Sunday, August 08, 2021

Premise



This is a reasonable question. It's also answered, by the very words of someone clearly defending critical race theory while claiming it doesn't exist.

 

At :36 of the complete video of the topic aired on Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, the host asks each of his two guests to explain what he believes constitutes Critical Race Theory.

After Ben Shapiro gives his explanation, Malcolm Nance (at 2:34) maintains

It's not just African-Americans, right, it's also the Scalp Act of 1749, where for 300 modern dollars you had to cut off the head or the hair of an Indian to prove that you've got them out of the way so they could settle. That's a little bit of American history that people should know about. The Chinese exclusion acts of the 1840s. These are things we don't talk about.

That's inaccurate. The Scalp Act of 1749 was an act (rescinded a few years later) imposed by the British colonial government.  The law to which Nance refers dates to 1756 and the government of Pennsylvania.

That's not a trivial error, or at least not off-topic, because Critical Race Theory pertains to American government. Making today's Americans feel guilty, or accept accountability,  for the past applies to what the American- not British- government is responsible for.

It's hard to evaluate Shapiro's reply, that in fact we do talk about it, because Nance never made it clear whom the "we" is..

Nonetheless, Nance had suggested that Shapiro and/or others would like to erase history and  responsibility for it. That was a harbinger of his remark that demonstrated that, contrary to Pe's implication, proponents of Critical Race Theory are intent on making individuals (potential allies) feel guilty. At 3:31, Nance began an answer with

You know, when my great-great-grandfather ran away from slavery to join the 111th U.S. Colored Troops and fight against the south keeping human beings as slaves, he didn't think, you know what, in 150 years my great-great-grandson's gonna have to sit on stage and argue with a guy who thinks that's all right.

"A guy who thinks that's all right" is only slightly more diplomatic than I know that you actually support slavery. There was, and is, no indication that slavery pleases Ben Shapiro.  But there was Malcolm Nance claiming that Shapiro is so enamored of keeping human beings enslaved that Nance, as he put it, has to sit on stage to argue otherwise.

Supporters of Critical Race Theory have not denied that guilt is a fundamental premise of Critical Race Theory. Transferring the sins of the father to the sons and daughters is an old and divisive strategy, and in this case likely to backfire.


 

 

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