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Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory

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Published by Kama Liza

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Published by: Kama Liza on Aug 15, 2010
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Critical race theory
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Critical Race Theory
(CRT) is a movement that studies and attempts to transform therelationship between race and power by examining the role of race and racism within thefoundations of modern culture, as far back as the principles of Enlightenment thought that formthe basis for many modern views of equality and law; as a movement, it has moved beyond lawand has now become common in the academic disciplines of ethnic studies, political scienceand education.
CRT began as a response to interdisciplinary legal studies. The earliest writings on CriticalRace Theory can be traced to the works of Derrick Bellas a rejection of the belief that the legalreforms of the Civil Rights movement positively affected both the construction and application of laws. CRT is concerned with the idea of inescapable and inherentracismin the American legalsystem, as well as the consistent application of racial subordination anddiscrimination in the practice of law, with the exception of "interest-convergence" issues, in which both the whitemajority and minorities profit from the expansion of rights (as argued by Bell in “Brown v. Boardof Education and the Interest-Convergence Dilemma”
).CRT rejects interdisciplinary legal studies' belief in the transformative power of society. Itemphasizes the socially constructed nature of  raceand considers judicial conclusions to be based on inherently racist social assumptions. Analyses of racial inequity as thesocialconstruction of race and discrimination are present in the scholarship of such established criticalrace theorists asDerrick Bell,Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw,Richard Delgado,Neil Gotanda, Cheryl I. Harris,Charles Lawrence III,Mari Matsuda, andPatricia J. Williams in the legal field. In the field of education, notable scholars include Gloria Ladson-Billings, Laurence Parker , Daniel Solórzano andWilliam Tate.
Contents
 
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Definition
This article
is missing information about the actual definition of CRT
.This concern has been noted on thetalk pagewhere it may be discussedwhether or not to include such information.
(July 2010)
[edit]
Key theoretical elements
Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancicnote the following major themes in critical race theory writings:
A critique of liberalism: critical race theorists object to politicalliberal's cautious approach to social transformation, tocolor blindnessas a solution to racism (favoring instead challenges to theway racism can be embedded in apparently neutral standards), andhave criticized the limitations of a rights-based approach toresolving racism
Storytelling/counterstorytelling and "naming one's own reality"
Revisionist interpretations of Americancivil rightslaw and progress
Applying insights from social science writing on race and racism tolegal problems
Structural determinism, how "the structure of legal thought or culture influences its content"
Theintersectionsof race, sex, andclass
 
Essentialismand anti-essentialism
Legal institutions,Critical pedagogy, and minorities in the bar 
Criticismand self-criticism Critical race theory emerged in part from the milieu of Critical Legal Studies(CLS), a field of inquiry that argues that preserving the interests of power, rather than the demands of principleand precedent, is the guiding force behind legal judgments. CLS theorists suggest that theexisting precedents are indeterminate, allowing the judiciary wide freedom to interpret themaccording to prevailing balance of power. Both CLS and Critical Race Theory scholars engagein deconstructing extended arguments to demonstrate that legal precedents are not based on aconsistent application of legal principles. Critical Race Theory shares an overlapping literaturewith both CLS andcritical theory,feminist jurisprudence, andpostcolonial theory. [edit]
Applications
Critical Race Theory has been applied in a variety of contexts where institutionalized oppressionof racial minorities has been litigated in courts (critical race theorists often presentamicuscuriaebriefs, or critically examine the rulings of these cases).
One particular application has been to hate crime and hate speech legislation. In responsetoJustice Scalia'sopinion in a paradigm hate speechcase,
(whichaddressed cross burning as an act of  hate speech), Mari Matsuda and Charles R. Lawrence III presented a critical race theory argument against Scalia's opinion. While Scalia posits thatspeech is protected independent of content, Matsuda and Lawrence argue that historical andsocial context is paramount. When acts of speech are acts of intimidation and threaten violence,backed up by a historical force, then those words become a mechanism for social control anddomination. Justice Scalia delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Justice Rehnquist,Justice Kennedy, Justice Souter, and Justice Thomas joined. All 9 justices concurred in the judgment of the Court that city's ordinance was facially invalid under theFirst Amendment.
Delgado also draws on CRT in calling for a tortaction for racial insults, looking to the historical pattern of speech and the serious psychological harm inflicted on its victims as just measuresfor evaluating hate speech.Critical race theory has become especially important in education where the educationalexperience and results for both children and adults are often connected to racial background.Critical race theorists can argue that the possession of "whiteness" and property are correlated

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