This discussion on BLM and Critical Race Theory occurred on 10-29. Pokey will start us off today: BLM is an organization derived from Marxist ideology, as proudly acknowledged by its founders. After Marxists witnessed the real-world consequences of their ideology—as expressed by the tyrannical governments of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Communist China—Marxists changed their strategy. Instead of investing in armed revolution, they began infiltrating institutions of higher education; the Frankfurt School for one. These schools of thought continued developing into what is now Critical Race Theory.
Zano: Hey, at least they didn’t say they were proudly republican. Let me help you out on this one. Start off by saying, yes, I understand and support the initial premise of this national movement. Police officers are killing black citizens all too often, minus any real consequences for the officers involved. Even if the details of other examples are somewhat murkier, the murder of Eric Garner and George Floyd speak to the need for increased training, education, consequences, etc. Then you can proceed with your: I take exception to BLM for their stance on CRT, or this instance of reverse racism here, and this Marxist agenda moment over there. The squandering of this moment is already baked into the cake, but at least acknowledge the moment. Why does R always start off on the wrong side of every issue? If only we could ask Newton. I’m talking about Gingrich; he’s ignoring my calls again. You can’t start off by skipping right to Karl Marx, Erich Fromm, and Bernie Sanders wearing a horned Baphomet mask. What is wrong with you? On another note, I’m considering wearing a Che Guevara shirt to Thanksgiving dinner. I need you to talk me down.
Pokey: When I read critical theorists from Marx to Adorno to Marcuse to DiAngelo, I notice that they all assume our current civilization to be oppressive by nature, and they all seek methods for deconstructing and weakening our civil institutions so that ‘experts’ can construct a scientifically perfected and just state. BLM is a tool for tyrants.
Zano: So, of all those police officers kneeling on that dude in the street, um, George Floyd is the tyrant here? Fine, instead of discussing Floyd, Garner, Rice, Brown, Castile, Taylor, Clark, Sterling, Scott, etc, let’s grab a stein down in the biergarten with Fromm and the rest of our favorite Frank-N-Furters. First, let’s understand the context of CRT’s origins, a group from Germany looking beyond Nazism for ideological answers.
Pokey: If you read and listen carefully to leading figures of Critical Theory, including BLM, you will notice that Critical Theorists are not seeking to reform our nation to make it more just; they are seeking to dividing and destroying our nation with the ‘faith’ that a just society will arise from the ashes of our destruction. No honest history supports the claims of Critical Theorists. They are not an academic movement; they are a revolutionary movement with an agenda to destroy our nation. There is no place for political agendas in honest academia. They are contradictions in terms.
Zano: Wow. If only Shatner would act out your last bit. Your attack on CRT is too broad. Like everything else, there’s good and bad mixed into any given individual philosopher or school of thought. First off, there’s two meanings being thrown around for CRT. The first is this adoption of aspects of CRT (that started in the Frankfurt School) by our legal folks to address how race impacts our systems. What part is an honest attempt to decrease race and what part is neo-Marxist plot to destroy America? Who knows? So you project your fears into the vacuum, because the dog whistle is your team’s only product. The second part of CRT (how it’s interpreted by Fox & Friends) involves how we teach race to our kids, which varies from school to school, teacher to teacher, curriculum to curriculum. What do we know? Anecdotal cases of neo-Marxist ideals exist, therefore widespread plot to destroy ‘Murica (which, ironically, was already destroyed by people who can’t spell America).
I will admit, in the hands of postmodernist, critical theory can be a tool for tyrants and no one is questioning Karl’s track record, but outright banning a school of thought? Watch out Pythagoras. Sure, let’s just ditch epistemology outright, or the entirety of the socialization process while we’re at. How do you abandon folks like Kant, Fromm, Habermas, Hegel, Wilber and the least funny Marx brother with just one flush? You Kant.
[‘Fromm here to modernity’ joke removed by the editor.]
Sure, there is a relativistic component to what emerged from the Frankfurt school, but let’s not throw the theory out with the bathwater.
Pokey: The point being, BLM, as fueled by CRT, is an activist movement in education that defines all persons on the basis of their race and gender and then defines all ethics inside a framework of ‘oppressed’ and ‘oppressor.’ From this framework all people have a duty to support those people identified as ‘oppressed’ and oppose those who identify as ‘oppressor’. If we happen to be identified as ‘oppressor’, we have an obligation to submit to those deemed ‘oppressed’ and confess our ‘privilege’.
