Earlier this month, Dispatch senior editor David French endorsed “The Conservative Case Against Banning Critical Race Theory.”
This is excellent: https://t.co/vpETItWIEm
— David French (@DavidAFrench) July 13, 2021
It was unfortunate, to say the least. But it wasn’t exactly surprising, given that Donald Trump was the catalyst for French’s evolution from reliable conservative to Bulwarkish “conservative.”
And, like French’s endorsement of that TIME piece, his recent essay on the subject of Critical Race Theory was disappointing, but not surprising:
We live with the legacy of the bigoted structures racists created. Our obligation to seek justice does not depend on our personal fault. And there is nothing “conservative” about denying the consequences of centuries of racist harm. My Sunday essay: https://t.co/ITSV1BPrs4
— David French (@DavidAFrench) July 25, 2021
Who’s denying that there was racism in our past and that it persists in our present? Suggesting that not taking personal ownership of racism in our country’s past is akin to “denying the consequences of centuries of racist harm” is rather disingenuous, no?
Regardless of my ideology, the objective is justice. It’s not “conservative” justice or “progressive” justice. It’s simply justice. So if my ideology leads me astray, and the solutions I propose are inadequate to the enormity of the task, it’s my moral obligation to rethink my philosophical frame.
Finally, it is vital to approach the immense challenge of racial justice with an extraordinary amount of humility. Christians should not be so easily triggered by words that sound “progressive” or which they believe might be “inspired by CRT.” A movement that long derided the “snowflakes” on the other side now reacts as if allegedly offensive pastoral word choice is a microaggression all its own.
Moreover, no one person—no matter how intellectually or spiritually formidable—has discerned the single best way for our nation to “act justly” after so very many years of oppression. So approaching this topic requires grace. Every one of us will be wrong to some degree.
But even in the midst of all this complexity, some things are still clearly true. We still live with the legacy of the discriminatory structures our forefathers created. Our obligation to seek justice does not depend on a finding of personal fault. Christians must be open to truth from any source. And there is nothing—absolutely nothing—“conservative” about denying the reality of the consequences of centuries of intentional, racist harm.
But what’s “conservative” about giving credibility to the decidedly unjust tenets of Critical Race Theory? Because that’s definitely what French has done, if not explicitly in this particular piece, but in his support for Critical Race Theory education in schools.
In 2017, you said critical race theory was "racial poison" that "leads to sheer cruelty and malice," describing it as a cult-like movement that uses bullying, intimidation, and harassment to enforce its orthodoxy.
Now you want to institutionalize it in schools and churches. pic.twitter.com/9hcFLZURA8
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) July 26, 2021
Chris, do you believe this is CRT? pic.twitter.com/J3FPUzW6JH
— Chloé S. Valdary 📚 (@cvaldary) July 26, 2021
This sounds a bit CRT-ish, if we’re being honest:
This is… we all contribute to racism unknowingly? pic.twitter.com/qcVPGa4skQ
— Coherent Chemist (@CoherentChemist) July 26, 2021
"These effects are so embedded in our system that powerful people often perpetuate those structures even when they lack any racist intent at all." This is the essence of CRT.
— John S Penn (@johnsamuelpenn) July 26, 2021
There’s nothing inherently wrong with confronting racial injustice. In fact, it’s incredibly important to do so. But there are ways to do it without looking to intersectionality for guidance.
French himself used to understand that:
May I offer this rebuttal?https://t.co/AZn6PFZhIC
— Nathaniel Wright and History (@NateAndHist) July 26, 2021
Bitten by your own snake. https://t.co/FSMMFwGaK8
— Tom Garrett (@TheAxisOfEgo) July 25, 2021
French gains nothing by lending credence to Critical Race Theory, but he loses a great deal.
Hard pass. https://t.co/TtDsRYnrai
— Barrington Martin II (@_BarringtonII) July 26, 2021
I think my fundamental objection here is that we are redefining 'racism' to say that it can exist without any individual malign intent. Indirectly propagating a racial disparity is *not* racism. Misusing words is driving a huge wedge in communication across the political aisle.
— John Wetterstrand (@j_wetterstrand) July 26, 2021
I don’t, in general, have a beef with what Mr French wrote here. However, he speaks as if those on the other side are believers who are behaving in good faith to “solve” racism. Many on the other side are not remotely interested in racial harmony.
— Jeff Townsend (@JeffTownsend4) July 25, 2021
In fact, many on “the other side” persist in sowing the seeds of racial discord because they thrive on chaos and unrest.
Someone should do a deep dive on "how we lost David French" as an expose on the conservative intellectual movement in general.
It is not as in tatters as some fear but it needs a clear eyed "this is how we got here"
— Karl Smith (@karlbykarlsmith) July 26, 2021
The people who have abandoned conservatism sure do a lot of lecturing about what is conservative. https://t.co/5I9y90UaxB
— American Journalists Publish Chinese Propaganda (@JohnEkdahl) July 25, 2021