Proponents of critical race theory continue to frame resistance to it in the classroom as racist. In an interview with Education Week, Margaret Thornton, an assistant professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia, characterized opposition to critical race theory as a “whitelash” and a “racist attempt to silence educators.” She insists that in spite of these attacks, she’ll keep teaching the “truth about oppression” in the United States.
The problem with this sort of attack is that there’s a lot more to critical race theory than just teaching historical oppression such as slavery or Jim Crow. It’s this “more” that should worry parents of any race, especially parents of aspiring entrepreneurs.
Of particular concern: Critical race theory activists often reject the idea of individuality. In her blockbuster critical race theory book White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo rejects the “ideolog[y] of individualism.” What does she mean by individualism? “Briefly, individualism holds that we are each unique and stand apart from others, even those within our social groups.”
The problem is that an individualistic streak is essential to being an entrepreneur. In ” Individualism: A Deeply American Philosophy ,” Patrick Carroll and Dan Sanchez pointed out that the greatest entrepreneurs in U.S. history were deeply individualistic. They were “mold-breakers.”
This individualistic mindset was perfectly captured by Steve Jobs with Apple’s 1997-2002 ” Think Different ” ad campaign. But if you’re told that it’s wrong to see yourself as “unique” or “standing apart” from your social group, what are the odds that you’re going to grow up to think differently?
The odds get even lower when you factor in how critical race theory is actually taught. If the essence of entrepreneurship is “think different,” the core of critical race theory might be described as “make sure you think like us.”