Foes of Critical Race Theory warn that the only way to defeat the menace of CRT is through political activism, fundraising and a cascade of litigation.
There is a far simpler solution, and one that promises better success in the long run. It can be achieved through three simple words: “I am non-racial.”
Identifying as non-racial is morally right, politically expedient, socially advantageous and it has the added benefit of conforming one’s identity to the racial reality of America.
Most of us were taught when we were young that it was immoral to judge people according to their race. Martin Luther King’s famous hope and dream “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” is well-known throughout the nation.
Critical Race Theory teaches a contrary vision of morality. It deliberately rejects the goal of a race-blind society. Authors of one textbook on CRT express their “deep dissatisfaction with traditional civil rights discourse.” They wish to replace it with an “explicit embrace of race-consciousness,” especially “among African-American and other peoples of color.”
The moral choice is clear: Either we are aiming for a society where race no longer matters, or we are aiming for a society where race consciousness predominates. If the lessons we imbibed when we were young were correct, then refusing to identify as any race is the next logical step toward achieving true racial justice and harmony.
The march of CRT would stop dead in its tracks if Americans would stop volunteering any answer to the question of racial identity beyond “non-racial.”
Obviously, not everyone would benefit in the short term from the “non-racial” category. Currently, students, applicants, and workers who officially identify as historically-marginalized races reap tangible benefits in admission, hiring and professional advancement. In the long run, however, even those who now stand to benefit from the current brand of racialism will see the benefits of working towards a truly post-racial society.
Over the same period that CRT has achieved institutional hegemony in America, race relations have gotten much worse. As Charles Murray has shown, in just seven years — between 2013 and 2020 — “Americans’ perceptions of race relationships had gone from solidly optimistic to solidly pessimistic.”
Correlation is not always causation, but in this case it is. Racial discord is not an unintended consequence of CRT; it is its lifeblood. As reductionist history, CRT teaches that America’s past and its essence are tethered to the unremitting march of white supremacy. As a reductionist political agenda, CRT teaches that underprivileged races must seize and redistribute the property and power hitherto accumulated by whites.
This teaching not only stokes racial competition, enmity, and grievance, it cannot survive without them. Just as Marxism is sustained by class conflict, CRT feeds off of racial conflict. If total racial harmony were ever achieved in this country — if all Americans of every race were ever to clasp hands in brotherly love — CRT would wither away and die.
The more that this hyper-racialized theory takes hold in our country, the more it drives a wedge between us and our in-laws, nephews, nieces and neighbors.
CRT recognizes that race is “socially constructed (the idea of biological race is ‘false’).” Nevertheless, race has always been very “real” as an instrument of power.
By refusing to identify as any race, we can stop this madness. Choosing to be non-racial conforms to racial reality in this country. Most Americans, looking backwards toward their ancestors, see a mélange of nationalities, ethnicities, and races. Looking sideways, our own families are more racially diverse than ever before. Peering into the future, racial categorizations in America will become ever more absurd with every generation. It’s high time that our self-identities matched our objective reality.
Of course, we can expect that the same people who agree that race lacks any objective reality will also resist any attempts to banish self-identifications by race. Won’t it be ironic if the folks who insist that individuals be given the option to select “non-binary” when asked to choose between male and female are the same folks who object to the choice of “non-racial” when asked to choose a mere social construct?
Forcing schoolchildren to confess to “white privilege” is the poisonous fruit of CRT. But the noxious weed invading our schools spreads underground, and parents could cut it off at the roots if they took the simple expedient of refusing to allow their children to be classified by race from the outset.
Parents, remember, whenever you are asked to identify a race for you or your children, the most ethical and judicious answers are “Decline to answer,” “Other,” or “Non-racial.” Teach your children while they are yet babes: You are non-racial. Inoculate them early against the disease of racialism that has infected the schools, the universities and the workplace. Don’t let anyone else saddle them with a racialized identity that will haunt them throughout their lives.
Lynn Uzzell is Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University. She specializes in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the political thought of James Madison.