The prevalence of critical race theory (CRT) in mainstream institutions is creating a “permanent intractable division” between Americans that can only lead to either tyranny or violence, author and columnist Jarrett Stepman warned.
In an interview with The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads,” Stepman described the CRT as a concept that boils down every aspect of society and individual life to race.
“This is where we get the idea that America is inherently a white supremacist society,” Stepman told host Joshua Philipp. He explained that under the CRT framework, everything in the society is dictated by skin color or identity, leaving individual preference and individual choice as simply “non-determinative factors.”
It is not surprising, according to Stepman, that many proponents of the CRT “sound very much segregationist,” considering how this idea divides the world into racial groups with inherent qualities. “That’s something that very much flips the entire American project,” Stepman said, adding that the idea of equality before the law, which is reflected in the nation’s founding documents, will be “thrown out the window” in a CRT worldview, because that could result in unequal outcomes among different racial groups.
“You now have a variety of intellectual projects promoting this that have become mainstream,” he continued. “I think very prominently of the so-called 1619 project in the New York Times, which I think uses a lot of critical race theory in creating this kind of work—a distorted view of American history as nothing but a series of racist acts, all boiling down to the fundamental, original sin of slavery.”
Stepman also highlighted the ideological connection between CRT and Marxism, saying that the growing popularity of the CRT among American youths “injected Marxism into America through the prism of race.”
“I think you have a generation of younger Americans who were raised with things like Howard Zinn,” he said. “These were seen as radical ideas that distorted the truth. Now they’re being treated as if they’re mainstream.”
“It does create, I think, a permanent intractable division between Americans that can really only end up with either tyranny or violence,” he continued. “And I think that’s the logical conclusion of where these ideas go. They don’t go to a society of equality under the law or a constitutional system that we enjoy. It turns into something very ugly. It pits Americans against Americans. It puts us on a very, very different path.”
President Donald Trump in September issued an executive order, calling for an end to federally funded, “blame-based” training programs that reinforce the idea that some individuals are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive” only because they belong to a certain sex or race.
“Such ideas may be fashionable in the academy, but they have no place in programs and activities supported by federal taxpayer dollars,” the order stated.
Citing the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr, the order described the “fundamental premises” of the American Republic as “all individuals are created equal and should be allowed an equal opportunity under the law to pursue happiness and prosper based on individual merit.”
“Today, however, many people are pushing a different vision of America that is grounded in hierarchies based on collective social and political identities rather than in the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual,” the order read. “This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country; that some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”