We see a lot of talk about critical race theory in our educational system these days. These conversations have been brewing for some time. Many online personalities such as Christopher Rufo and James Lindsay have done an excellent job building up a groundswell of concern. These concerns have recently spilled over into the mainstream.

Here is a 2020 passage from writer Krystina Skurk:

“Public schools and other educational institutions throughout the nation are pushing critical race theory on unsuspecting students.

Critical race theory is the claim that American institutions, laws, and history are inherently racist. It argues that white people…


Over the past several years, police in the United States have come under increased scrutiny. The Black Lives Matter movement and those sympathetic to its cause have charged police with bias against black and brown people. Community leaders, scholars, and activists assert that American policing practices overpolice black and brown neighborhoods, and are overly aggressive towards black and brown people.

The high-profile deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and other people of color have turned what used to be a concern only within black and brown communities into a national problem. In 2020, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s…

I am a professor at a university in the American South. I am in my sixth year there. In that time, I have served on numerous hiring committees. For readers outside of academia, hiring a new faculty member is an extensive vetting process that can take several months. You are hiring someone who may be there for decades. After being a member of so many committees, I have gained a good understanding of the hiring process.

I am also a black faculty member. I have observed with keen interest the often-ineffective efforts at my university to recruit black faculty. I…

Here are some popular phrases we have all heard. “He went from rags to riches.” “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” “You can make it if you try.” “We can all have the American Dream.” Think about these popular movies: Rocky, The Social Network, or The Pursuit of Happyness. We celebrate the characters in these films because the protagonist overcomes obstacles and achieves success through dint of their grit and ingenuity.

These are all illustrations of America understood as a meritocracy — privilege, status, and rewards accrue to those with the talent and work ethic to acquire them. It’s…

Our markets and institutions are discriminatory in current practice, and racial preferences in favor of the minority group create equal opportunity

Image From Source

Consider these antiracist proposals. Advocating for hiring a black person into a math department. Setting aside funds for Asian-American women small business owners. Providing scholarships for Latinx students. Policies such as these, that explicitly allocate resources to nonwhite people, will be met with this question: Aren’t racial preferences reverse racism? This essay is meant to give antiracists a way of addressing this question.

My argument is that (1) racial preferences for people of color are not racism, but a type of discrimination, and (2) our markets and institutions are discriminatory in current practice, and racial preferences in favor of the…

Consider two social policies.

The first policy — a race, or identity-based policy, makes scholarship funds available only for Latinx students. Students qualify through some way of providing their Latinx ancestry. The second policy — a class-based policy, makes scholarship funds available for needy students. Students qualify for the scholarship by demonstrating economic need.

Which policy is best?

As an antiracist, I believe that race-based policies in a multicultural society are necessary. However, I and other antiracists have likely heard people say — “shouldn’t we just focus on class?”

Should we focus on Latinx identity or economic conditions? (Image from Cigna.com)

In the past, the standard response for me has always been…

In this racially charged period in American history, many people will suggest that “we need to stop thinking about skin color.” I call these folks individualists.

For individualists, skin color is a proxy for ethnic or racial (ethnoracial) identity. It is not that the person is saying that a Chinese American person should stop thinking about their yellow skin. They are saying that person should stop identifying (or at the least de-emphasize) their identification with the group “Chinese-American.”

When that person says “we,” he is talking about the individual and society as a whole. Our institutions and our social policies…

Most white people will say they do not see color. However, it is apparent from data on voting patterns, residential patterns, dating practices, and other decisions grounded in individual choices that white Americans as a group are indeed making choices with race in mind.

How does one explain the paradox of the individual white person proclaiming that they do not see or act on race, yet when we look broadly at white people’s behavior, we detect clear and consistent patterns?

The straightforward answer is that white is the default racial identity in the United States and other multiracial European countries…

At some point in a conversation about racial inequality, an anti-racist will have this question posed to them by a skeptic:

“There are so many black folks in the NBA. Why is the NBA is not seen as racist?”

Of course, it is manifestly true that black players dominate the National Basketball Association (NBA). Just look at the basketball court. I had difficulty finding hard data from an original source, but a reference from Wikipedia reports that the racial composition in 2015 was 74 percent Black, 23 percent White, 2 percent Latino, and 0.2 percent Asian-American.

I will focus on…

Anti-racists make the argument that when we see disparities by race, this is evidence of racism. This is true in the broadest of terms, but I am not a big fan of this blanket statement. When we ask questions about different groups, we realize that the issue is more complex. Some groups have experienced racism, and some have not. Moreover, the disparities may have a historical root cause in racism for some groups, but there may not currently be the same impact in the present. …

Roderick Graham

Rod is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Old Dominion University. https://www.youtube.com/c/roderickgraham

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