Sunday, October 6, 2019

Disagreeing with the premise proves you are wrong

That's not really how debate is supposed to work.  You have a premise, I provide good faith counter arguments, the people around decide who is more convincing.

In a scary turnabout, Critical Race Theory has been adopted by much of the left.  CRT provides postulates (assumed to be obviously true) that you can not reject since rejection just proves your racism.

Here are the basic tenets:

  • Racism exists today in both traditional and modern forms
  • Racism is an institutionalized, multilayered, multilevel system that distributes unequal power and resources between white people and people of color, as socially identified, and disproportionately benefits whites.
  • All members of society are socialized to participate in the system of racism, albeit in varied social locations.
  • All white people benefit from racism regardless of intentions.
  • No-one chose to be socialized into racism so no-one is bad, but no-one is neutral.
  • To not act against racism is to support racism.
  • Racism must be continually identified, analyzed and challenged. No-one is ever done.
  • The question is not Did racism take place? but rather How did racism manifest in that situation?
  • The racial status quo is comfortable for most whites. Therefore, anything that maintains white comfort is suspect.
  • The racially oppressed have a more intimate insight via experiential knowledge into the system of race than their racial oppressors. However, white professors will be seen as having more legitimacy, thus positionality must be intentionally engaged.
  • Resistance is a predictable reaction to anti-racist education and must be explicitly and strategically addressed.
Can you see the problem?  I can't say that I am not racist because the presumption is that I am.  Think back to Euclid's Elements, one of the earliest known texts on mathematics.  Euclid starts with definitions and postulates.  Neither are proven, they are just assumed.  You can't argue that a square doesn't have four equal sides and four right angles because that is a definition.  You can't argue that you can't draw a straight line between two points because that is a postulate and assumed to be obviously true.  Without the postulates the discussion breaks down completely because there is no way to prove them other than by experience and observation. 

Both Euclid and CRT use the same premise that you must assume some things to be true.  The result of Euclid's writings was a consistent and logical development of geometric proofs that last to this day and are born out in the physical world.  The result of Critical Race Theory is that no one can push back against their ideas for dramatic social change.

1 comment:

The Writer in Black said...

Thomas Sowell wrote about this concept in some detail in his 1995 book "The Vision of the Anointed" among other places. Propositions are made not as hypotheses to be tested by empirical data, but simply as articles of faith to be accepted as true and used to "interpret" whatever data one might have.