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Citizens Project is opposed to the banning of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools and training programs.
Opponents of CRT—including politicians such as former President Trump, Congressman Lamborn, and others—wrongfully claim that CRT is divisive because it argues that White Americans are inherently racist and that people of color are victims of White Americans in all aspects of life.
In fact, CRT argues that racism is systemic, that people of different races are not treated equally in our laws and policies, and that—as a society—we have the ability to change laws and policies to create true equity and equality for all. CRT does not argue that people are inherently racist, but that institutions are racist if they are structured in a way that perpetuates racial discrimination.
Why Citizens Project is against banning CRT:
What is CRT anyway?
Critical Race Theory refers to a body of publications about the nature of race and racism in the United States written by scholars in various fields including legal studies and sociology, with publications beginning in the 1970s. This literature offers a framework for thinking about the problem of racism, and it is grounded in research and facts about the history of policies affecting the freedoms of people of color as well as statistical disparities that exist between White Americans and people of color in many aspects of life including access to education, healthcare, criminal justice, and wealth.
Different scholars who contribute to critical race theory offer many different perspectives about racism, but there are two core ideas about race and racism found consistently in CRT.
First, Race is a “social construction,” meaning the idea of different human races is not based on a biological reality about human difference but comes from social ideas about the inferiority and superiority of different groups now identified as “races.” Genetic and biological research has confirmed for at least the past 40 years that there are no clear and consistent biological differences between different human groups that justify our classification into different races. CRT traces the development of the strong belief in biological difference between “white” (European descended) and non-white groups (people of color) to the period of European colonialism in which a belief in the inferiority of Indigenous and Black peoples was needed to justify colonial claims over non-European lands and enslavement of non-European peoples.
Second, racism is “systemic,” meaning that laws, policies, and institutions that have developed over centuries continue, in the United States, to systematically harm people of color and benefit White Americans. This does not mean that a person of color cannot achieve success in American society, nor that White Americans cannot experience hardship, but that White Americans are statistically more likely to experience the full rights and freedoms that should be granted to all citizens and that people of color will tend to experience ongoing discrimination that negatively impact their life chances. Some people misinterpret CRT as arguing that all people of color are victims to White Americans in all aspects of life, and that all White Americans are inherently racist. Since CRT argues, however, that race is a social construction and that racism is systemic, it actually argues that all Americans are inherently equal although we are not treated equally in our laws and policies, and that we all have the ability to change our laws and policies to create true equity and equality for all.
For the past 30 years, Citizens Project has worked to build a vibrant democracy in the Pikes Peak region, and volunteers have helped lead the way. Let’s work better, together.