How Both Sides Distort the Debate Over Critical Race Theory

Put aside what you may have heard—pro or con—about terms such as systemic racism or critical race theory (CRT) for a moment. There’s a lot of exaggeration out there among both defenders and critics. 

Instead, let me tell you a story.

After the civil rights movement achieved its legislative goals in the 1960s, formal, legal racism was largely abolished. Yes, there was cleanup work to do in various states. But broadly speaking, deliberate discrimination was no longer protected by the law. There was still cultural racism, of course—and there still is. But looking at the big picture, the tumor of deliberate racism has shrunk on a staggering scale. 

This was the result of a massive legal, social, and educational effort. And it was a huge success that all Americans should take pride in. Racism isn’t an American phenomenon; it’s a human one that exists everywhere. But few societies have worked as hard to battle it as the United States has over the last half-century. 

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