: Critical race theory is a modern approach to social change, developed from the broader critical theory, which developed out of Marxism. For those of you doing dissertation writing, this is a great resource to get a "quick and dirty" look at CRT. You may be hearing the term a lot these days, politicized and presented by its critics as a Marxist ideology that's a threat to the American way of life. In other words, there is no behavior or personality that is inherent to White, Black, or Asian people. 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