Carl Trueman’s CRT, Part 2: The “Basic Claims” of Critical Race Theory Are Unargued Axioms?

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Yesterday we covered Trueman’s first claim, concluding that his purported “basic claims” show little awareness of either Critical Race Theory or the broader tradition within which it was developed. Today we move onto his second. (I will note that these posts are intended to be read in order; please see Part 1 for the general introduction to the series.)

2. The “basic claims” of CRT are “self-certifying,” they are “axioms,” and are “not conclusions drawn from argument.”

There are a couple ways to take this. We could take it to mean that the actual commonplaces of CRT are self-certifying axioms not drawn from argument, or we could take it to mean that what Trueman believes to be “basic claims” of CRT are self-certifying axioms not drawn from argument. If he means the former, I would first point him to the many thousands of pages of law review articles making the very arguments he believes are lacking. It is an incredulous, laughable claim, to be honest. If this is what he is suggesting, maybe he could begin with a Derrick Bell reader, then move on to some collections like Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings that Formed the Movement, then Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge. That would get him hundreds of articles into the vast literature making the supposedly non-existent arguments.

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