Thursday, July 8, 2021

Critical Race Theory--A Topic that is Evolving

Talking honestly about equality is how a recent CNN article responded to an article about Critical Race theory. As an professor and instructor who has taught courses about diversity, social justice and equal rights, I’ve come to learn about many aspects of Critical Race Theory, or CRT, a topic that has been recently discussed by broadcasters of every persuasion.

CRT in part has to do with the implied meanings of words. For example, I have learned that the word “ladies” was not politically correct because it refers to “women” as “prostitutes” when one uses such expressions of “ladies in the night,” among many other American English expressions. Consider that, today, the words “ladies and gentleman” are no longer appropriate, not only because the term creates a negative impression of women, but also because the expression seemingly gives unequal status them; otherwise, they would be referred to as gentlewomen.

The validity of these teachings is being argued by broadcasters on just about every cable network.These argmements have failed to explain just what CRT is. Critical Race Theory has been taught for decades since the 1960s; however, the post -graduate teachings have evolved from learning the pragmatics, a branch of linguistics that studies implied meanings of words, of contemporary English to a broader study of the impact the Civil Rights movement has had on society and its effect on human interactions that relate to culture and race. The focus of teaching now relates to how one can integrate Social Emotional Learning into Common Core. These teachings have been initiated because studies have shown that Social Emotional Learning benefits academic development.

The teachings of CRT include recognizing people who are part of the dominant culture and how other cultures can be subservient to them. CRT topics include studies of race, power and privilege that have existed in both Eastern and Western civilizations throughout history. Make no mistake about it that open discussions of these issues are an important part of all levels of education because no academic program can function honestly without these discussions.