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Critical Race Theory

What is Critical Race Theory?

"The critical race theory (CRT) movement is a collection of activists and scholars engaged in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power. The movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies discourses take up but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, setting, group and self-interest, and emotions and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights discourse, which stresses incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law."

- Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (3rd Edition)

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What is NOT Critical Race Theory?

“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Since it is a legal theory, Critical Race Theory is taught primarily in law and graduate schools. CRT is NOT taught in primary or secondary schools and generally not to undergraduates.  CRT is often inaccurately applied to any work or scholar discussing racism or African-American history. 

Expansion of Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory has expanded to recognize the ways in which different minority groups in the U.S. are treated differently by the law to include Asian-American Critical Race Theory (AsianCrit), Latina/o or Latinx Critical Race Theory (LatCrit), and Indigenous Critical Race Theory (TribalCrit), Whiteness studies, and explorations the ways in which race and ethnicity intersected with other identities.

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