By Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.
People all over the nation are clamoring to find material on Critical Race Theory. It is a fascinating thing to watch what will be recorded in future history books about our own era, provided we are still here. We read of the Scopes Trial, or the Eugenics Movement in the past. We can only read about the reaction of the populace since most of us were not alive. Sweeping reforms, Temperance, Union riots. What will the Media outlets say in hundred years? Critical Race Theory grips the Nation; Teachers Union under Fire for Endorsement of CRT; Another Protest at Local School Turned Riot.
There are a few sources I have read that can help. I want to present somewhat a balance in terms of the response of those who claim to ‘believe in the Bible.’ The first is from my dear brother and good friend, Jason L. Bradfield. Jason is an Assistant Pastor with his M.A. in Theological Studies. He penned, ‘Basic Tenets in Critical Race Theory’ (April, 2021) which highlights the current academic-sourced well. Brad Mason has also penned a different take, offering a more nuanced approach with his article, ‘What is Critical Race Theory? An Introduction to the Movement and its Ideas‘ (February, 2021). Still further, thanks Pastor Kameron Gray for the notice, a new website, The Chalkboard Review, which offers a Critical Race Theory Toolkit.
Of course, I am still stuck back in my library reading Karl Mannheim (Ideology and Utopia), J. Derrida (Specter of Marx), H. Marcuse (One-Dimensional Man, who mentions Derrick Bell, a name you see associated with CRT often, concerning industry and labor), or Raymond Geuss (Ideology of a Critical Theory: Habermas & the Frankfurt School, who also mentions Bell. Geuss corrects a bit Bell’s use of Mannheim’s work, mentioned above).
If someone dives further into the roots and sources pre-Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, or Richard Delgado (three current espousers of CRT), it will be readily noticed that there is no “one theory fits all” here. Critical Theory itself is a methodology that has been around since the late nineteenth century (in seed form, anyway). One can find such applications in Chester M. Pierce, Psychiatric Problems of the Black Minority (1974. Basic Books. From American Handbook of Psychiatry: Volume 2 edited by Silvano Arieti, Gerald Caplan). Pierce coined the phrase, “micro-aggression” (see, Floyd B. Barbour, The Black Seventies, ‘Offensive Mechanisms’. 1970. Boston. P. Sargent).
These are a few ‘sources’ to start with. Is there alarmist hypo-scare mongering? Yeah. Is there “let’s water this down, CRT isn’t so bad” soft peddling? Yeah. Is there, “well, let me read for myself, take the time, use caution, and turn off the television news” approaches? Yeah. That’s the one I recommend. I would add to that, followers of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene born as a Jew, who now resides in the heavenly cosmos ruling over me, you, Derrick Bell, Joel McDurmon, Thomas Sowell, and Mark Levine is the Truth embodied. Nothing escapes him. Nothing. He searches the minds and hearts, leaving not a single word or thought unnoticed. He is not white, black, red, brown, or yellow. He is immortal, body and soul, forever glorified. He is summing up the ages to himself, and summoning human beings “from every tribe, language, nation, and people” to his coming inheritance, where there will be, on this earth, zero racism, zero injustice, zero oppression, and zero evil. Theorize, debate, study, research, plan committees, petition your Officials, protest your county boards. Do what you think is best. But, whatever you do, if you follow the Lamb of God, be guarded against doing it upon his Name and Cause when it may turn out that your “cause” is not His.