This article was originally published in the The Jerusalem Post on March 28th, 2023, written by Adam Milstein.
We need to build alliances between Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Hindus.
America was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. Our society flourished based on the unique atmosphere of religious tolerance, which was very different from Europe and other parts of the world. These fundamental principles are now threatened by Critical Race Theory (CRT), and its related ideologies, which present a danger to the values underlying a thriving America – and potentially, to its faith-based communities.
Once considered to be fringe subject matter to be studied as theory, CRT and its spin-offs ideologies such as intersectionality, which argues marginalized and oppressed groups must come together to fight against other groups perceived as their oppressors, are now used as lenses to view America and the world. These ideologies have been rubber stamped by educational institutions, corporate America, major brands, the entertainment industry, and the media.
At its core, the idea behind intersectionality and CRT seems positive – helping oppressed communities to stand up for themselves and regain their voice. But when you see how this ideology is applied in practice, it erodes the core principles that make our country exceptional, such as America’s commitment to individual rights and equality, rule of law, tolerance, pluralism, due process, freedom of speech, and free-market capitalism.
CRT and intersectionality classifies all people as undivided members of identity groups who lack individualism, and independence from their ethnicity, gender, and/or sexuality. It promotes “us” vs. “them” structures that are infecting our politics and puts “victimhood” at the center – the more “oppressed” you are, the greater your cultural and social capital is.
Perhaps the greatest targets of CRT are people of faith – Christians, Jews, and others whose values fall outside the CRT framework.
Here are a few reasons why the ideology of CRT/intersectionality is particularly harmful for faith based communities and as such for America:
CRT disparages proven principles – often rooted in faith – that have made America successful and discourages the development of new, worthy ideas.
Christians and Jews are generalized as structurally exclusive and discriminatory. This is a major catalyst, and a convenient excuse, for hate against these groups. Jews, for example are being generally labeled as a group of white, nationalists’ oppressors which caused an exponential rise in antisemitism since intersectionality was born.
In CRT’s search for “equity”, religious communities, regardless of the individual views and beliefs of their members, are lumped together as oppressive institutions that need to be radically remade if not dismantled.
CRT demonizes success, arguing that achievement is the product of exploitation and also undermines free speech and enforces ideological conformity by forcefully shutting down views and opinions that put the individual in the center, and encourages individual accountability and responsibility.
One of the core tenets of CRT and intersectionality is that a society based on “meritocracy” is inherently white supremacist. For America to continue to flourish, excellence should be rewarded, not used as ammo in cultural wars and ideological debates.
AP classes are being eliminated, grades are disappearing from schools, and SAT scores for college admission are going extinct. For decades these metrics have helped assess students’ individual abilities and tailor programs for their specific needs and talents. Meritocratic excellence, familiar to faith-based communities, is being systematically replaced with Marxist-inspired equity.
CRT pits group against group and foments hatred for the “other”.
Understanding that all people have the power and resources to fulfill their potential, regardless of their ethnic background, is imperative for a diverse society to flourish. Individuals are capable of great evil, great courage, and everything in between. An oppressor/oppressed binary pits people against people, without distinction.
Efforts by radical left activists in shaping California’s ethnic studies curriculum demonstrates how CRT/intersectionality functions in the school system. Jews and Asians, although minorities and regardless of their individual achievements and life circumstances, are considered “white adjacent” and are therefore beneficiaries of the white power structure and contribute to the oppression of people of color. This framework disallows merit, the complexity of American society, and causes bigotry and ignorance.
Americans who choose to prioritize traditional values, are seen as “oppressor adjacent” and promoters of a “white supremacist” ideal. The result is that instead of leading to a more equal and better society under CRT/intersectionality the oppressors become oppressed, and the cycle of hate continues.
America is too diverse, complex, and open-hearted to be pitting fellow Americans against each other. It goes against the ethos of America’s “Golden Rule” of interpersonal respect and tolerance.
America was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. We built a society rooted in religious tolerance. The spread of CRT is a danger to every person of faith. We need to build alliances between Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and everyone who believes in objective right and wrong, and the traditional values on which this country is built.