Zano: Ken Wilber created a framework that allows a place for each meaningful contributions to be placed in its own quadrant/level. But, sure, let’s take the garbage to the curb. Every philosopher has their enduring insights and their mulligan moments. The green-liberal perspective can have a dangerous shadow-side, but if we shift CRT from post-modernism to Wilber’s post-post modernism, all quadrant approach, we don’t have this problem. Sadly, not enough academics have made this transition. Looking at it from postmodernism (the lowest Maslow-Marx level, overly simplistic), we get this emphasis on oppressor v oppressed.
Looking at only one quadrant—and then wrongly concluding it’s the whole picture—is not limited to aspects of BLM; it’s everywhere. Our overly-specialized world breeds this schitznik. Certain sociologists believe you can only look at a problem only through the lens of culture and societal perspectives, while ignoring everything else. The old Frankfurt School hailed from a predominantly modernistic perspective, aka still science-friendly, but they unfortunately passed the torch to leftists. We both focused on the gap between science and religion back in the day, however, post-modernists present a unique problem by attacking both as being barriers to freedom. I agree that it’s pretty outrageous. We need to press through this stage and call out their ill-advised overreach by increasing the perspectives involved, and hopefully emerge stronger on the other side.
Pokey: BLM, like all critical theorists, actively seeks to dismantle the ‘patriarchal family structure.’ This is why the policies passed by Critical Theorists are accompanied by a weakening of families and a rise in children born out of wedlock with little relationship with their fathers. BLM and all critical theorists misrepresent history (see the 1619 project) in order to characterize our nation as being founded on racist principles. When the founder of the 1619 Project was confronted by her historical inaccuracies and misrepresentations, she said, ‘the 1619 Project is not about history, it’s a work of journalism that is concerned with offering an alternative story in order to influence the cultural memory.
Critical Theory is now being taught to increasingly younger children. These children are taught to identify with their race or ‘gender preference’ as a framework for seeing and understand the world. The terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ are being cancelled inside classrooms and schools, because those words cause discomfort in children (a growing number) who donor have a father and mother.
Zano: Uh, no. All variations of critical theories do no such thing. And just how widespread these misguided teachings are is up for debate: McAuliffe calls CRT fight ‘racist dog whistle,’ claims ‘never been taught’ in Va. despite past state promotion (msn.com). The right feeds on anecdotal evidence. I believe there are areas this is starting to become an issue, like in some private schools. Again, there are a great number of critical theories and important components embedded in each. Wilber’s criticism of Marx is on point, but he believes the “dominant-subordinate relations” are overcome when the subjects involved reach a higher perspectives (integral/AQAL). CRT stressed the oppressions side, but Wilber’s version borrowed from Depth Psychology and stresses the repression side. Liberals think their muddier moral relativism is the highest perspective, and there in lies the danger.
Ultimately Wilber felt Marx was working off material (bottom-level, overly reductionist/simplistic). We will always have a problem when one group looks at one quadrant/perspective, and that is precisely what today’s culture warriors are doing. Wilber recommends developing critical integral theory (CIT) and critical integral adult education (CIAD), which admittedly seem in their infancy.
Anyone not familiar with Wilber’s four quadrant/AQAL approach, check this.
Pokey: BLM and all critical theorists misrepresent history (see the 1619 project) in order to characterize our nation as being founded on racist principles. When the founder of the 1619 Project was confronted by her historical inaccuracies and misrepresentations, she said, ‘the 1619 Project is not about history, it’s a work of journalism that is concerned with offering an alternative story in order to influence the cultural memory.’
Zano: The 1619 project is when I saw things going off the rails as well. John McWhorter also equates what’s happening in academia to its own kind of cult/religion. Here’s some excerpts from his interview with Politico:
“America’s social structures is actually an impediment to advancing racial issues today …all over the country, private schools that are going full out for this centering the entire curriculum on raging against power differentials, as opposed to that being one thing that you learn about in some classes. I’m concerned. I don’t want educational theory to be infused with an anti-intellectual, limiting … We have to bring in the views of people who are not leftist, but just liberals. And sometimes socially conservative. That would seem to be the only way because otherwise this country is going to be run by people who are bat-shit, crazy, ignorant fools, ie. what has happened to most of the Republican Party.”
