THE GREAT WEAKNESS at the heart of Critical Race Theory (CRT) is its wilful ignorance of History and Anthropology. Its demonisation of “Whites”, along with the civilisations they created, owes more to religion than it does to science. A scientist would quietly explain to the adherents of CRT that the whole concept of race – especially when conflated with skin colour – is deeply flawed. That, genetically-speaking, the human species has always been one and indivisible. Culture may have elevated morphological differences into social, economic and political barriers, but such artificial barriers have always been the cause of racism – not the solution to it.
Just this week we have witnessed CRT in action in the “decision” of School Strike For Climate Auckland (SSFCA) to wind itself up. In spite of its obvious success in mobilising tens-of-thousands of mostly secondary-school students; and materially influencing the breadth and speed of the New Zealand Government’s response to the challenges of Anthropogenic Global Warming; SSFCA – “advised” by Maori and Pasifika groups also engaged in fighting Climate Change – declared themselves to be a racist organisation and handed over the entire cause to their slightly darker-skinned comrades.
The statement released by SSFCA was heart-breaking. To find an historical precedent for the document’s abject self-negation and unqualified acknowledgement of guilt it is necessary to go back to the “struggle sessions” of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution of the late-1960s. Or, even further back, to the “confessions” tremulously delivered by the broken victims of Joseph Stalin’s show trials in the 1930s. The shaming and vilification required to reduce these idealistic young people to a state of such utter intellectual prostration proves conclusively that human viciousness is not a trait peculiar to those whose skins are white.
The fate of the School Strike For Climate Movement in New Zealand must now be considered tenuous – at best. Across the country, activists will be struggling to come to terms with SSFCA’s decision. What should they do? Continue mobilising their generation against the greatest existential threat of our age? Do their best to fight off the CRT-based attacks on their alleged “white privilege” and racism? Or, should they, too, hand over the cause to Maori and Pasifika?
The temptation to adopt the latter course will be very strong. Although the School Strike For Climate Movement can put thousands of young people on the street, it is important to bear in mind that the organisational cores of such movements are actually quite small. Certainly, they are small enough to be intimidated and overwhelmed by CRT extremists ready, willing and able to wear them down in struggle-sessions of ever-increasing emotional intensity. If hardened Chinese Communists, veterans of Mao’s Long March, could be broken by such methods, it’s difficult to see Kiwi secondary-school kids resisting such unrelenting ideological pressures for very long.
The natural human response to such tactics is to say “F**k it!” and simply walk away. Sadly, it won’t just be the activists doing the walking. What’s the bet that a substantial number of those who formerly responded to the SSFC Movement’s calls will walk away with them? Word will spread about what happened in Auckland (and, other places) and a bright, sharp, sliver of iron will enter these young New Zealanders’ souls. They will struggle to resist the temptation to make a racist response, and yet, from somewhere deep inside them, the angry cry will rise: “Bastards!”
“You see?”, the CRT extremists will then respond. “We were right all along. The whole SSFC Movement is deeply and irretrievably racist.”
Not that CRT allows “White People” to be anything else. In essence, CRT is a Manichean system of thought. At its heart, an uncompromising struggle between Good and Evil; where Black, indigenous, people of colour – the righteous – are pitted against the incurably wicked White Supremacists. No room in CRT for the notion that what unites the human species is vastly more important than what divides it. Were Dr Martin Luther King still with us to share his dream that: “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character”, the CRT extremists would shout him down.
To defeat global warming, humanity must be united. The zealotry of the Critical Race Theorists is making that much more difficult.
This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 18 June 2021.