In my latest discussion with Dr. Todd Littleton on Patheological, we take a deeper dive into the social construction of race thesis, exploring its many implications. We discuss how the social construction thesis necessitates many of the other commonplaces of Critical Race Theory, including differential racialization, intersectionality, and the embedded nature of racism in American society.
Let us know what you think! We’d appreciate any feedback, including critique, to help us cover the topics and questions most on listeners’ minds.
Link to audio: “Common Places: A Conversation with Brad Mason“
And if you need to catch up:
Link to Part 1: “The Dangers of Mediating Ideas: A Conversation with Bradly Mason“
Link to Part 2: “When the Law Does Not Deliver: A Conversation with Bradly Mason”
Link to Part 3: “Can Two Walk Together? More with Bradly Mason on CRT“
So, what is Critical Race Theory (CRT)? Answering this question can be difficult. As Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw has written, “the notion of CRT as a fully unified school of thought remains a fantasy of our critics.”
Nevertheless, CRT founders and practitioners like Crenshaw, Mari Matsuda, Charles Lawrence III, Richard Delgado, Devon Carbado, and others, have offered explicit answers to “What is critical race theory?” (See Words That Wound, pp. 2 – 3, Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge, pp. 4 – 6, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, pp. 8 – 10, and “Critical What What,” pp. 1607 – 1615.)
The following are their suggested “tenets,” or as I prefer, “commonplaces,” ordered and presented more or less thematically. Their own words, quoted verbatim, are included in the footnote for each commonplace.
Prelude: Our Aim
As fears of Critical Race Theory (CRT) spread across the United States—including within US churches—many of us find the common descriptions of CRT unrecognizable. What is CRT, really? Dr. Nathan Luis Cartagena and I, Bradly Mason, have developed this series of dialogs, or “chop sessions,” to answer this and related questions.
Our goal is fourfold: (1) Accurately present CRT, situating it in the movement’s historical context; (2) relate CRT to our shared faith; (3) explore CRT’s impact on our own lives within our own differing social locations; and (4) help other brothers and sisters interact honestly and redemptively in our deeply racialized and stratified culture. ¡Bendiciones en Cristo!
Explanation about Chop Sessions Two and Three
Conjunto: We ended our last post promising to discuss some of our favorite CRT works in the next chop session. But since publishing that post, many have voiced their surprise about our not mentioning Ibram X. Kendi or Robin DiAngelo in a session answering the question “What is CRT?” Because this series es para el pueblo—“for the people”—we’ve decided to change course and use the next two chop sessions to explain why Kendi and DiAngelo did not appear in our first post, and why, apart from those sessions, they’re unlikely to appear in the rest of the series.
This chop session will focus on Kendi. The next one will focus on DiAngelo. Enjoy!