See? McWhorter can identify a “bat-shit, crazy” party and then condemn aspects of BLM. Why do you continually ignore the elephant in the room?
Pokey: BLM is working to achieve the agenda of critical theorists—that is, the destruction of the foundational principles upon which our nation (and western civilization) was built. I’m sure their are many supporters of BLM who are unaware of this agenda—these are the kind of people who Lenin referred to as “useful idiots.” The Agenda is sometimes masked or hidden (like BLM deleting the disparaging remarks about “Western prescribed nuclear family structure”), but their sometimes unspoken agenda remains: the destruction of the family is a central goal in destroying a nation.
Zano: Is Shatner on set yet? The nation is already toast, dude. Guess you missed that part. And Halloween is over, so find another boogeyman. Did you dress as a neo-Marxist? That would have been awesome. Look, whereas you entirely ignored the GOP’s plummet from reason, I will do no such thing on the left.
A national movement surfaced to address racism within the police department after a string of needless black citizen deaths. I would encourage increasing education, psychological assessments for officers, better training, and paring police personnel with teams of mental health professionals.
Pokey does not support this movement, or acknowledges any issues whatsoever, and offers no suggestions.
BLM emerged from this movement and quickly adopted CRT, which caused many, including myself, to take pause and question their strategy, tactics, end goals and potential overreach. I fear that in the hands of green-level progressives (per Graves, Wilber et al spiral dynamics model), there is a real potential here for disastrous. But it’s always possible existential threat v some occurring Trumpocalypse.
Pokey believes BLM’s increasing influence is an extinction level event.
[Hint of the Day: you’re thinking of Trump 47.]
My solution is to finalize and adopt an integral version of CRT, a more AQAL perspective (Wilber/Post-post modern) to make meaningful changes to our society that addresses racism and existing bias without damaging our systems. In no way do I support any approach that tears down systems, our collective history, or our family unit (which I define as myself and three-or-more single women). The current version of CRT, as it pertains to what’s being adopted by BLM, must be improved or abandoned, or they will damage their own cause, which seems to be engrained in the progressive rule book.
The left claims CRT is not an educational issue at all, because it’s not even being taught anywhere (at least in VA, where it’s being used as a dogwhistle to impact an election). Our republican friends, with the flimsiest grip on reality, believe a hyper-leftist version of CRT is being downloaded subliminally to expecting mothers during the third trimester. Boo!
I believe reality is somewhere in-between and appreciate John McWhorter’s take that a concerning version of CRT is becoming more widespread and that it needs to be addressed and, in some instances, dialed the F back. But, again, this is blown way out of proportion.
Pokey has offered no solutions, except to root out BLM in all of its forms and burn it to the ground. And racism is fine the way it is
BLM is a reactionary movement to the growing fascism and idiocy of the right. Your party is a circus built on a cesspool.
Pokey has no opinion about the big top or its smelly sewer section.
Investigate the investigators. It’s those fighting racism, not the racist. It’s the same old song and dance. We don’t know how race is taught in every classroom and we don’t know the details of any neo-Marxist plot to destroy America. Tell them a scary word that they will never bother to understand and win a governorship in states that emphatically states: we do not teach that here. Fox News just admitted, a day after the election, how CRT not taught anywhere to children in the US. I think you need to shift that ‘useful idiot’ usage to the end of this paragraph.
We need to move the goal posts on racism, period, but where I agree with my friend is on this part: we can’t tear down said goal posts in the process. I saw that once after a Penn State circa 1990. Yikes. It’s a balancing act. Yes, we must keep an eye out for leftist overreach, but no one is going to allow a neo-Marxist societal reset button. It’s not going to happen. Neither side is going to allow that. The left still has moderates and independent voices, even if the right doesn’t. We are going to start improving as a society, and I know that’s scary for the racists out there, but it’s going to be okay. Kidding, the GOP will finish us off long before CRT has any impact whatsoever, good or bad.
Patterns and predictions …why are they always ignored? Oh, right …good luck Virginia!