Do you guys remember “The Incredibles”, one of Pixar’s best animated films, in my humble opinion? If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s basically an animated Superhero film following a family of super-powered heroes in a world that has now banned Superhero vigilantism, and now Superheroes have to live normal lives in hiding.
The main villain, named Syndrome, actually doesn’t have any powers and relies on his intellect and technology to accomplish his grandiose designs. His plan was to kill off all the remaining Supers through a progressive jackpot of learning death robots, then turn himself into a hero by staging an act of villainy and thwarting it. Then he would retire and sell off his tech because, as his best quote goes, “When everybody’s super… no one will be.”
To bring this around to the real world, let’s look at Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. What do these very real and very woke ideologies have in common with a cartoon Supervillain?
I’ll get to that.
To understand the connection, let’s break down what Critical Race Theory is. According to Wikipedia, “Critical race theory (CRT) is an academic movement made up of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race and to challenge mainstream liberal approaches to racial justice. CRT examines social and cultural issues as they relate to race, law, and social and political power…”
“CRT is loosely unified by two common themes:
- First, that white supremacy exists and maintains power through the law.
- Second, that transforming the relationship between law and racial power, as well as achieving racial emancipation and anti-subordination more broadly, are possible.”
While more or less accurate, I find that Wikipedia’s definition here is a bit clinical. Critical Race Theory, in practice, assumes that everything in life is about power, that hierarchies are bad, and that every institution is rooted in systemic racism, whether intentionally or not. These institutions, including businesses, government, and the concept of Capitalism, have to be torn down and replaced with something more racially equitable.
The ideology also specifically targets “white institutions” in the Western World. Encyclopedia Brittanica describes it like this, “Critical race theory (CRT), the view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself, instead of being biologically grounded and natural, is a socially constructed concept that is used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of colour.”
Now, during the Jim Crow era, this line of thinking might not have been all that unreasonable. Institutionalized racism did exist in the West, and no one denies that. Slavery in the United States was legal until 1865, and discrimination based on race was legal until the civil rights acts in 1964 and 1968 outlawed it.
And that’s where the Critical Race Theory suddenly falls apart. Racial discrimination was made illegal, under the law, in 1968- over sixty years ago!
Now, did racism die in 1968? Of course not. But let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that every social institution in existence is rooted in racism in the year 2021. Let’s not pretend either that every concept and philosophy that was created before 1968 was racist too. History is far more nuanced and complicated than that.
Critical Race Theory isn’t just some fringe ideology either. It’s been defended by a wide swath in mainstream institutions, including Time Magazine. To quote their article, “Critical race theory has been used to examine how institutional racism manifests in instances like housing segregation, bank lending, discriminatory labor practices and access to education. It has also helped to develop themes and language to address racism and inequality, such as white privilege, intersectionality, and microaggressions, among others.
“Here’s a specific current example: consider the fact that a disproportionate amount of people from Black and Latinx communities are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the CDC, Black and Latinx people are twice as likely to die from the virus as white people.
“A person… might assume that genetic or biological factors are to blame—a false conclusion that insinuates that there is something inherently wrong with Black and Latinx bodies. However, a person applying a critical race theory… would also ask how historical racism—which manifests today in everything from access to clean air to treatment by medical professionals—might be influencing this statistic…”
Now there’s a lot wrong with Time’s position. For one thing, a lot of the examples cited are probably not rooted in racism but bad policy. For instance, the quote cites “Bank Lending” as an example of systemic racism. The Time’s is probably referring to when Banks were giving out loans to minorities, even if they had no collateral or terrible credit. Then, when these clients inevitably couldn’t pay back the loans, they ended up in debt.
This was called “Predatory Lending” because I guess banks are so racist they love losing money? The truth is that the government implemented a law that required these banks to give out the loans, even to minorities who had no chance of repaying them.
This policy was naive and moronic and implemented by a government that hadn’t thought through the consequences. Now maybe the government intentionally created this “racist” policy to prey on minorities- which might have been a compelling argument if the policy hadn’t been implemented by Democrats during Obama’s administration. Now, if you want to tell me that President Obama was a racist, I’d love to hear your arguments out of sheer, unadulterated, morbid curiosity.
Ultimately, the truth is that the world’s a pretty good place to live in right now. There are fewer ongoing wars than ever, more food than we know what to do with, and almost everyone has access to the internet, which is amazing.
But CRT activists refuse to believe it and are continuing to push the narrative that literally anything and everything is racist, evil, and needs to be torn asunder. Do you think I’m joking or exaggerating the position? Allow me to point you to an article that unironically argues that hiking is racist, titled “The Unbearable Whiteness of Hiking and How to Solve It”.
Yes, that’s a real article published on the internet. I can find hundreds like it too. How about when the NAACP declared a nerdy, Hallmark graduation card “racist” because it said it had Black Hole written on it, but the audio inside sounded like it said “Black Wh*res”? Or when the ADL declared that the “Okay Sign” was a symbol of white power? Or how about when statistics came out that demonstrated an increase of violence towards the Asian community, and the media blamed white supremacy… even when neither the victim nor the attacker are white to a disproportionate degree.
But it gets more ridiculous than that. CNN released a detailed article of words that permeate the English language but are steeped in subconscious bigotry and racism. These words include but are not limited to:
- Master Bedroom
- Blacklist / Whitelist
- Peanut Gallery
- Black (when used to denote something as bad, such as in the word “Blackmail”)
And that’s not the half of it. There are also numerous celebrities, icons, sports teams, politicians, and books that are being blacklisted and / or outright canceled because of this nonsense. Most recently, six Dr. Seuss books got removed from Amazon and can’t even be resold through E-Bay because pictures taken out of them could be construed as “Racist”. So while children’s books are being banned, here are a few books that are still available for purchase:
- Mein Kampf
- The Anarchists Cookbook
- The Communist Manifesto
- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Just to name a few.
I’m not even calling for them to be banned. I’m vehemently opposed to censuring books, no matter the contents. Evil should be exposed for all the world to see and then beaten down with a sledgehammer. But if you’re so paranoid as to start banning children’s books over what could sort of be interpreted as slightly racist, could you at least be consistent about it?
I’m not happy about saying that racism exists in the world, and I’m sorry that I can’t say it doesn’t. However, fighting racism isn’t going to be accomplished through dishonesty and obsessive stupidity.
You want to fight racial discrimination? Great! You could earn millions if you successfully sue some for overt racism. You want to fight against racist policy? Great! Find some and start campaigning. I’ll wait.
The problem is, racism just isn’t as common as some would like to believe. The Banks don’t want to give out loans they’ll never make money on. Black and Hispanic communities aren’t dying more from Covid because of historical racism (the Asian community, which faced just as much racism in the past, is doing just fine). Black and Hispanic communities are doing worse because they’re poor thanks to naive welfare policies that encourage government dependency and thus are kept perpetually on the worst healthcare plans available.
But that’s not even what we’re talking about right now. Culturally, we’re more worried about who voice-acts Apu. Dr. Suess. The Whiteness of Hiking. The Okay Sign. The word Uppity. It’s a circle of stupidity and nonsense that drags our attention away from the real sources of today’s problems and dilutes the word “racist”.
So to come full circle and tie this all together, I’ll put my own spin on Syndrome’s best line.
“When everything is racist, then nothing is.”