15 January 2022 ~ 2 Comentarios

Racism and “Critical Race Theory”

By Carlos Alberto Montaner

First things first. Go to the Washington Post and look for a great investigation on black slavery in the United States. You can do it thanks to the Internet, and it’s free. No less than 1,700 members of Congress, over years and decades, owned slaves, that is, they owned people. The last of those congressmen died in 1914, although the 13th Amendment, which freed the slaves, dates from 1865. In the mid-19th century, among the ‘owners of people’ were Andrew Johnson, who became Abraham Lincoln’s vice president, Sam Houston, a hero in Texas, and, of course, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of the South.

Twelve presidents were also slavers. Let’s just mention three: George Washington, father of national independence, first president of the country, and one of the richest men in the US. Then, Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the nation. After his wife died, he had a long and discreet relationship with Sally Hemings, a beautiful and very young slave of mixed white and black ancestry. They had six children and four of them reached adulthood. It is known thanks to the current DNA tests carried out on the descendants. And the star and founder of the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States who, in the early 19th century, placed an ad in a newspaper claiming a slave who had run away from his estate. Jackson authorized whoever found the fugitive to give him a hundred lashes for which he, AJ, would conveniently pay.

Indeed, it was the time to be a slaver. There had always been slavery, at least since they stopped killing prisoners of war. But already at that time there were politicians or ethical people who refused to participate in the contradictions of slavery. For example, the second president of the United States, John Adams, and his wife Abigail Smith, perhaps because they were genuinely Puritans. Or their son, John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the US. Everyone in the family expressed a very severe moral judgment against slavery. It is very difficult to believe the constitutional history of the United States, or the proclamation of 1776, written by Thomas Jefferson, which establishes that all men are equal before the law and, simultaneously, tolerate racism and slavery.

That’s why the “Critical Race Theory” exists. It should not be prohibited but taken into account. It is the result of despair. It is the recognition that the reforms demanded by Martin Luther King in the 1960s have been exhausted and the process has stalled. It is the best explanation there is for the permanence of these attitudes, like racism, entrenched and disguised in American culture. What is the effort to achieve the suppression of minorities from the voters’ lists that is happening in numerous States, almost all linked to the southern part of the country?

An American jurist, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a beautiful and elegant woman of mixed white and black ancestry, professor at California and Columbia, has added a very important nuance – feminism. See her at TED talks. It is not the same to suffer the attacks of racism if you are a man than if you are a woman. It is much more severe if you are a woman. Black men voted first, beginning in 1865. Much later, black women voted, when women’ s suffrage was authorized in 1920.

To say that the “Critical Race Theory” is Marxist is a falsehood due to ignorance. It has nothing to do with Marxism, although it takes definitions and concepts related to the culture of the Italian Antonio Gramsci. It doesn’t have any element of class struggle, nor an indication of where the productive apparatus must be, nor a definition of surplus value, the three distinctive elements of Marxism, as Engels said in his funeral oration for Marx in 1883, when he was buried.

Furthermore, the “critical theory” is not even a “closed” corpus, but rather an “open” one that will keep adding topics as academics or thinkers work. Fearing that is ridiculous. It’s like fearing ghosts

2 Responses to “Racism and “Critical Race Theory””

  1. Walber 17 January 2022 at 4:54 pm Permalink

    Creo que todo lo que pueda causar división en una nación es malo, en mi modesta opinión la teoría critica de la raza Peca de eso, al extremo de que cada día que pasa causa más rechazo en un sector más y más amplio de la sociedad estadounidense, no es sólo gramsci y sus teorías de izquierda, también los cambios de hechos históricos y sus contextos.

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