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Notes on "critical race theory" Notes on "critical race theory"
by Joseph Gatt
2021-03-25 06:12:45
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I'll start with the conclusion. You don't solve ethnic or racial problems by criticizing the system. You solve ethnic and racial problems by winning at the system.

That is, over the last 30 years, a lot of academia has been about criticizing the status quo, with little or no solutions to the status quo.

That is, what a lot of scholars do is criticize the government, nations, individuals, the legal, economic or social system for all sorts of evils, without clearly providing solutions to those problems. All scholars do is described, in often vague, ambiguous and subjective ways social, racial or economic injustices in any country.

rac00001_400_01So you have socialists criticizing “banks” and “the government” for not caring about the “poor” and “working class.” But those socialists don't come up with solutions to lift the working class out of poverty and into the middle class.

Then you have “critical race theory” which has it that ethnic minorities are the victims of an economic system that excludes them from being rich and equal, and a legal and social system that excludes ethnic minorities from enjoying peace, happiness and prosperity.

Critical race theory of often vaguely worded, and clear examples, specific examples, clear statistics or a nationwide perspective are never provided. It's always “the banks” and “the law” and “the government.”

BUT, over the last 30 to 40 years, rather than solve racial, ethnic and poverty problems, all academia did (along with politicians) was point fingers, shame, bully and criticize. All that while asking for token gestures, such as appointing ethnic minorities to powerful positions to show that something is being done about racism or sexism or poverty.

My view is rather than criticize the system for breeding racism, sexism and poverty, I would try to fund programs that lift people out of poverty, that empower ethnic minorities and poor people, and that give them a shot to participate as equals in the economy.

What kinds of programs? That could be professional training programs that all people can attend. That could be training in soft-skills like resume writing and cover letter writing and job application skills. That could be training in some of the more difficult skills like computer software, coding or languages, including improving your English language skills if you live in the United States or Canada.

Other programs could include social events where people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and genders mix. That could be job fairs, cultural events, art expositions, music concerts, sporting events, or simply Special Interest Groups that get together to discuss certain topics, ranging anywhere from the Bible to financial and investment banking to hiking to ballet dancing.

That's where I'd put funds. Not in programs where people with Ph.D.s go around companies and government offices to give workshops and seminars that spit venom at the system, describing in vague terms how racist and sexist the system is.

Point is, if you're White, people are going to call you names at some point. If you're of African descent, people are going to call you names. If you're rich, people are going to call you names. If you're poor people are going to call you names. If you've never read a book, people are going to call you names. If you've read an entire library, people are going to call you names.

True, there is racial inequality, gender inequality and economic inequality in Europe and North America, and the inequalities have lasted for years. But pointing fingers will only make the problem last and endure.

The problem is cyclical. People in low-income neighborhoods pay fewer taxes, there are not enough funds for schools, school kids get neglected, neglected school kids have trouble going to college or finding jobs, and the once-neglected school kids don't get jobs, don't make money, don't pay taxes, and schools still get no funding.

So the idea would be to start programs where neglected school kids can learn a trade or two, or at least be conscious of the fact that life is about getting a job, working hard and making a living. And not hanging out in the streets with friends all day doing nothing, smoking spiffs, or dealing drugs, or engaging in some kind of trafficking. Or just idling around.

What about people who work three jobs and can't make ends meet? Most people who work three jobs and can't make it are people who work in low-skilled service jobs. In the old days you could get three gigs waiting tables at cafés, restaurants and pubs and earn a very decent living, and I knew some guys who saved their paychecks and lived off tips.

But given housing prices these days, you can no longer work 4 waiter jobs and earn a decent living. So the idea would be to give those guys and girls some kind of training program that would get them into a stable, middle-income job.

My old friends who were stuck with three jobs waiting tables eventually realized that waiting tables was not enough in terms of wages, so my friends joined the police force, or became fire fighters, got a truck driver's license and drove trucks, or joined a training program in security and became security guards. All jobs that pay decent enough, stable enough wages.

What about microaggressions? They exist. I was a teacher, and some students liked to poke my nerves, and I pretended not to understand. I just moved on.

The opposite of microaggressions could be something I like to call “romantic hints” or “hook up cues.” I was a teacher and I got a lot of those as well. Again, pretended not to hear anything, kept a poker face, and taught all the way to the end. Students (usually female students) would leave notes with their phone numbers on them, and I'd ignore those as well.

Point is, life isn't just microagresssions, it can also be “hook-up cues” or it can be “simple conversation.”

Are ethnic minorities more likely to be the victims of microaggressions? There is no evidence of that. I've seen all kinds of people being the victims of microaggressions, and microaggressions are usually a form of “keeping distances” and “avoiding hasty friendships.”

Microaggressions can also be used to assert authority, and are used by all people regardless of ethnicity, gender or economic background. I've had women hint at me via a deluge of microaggressions that they were the ones in charge. I've had people of African descent hint at me via a long game of microaggressions that they were in their home, when they were technically in my living room. And I've had “White” people come to my place and hint via microaggressions that I was the one being the guest in my own turf.

Those were my half-a-cent on the issue.

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