I remember visiting a particular house with a rainbow flag. There have actually been many, but this one comes to mind. I like rainbows. They are pretty. They're meaningful in the Bible in a good way. When that flag flies on a house today, I'm critical in my mind and heart. I don't like what it stands for. The person who came to the door was a woman with a man's hair cut, who also dressed and talked like a man. I was kind to this person, and we could talk, but I was critical, based upon scripture.
You know, I know, you can't be critical today about what is obvious according to scripture. You are required to be silent to a lot of aberrant appearance and behavior, that is easy to see. So little is good that when you do see something that looks biblical, it's extraordinary. For awhile, society has instructed toleration. No one knows enough or has the authority to say something is wrong. No one knows the truth.
In one sense, the church has lead in capitulating to the loss of meaning. Almost nothing is sacred anymore. Music is amoral. The roles of men and women have become a mystery. The one thing you know is that you don't want anyone to be offended or feel bad about almost anything. In this vacuum of meaning, critical theory steps in. Where the church embraces little to no authority to judge almost anything, especially in cultural issues, a new caste of secular experts claims the ability, and is judging with certainty and harshness.
As I grew up in a first generation Christian home, my parents would not allow foul language, which even included forbiddance of minced oaths, words short for the longer profane term. At a certain point very early in my life, I just was not going to speak these prohibited words. The present culture in many places in the United States requires avoiding the expression of a new list of vocabulary. Rather than the historic encouragement of a clean mouth, a new movement has arisen that requires public shaming, firing, canceling, or even other forms of violent punishment for having said something racist, sexist, or homophobic. Devastating consequences could result from even inadvertent violation of a new speech code.
You may see yourself as not a racist, which you might define in your mind as equal treatment or opportunity to all races and not judging someone by the color of his skin. You didn't know that racism is undetectable to any one except for an expert trained in a critical method to decide if someone or something is racist. This expert is "woke," meaning that he is awakened to what is invisible to you. He has an ability to spot racism, like a Geiger counter picks up radioactivity. His expertise at this critical method enables him to know not just what someone says, but what he meant by what he said. He sees things that you can't see, so it is essential that you just admit you were wrong when they say you were wrong and to confess that you're racist, when they say that you really are racist or have a white privilege.
My title asks, what is critical race theory? What is the basis for these "critics" of "racism"? Their basis is not the Bible, the basis for criticism of premoderns. It isn't science or reason, the basis for modernism. Their basis is "theory." No one should consider theory to be a basis of criticism. Theorists have been imbedded in universities for awhile now, giving the impression of authority. They have tenure. Now they also have some very loud and extreme followers. They expect their ideas to be heard, allowed, and adhered to. Their critical theories, one of which is race, are now even considered the truth.
The theory is that white males are racist. This is not based on the Bible, theology, or science. It is theory. White males either don't know they're racist or they can't judge that they are. They are not the experts, the purveyors of theory. The can't know what they can't know.
Opponents of critical race theory won't call it liberal. Classic liberalism encourages free speech. Much speech is not tolerated by critical race theory. Therefore, disputants of critical race theory call it leftist, leftist ideology.
When you hear, "critical race theory," it sounds like something difficult to understand. It sounds smart, something proposed by a PhD, deeply read and researched. It isn't. It is hard to understand, because it isn't based upon truth. It's nothing you'll figure out through objective analysis. It is subjective. It is relativistic.
Without a true, valid, or objective basis, critical race theorists invent whatever criteria suits them to prosecute their targets or victims. Since they believe that race and gender are only social constructs invented by power and the use of language, they apply these methods to construct their own reality on the world.