Critical Race Theory

July 20, 2021

This video from Education Week takes a look at the complexity of Critical Race Theory.

An academic theory developed 40 years ago for the study of racial disparities has now been relabeled by some as a polarizing influence in public education. Legal scholars in the mid 1970s examined social, cultural, and legal issues that related to race and racism in the United States. CRT recognizes the systemic nature of racism. One of the key concepts of Critical Race Theory (CRT) is “intersectionality”—race can intersect with other identities such as gender and class to produce complex combinations of power and disadvantage. For the past 40 years CRT has existed inside the confines of legal and academic scholars who understand terms such as intersectional social construction, standpoint epistemology, essentialism, empathetic fallacy, and internalization.

Critical Race Theory has now become associated with the teaching of aspects of United States history that expose racism. In local school boards and state legislatures CRT has become a charged lightning rod with intense reactions easily seen in the news and on social media. Watch the video and connect with other resources to gain a better understanding of this controversial topic.