Wednesday, June 23, 2021

"How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict over Critical Race Theory" (Christopher Rufo)


Selma, AL 2014

Benjamin Wallace-Wells offers a surprising eyecatcher in The New Yorker, in the “Annals of Inquiry” column, “How a Conservative Activist Invented the Conflict over Critical Race Theory”, with the tagline, “The Christopher Rufo, a term for legal scholarship looked like the perfect weapon”, link .

I have to admit, I had not heard much about critical race theory until shortly after George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, when I noticed Robin DiAngelo appearing in the media and lecturing us on our own subconscious inherited racism (us white older men like me).  I reviewed her book on Wordpress on July 21, 2020, after a few personal walktrough’s of Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington DC. 

All the sudden I realized “allyship” could be demanded of all of us, maybe as a condition to stay online at all some day.

Appealing young white male YouTubers or otherwise public figures from the university or college worlds (the corporate Left’s “Smart America” in George Packer’s parlance) would stumble into this.  John Fish would promote BLM in a conspicuous video, without first realizing there’s a huge difference between supporting Bryan Stevenson’s work (“Just Mercy” which I support 100%), and supporting Robin DiAngelo’s mandatory collective guilt trips (which have hoodwinked corporate HR departments).  Jack Andraka (famous for inventing a pancreatic cancer test for a science fair and active in coronavirus work at the time) would support it dutifully on his own social media, and then stop posting altogether. People put black pages in their feeds.  Capitalistic people, not noticing the Marxist origins of this ideology.  Then they would find out.  Screenwriting guru Tyler Mowery, at least, keeps all of his videos very abstract and in terms of “first principles” without having to use any loaded terms at all, as he calls out behaviors on the far right and far left about equally. Well, so does Tim Pool. 

In Washington, BLM would replace June gay pride, which would get canceled because of the pandemic, which had created enormous ruptures in complacent “liberal” “smart” society, meritocratic people largely escaping the virus themselves who thought they were simply color blind, officially, but not when doing personal dating.

And now Karlyn Borysenko is trying to sever critical race theory (which she defines reflexively) from “anti-whiteness”, which she says could cause a new white supremacist blacklash.  

The Washington Post wrote up Rufo with a long article by Laura Meckley and Josh Dawsley June 22 (with links) and then walked back some of it, according to Dave Rubin. 

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