CRITICAL RACE THEORY2Critical Race TheorySeminal works Critical Race Theory (CRT) was pioneered by scholars of color in legal studies in the US Law Schools in the 1970s and 1980s (Gillborn & Ladson-Billings, 2018). During this period, the scholars wanted to examine the intransigence of racism within US’s landscape, following the civil rights movement and role of law ensuring unequal race relations. Developed by a small group of legal scholars composed of many (not all) African Americans, CRT grew out of a field that criticizes how law in capitalist societies was used to maintain unjust power relations while masking justices. IdeasThe law scholars started to examine how racism could be perpetuated despite legal remedies to address it. Their major concerns included why the civil rights movement had stalled, why the critical legal studies had very little to say about race as a major form of oppression, and how the law was used to subvert racial justice (Sleeter, 2012). Eventually, in the 1990s, CRT wastaken up by scholars in other disciplines such as education with the work of Gloria and William being cited as marking the entry of CRT in education.TenetsFrom its earliest formulations, CRT has been united by the concern to understand and oppose race inequality. Its main goal is to expose the hidden customary and systemic ways in
CRITICAL RACE THEORY3which racism works. It draws from a variety of statistics, social science research, and personal experiences. Its tenets include:Centrality of racism CRT argues that one basic insight is that racism is not aberrant, is normal, and is natural to the people in the culture (Sleeter, 2012). CRT focuses on subtle and hidden processes that havethe effect of discrimination, regardless of the stated intent. CRT believes that racism operate routine activities and assumptions that are unquestioned by most practitioners and policy makers.The evident disproportionate access that whites have to resources may be used to explain inequalities. The same white people who believe racism is a thing of the past tend not to notice the prevailing racial disparities, and when they do, the associate them to something else rather than the workings of racism (Gillborn & Ladson-Billings, 2018). Even though CRT does not operate to the exclusion of other forms of oppression, critical race theorists place race at the center when analyzing linked forms of oppression. CRT asks why racism persists even when it has been purportedly ameliorated.