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COLUMN: Beware the ills of CRT and the 1619 Project
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COLUMN: Beware the ills of CRT and the 1619 Project

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Bob Woodson has a quick opinion on Critical Race Theory, a framework of ideas that maintains white supremacy is embedded in all aspects of American life. Woodson calls it the “new racism” and, he says, its destructive ideology is worse than any previous forms of racism.

These comments are taken from a podcast with Carrie Sheffield that Woodson participated in last December, “Bob Woodson: Critical Race Theory is ‘more lethal than the old racism.'”

Woodson’s voice is one deeply invested in the issue, as his Woodson Foundation has practiced advocacy for low-income and disadvantaged individuals since he founded the organization in 1981. In fact, Woodson’s work as a civil rights leader and as someone who has offered advice and assistance to disadvantaged populations has given him a clear perspective on the impact of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

“It used to be called stereotyping but now it’s called Critical Race Theory,” says Woodson. “It’s the same thing. It’s the assumption that if you are a woman, then all women think alike, act alike. And if you are Black, then you are defined by your race, not by the content of your character.

“By employing this lens, it’s having devastating effect on low-income people of all races.”

Low-income individuals, he maintains, suffer most when concepts such as the Me Too movement are absorbed into society at large. According to Woodson, that movement began when a woman with an inner-city, low-income background worked to bring abuse of poverty-stricken Black women into the open, giving them the strength to overcome adversity. The cause, according to Woodson, was then co-opted by elites and rich white women who brought it into Hollywood.

“The whole Me Too movement was highjacked by the elites, to the point now where all women are defined as victims,” he says.

He drew the comparison of elites, and their use of Me Too, to the plight of low-income women in prison who suffer abuse but have their situations largely go unnoticed.

“When you generalize about any one race, or you categorize a person, it means low-income people who happen to be in that category, their needs will be ignored,” he says. “Same with low-income Blacks when you generalize about all Blacks. It’s really a devastating impact.”

To further his impact on modern society, Woodson founded 1776 Unites over a year ago. According to the group’s website, the cause is dedicated to a “nonpartisan and intellectually diverse alliance of writers, thinkers, and activists focused on solutions to our country’s greatest challenges in education, culture, and upward mobility.” However, 1776 Unites is not to be confused with the 1776 Commission, an advisory committee started by then-president Donald Trump last year and promptly disbanded by the Biden administration, which, predictably, is doing everything it can to promote racial discord.

Both 1776 groups were formed in opposition to the 1619 Project, a document produced by Nikole Hannah-Jones and the New York Times. Hannah-Jones, by the way, recently joined the faculty of UNC-Chapel Hill, presumably arriving with her radical views intact. If you are a tax-paying citizen of North Carolina, you now know that your tax dollars are going to radicals such as Hannah-Jones.

If progressives have their way, 1619 is a document that will be coming soon to a school near you. The 1619 Project is, essentially, a byproduct of Critical Race Theory.

I’ll leave it to an article by a Princeton historian and research scholar by the name of Allen C. Guelzo to summarize that piece of work. In an article appearing in city-journal.org, (“Preaching a Conspiracy Theory: The 1619 Project offers bitterness, fragility, and intellectual corruption—not history,)” Guelzo surgically dissects 1619’s attempt to rewrite history, calling it a conspiracy theory rooted in ignorance, among other things. He then comes to this conclusion:

“Finally: the 1619 Project is not history; it is evangelism, but evangelism for a gospel of disenchantment whose ultimate purpose is the hollowing out of the meaning of freedom, so that every defense of freedom drops nervously from the hands of people who have been made too ashamed to defend it. No nation can live without a history, and no free nation can flourish without a history that affirms—in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s words in 1856—“that the evil eye can wither, that the heart’s blessing can heal; that love can exalt talent” and “overcome all odds.” What the 1619 Project offers instead is bitterness, fragility, and intellectual corruption—not history.”

There are others who see the danger of embracing CRT and the 1619 Project.

Prominent voices include that of Peter Kirsanow, who, like Woodson, has a solid resume of work in support of civil rights. Kirsanow, an attorney, is a long-time member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Writing for National Review, Kirsanow says that CRT was “once regarded as a lunatic doctrine propounded by obscure leftists” but has now found a home in schools and government institutions across the country. “As such,” he says, “it’s no longer merely lunatic, but dangerous.”

Kirsanow references The Legal Insurrection Foundation and a website listing 200 colleges and universities that practice Critical Race Training, including eight in North Carolina. The website (criticalrace.org) contains extensive information about CRT, including article links and videos, and chronicles efforts to combat the ideology at all levels of education, from K-12 through college.

The website draws a clear distinction between CRT and the traditional Civil Rights movement in this country, establishing that CRT springs from the “European Marxist school of critical theory.”

Essentially, criticalrace.org serves those who may lack the information and resources to combat the advancement of CRT and the 1619 Project. I highly recommend the site for those seeking another side to the stories we’re fed daily in the mainstream media.

“CRT/1619 Project indoctrination is advancing with blinding speed and little resistance throughout American institutions,” writes Kirsanow.

Rational minded people—inspired by intellectuals such as Woodson, Guelzo and Kirsanow—should do everything possible to head it off at the pass.

Larry Cothren has worked as a writer and editor for more than three decades. He teaches at Hickory Ridge High School and can be reached at lgcothren@aol.com.

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