Critical Race Theory or CRT is much in the news these days. Unfortunately, the lying about it, almost totally on the part of the Left, has been as bad as a 100 year flood.
But let’s take a look at just where CRT started. Its onset was in 1976 with the publications of papers from Black legal scholar Derrick J. Bell.
He noticed that anti-discrimination laws got passed, so discrimination, at least overt discrimination, was over. This was acknowledged by Bell himself. Many people had assumed that once discriminatory barriers against Blacks were lifted, they would match Whites in various areas where they were serious discrepancies. But the problem persisted. I would say the problems persisted because discrimination wasn’t the cause of all of it anyway, but people were still troubled because anti-discrimination laws didn’t fix the problem.
Blacks were still behind in so many areas. This caused a lot of reflection by antiracist scholars. First, they assumed that all discrepancies between Blacks and Whites were due to racism, something which has never been proven! But it was a comforting thing for these people to believe. So what was causing the discrepancies? What gave? Obviously the problem could not have been Blacks themselves due to some deficiency either inherent or acquired on their own part. It had to be some type of racism! But since overt racism had vanished or been reduced to low levels, what sort of racism was this? Clearly, it had to be some weird type of invisible racism that people cannot even see, sort of a ghost racism.
This is where he and his cohorts came up with the weird notions of invisible racism such as societal, structural, and institutional racism, the theories of which are all nonfalsifiable and therefore junk theory because all theory must be falsifiable.
Except in the social sciences, but they usually aren’t doing science there anyway. Instead they are doing politics. You are either doing Politics or Science. If you aren’t doing Science, you are doing Politics and vice versa. The variability of humans and the fact that social issues are so bound up in politics and extreme emotion means that empiricism is often an afterthought if not doomed from birth in the social sciences. The extreme emotion that theories of the social sciences provoke is because these theories are about people. Humans tend to get pretty emotional about any scientific ideas involving themselves. You might say it hits a bit too close to home.
The problem is that the extreme emotional atmosphere in which the social sciences operate tends to doom any empirical enterprises. It’s hard to come up with a positivist conclusion about much of anything when everyone’s shouting at each other. And of course politics is dishonest by its very nature and its practitioners tend to be at least somewhat psychopathic. Politics is as sleazy and dirty as life gets. Once your science gets infected with politics, just kiss it goodbye. The quest for knowledge is dramatically slowed by all the lying and infighting if not arrested altogether. Karl Popper himself made some remarks along these lines in 1934 when he said that when science starts defending all of its paradigms to death, this is the end of knowledge creation.
So the problem with CRT is not that CRT is not true. Yes it is not true or at least it cannot be shown to be true, which is the same thing. But the problem with CRT is so much worse than that. CRT is such bad theory that it’s not even wrong.