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Letter to the editor: Critical race theory includes pernicious ideas

Letter to the editor: Critical race theory includes pernicious ideas

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Critical race theory is not as shallow or benign as the Missoulian Editorial Board represented recently (June 6).

In their excellent book "Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity," Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay explain that critical race theory is part of “Social justice scholarship and activism” that developed from the postmodernist deconstruction of science, reason, religion and capitalist economic systems and that rejects classical liberalism, especially freedom of speech and equality of opportunity.

Specific to critical race theory are the ideas that all white people are inherently racist (e.g., “white privilege,” “white fragility,” “white complicity” and Ibram Kendi’s redefinition of antiracism), that “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” are everywhere even in the absence of a single person with racist intentions or beliefs, and that “equity” requires equality of results because equality of opportunity is inadequate to remedy racial disparities. This latter idea means that racial discrimination (i.e., “affirmative action” and diversity quotas) is justified to achieve “equity.”

These pernicious ideas are the reason that Attorney General Austin Knudsen correctly opined that, in many instances, the use of “critical race theory” and “antiracism” programming violates federal and state constitutional and statutory law.

Henry Fowler,


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