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  • Rise In Crime The 2021 Myth
  • What is critical race theory?

RISE IN CRIME THE 2021 MYTH

Violent crime surged across America after police retreated Wtf really! How crime stats lie — and what you need to know to understand them.

 By Priya Krishnakumar, CNN

Updated 11:17 AM ET, Wed July 14, 2021

As Covid-19 rates improved and vaccinations allowed much of the country to reopen, reports of crime waves began to dominate headlines. Politicians, pundits, journalists and law enforcement have all scrambled to make sense of increased violence around the United States, while the public is left to sort through alarming numbers and conflicting narratives.

Understanding crime trends requires nuance, but gaps and inconsistencies in the data make it easy to misinterpret and spin facts in a way that serves political agendas instead of evidence-based solutions.

It’s never simple to pinpoint the reasons behind a rise in crime — especially following a year as extraordinary as 2020, in which Americans faced a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, a steep rise in unemployment rates and a summer of intense social unrest. Please continue reading here

Critical race theory

By Black Lives Matter Georgia

Critical race theory is a collection of theoretical frameworks, which provide lenses through which to examine structural and institutional racism.

Within critical race theory, racism is viewed as more than just individual prejudices. Instead, it is considered to include a wide range of social practices deeply embedded in policies, laws and institutions.

Critical race theory was developed from the 1960s and 1970s by legal scholars applying sociological critical theory in their work, although the term “CRT” did not emerge until the late 1980s.

Critical race theorists including Kimberlé Crenshaw, Derrick Bell and Patricia Williams investigated how and why racial disparities persisted in the United States. They did so through analysing these disparities in the legal and criminal justice system, as well as how education and employment opportunities (or lack theoreof) impacted generational wealth accumulation.

Interpretations of critical race theory are diverse as it is a growing body of scholarship. These are not formulated by theorists into specific doctrines, manifestos or sets of practices. But some general principles underpin CRT.

They include:

  1. race is understood as a “social construct” rather than a biological reality. That is, supposed “racial” differences between groups of humans are founded in our social experience rather than our genetics (this is well supported by scientific evidence)
  2. systemic racism” means social institutions and practices unwittingly contribute to and maintain white supremacy. “Invisible” everyday practices perpetuate racial inequality and inequity in health, education and the law
  3. everyone has multiple, overlapping aspects of their identity which may impact their life experiences. These include race, gender, age, class, sexual orientation, disability and nationality. This suggests many people understand or interpret their life experiences through this “intersectional” lens
  4. critical race theory encourages reflection on normalised ways of doing things, especially to question who benefits from systemic privilege and why.

Opponents of critical race theory sometimes claim it creates division and discord between people. For example, they claim critical race theory is intended to make people with privileged identities, such as being white, “hate themselves” or feel shame and guilt for their whiteness.

Critical race theorists and practitioners argue the framework can bring people together by highlighting the causes of the deep racial rifts that already divide our societies. And that it can prepare people for the work of overcoming injustice through reflection.

Where is this coming from?

Since Donald Trump’s win in the 2016 US presidential election, the agenda of right-wing and conservative political and media actors in Australia has been heavily shaped by their US counterparts. Trump and other right-wing US actors have promoted broad misrepresentations of critical race theory.

For instance, Trump has claimed the “left’s vile new theory” (that is, critical race theory) teaches students that “judging people by the color of their skin is actually a good idea” and that the US is “systemically evil”. He claims “this deeply unnatural effort has progressed from telling children that their history is evil to telling Americans that they are evil”. Neither is true.

Misinterpretations of critical race theory were an implied factor in Trump blocking funding for diversity and equity training in 2020, because it contained “divisive concepts” such as racial stereotyping and critical race theory.

In the past few months, Republican legislators in more than 20 US states have proposed and voted for bills banning critical race theory in primary and secondary schools and/or colleges and universities. Bills against critical race theory have become law in eight states and are set to become law in a further nine.

It is important to understand these moves in the context of a systemic push-back against calls for racial justice in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement’s resurgence in 2020.


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