In a strongly worded open letter, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Greater New York – a civic body advocating for the empowerment of Chinese-Americans – condemned Critical Race Theory (CRT) as damaging to society and inimical to the interests of its constituency.
CRT is an increasingly influential school of thought in social sciences which examines society in terms of what it posits are inherent racial power dynamics, with a stress on the omnipresent and malign role of white supremacy.
The organisation noted that while CRT is often used nominally as a framework for anti-racism sensitivity and diversity training, it argued that it is ‘racist, repressive, discriminatory, and divisive’.
It went on to detail a number of its characteristics which the body found problematic: its roots in Marxism, its denial of individualism and agency, its insistence on equal outcomes, its ascription of various cultural traits to racial heritage, and culture and its willingness to silence dissent.
Although the organisation indicated that CRT was focussed on the destructive role of ‘whiteness’ in society, it warned that it was a grave threat to Americans of Chinese ancestry.
‘Chinese Americans are people of colour and therefore start from the oppressed side of CRT’s binary. But as we overcome discrimination and achieve upward mobility, we are now White by adjacency. In New York City, Black Lives Matter rioters with CRT signs assaulted our rally supporting merit-based education. We have come into CRT’s crosshair,’ it said.
The statement remarked that the primary field on which this was playing out was education, where disproportionately high-performing Asian applicants for positions in prestigious schools and universities were judged more strictly than other categories as they were deemed ‘overrepresented’.
It continued to warn that the intellectual framework underlying CRT would likely lead to conflict with high-performing immigrants too. This was a matter of concern to the Chinese-American community, but would not be confined to it, since the success of other immigrant communities – including, for example, those from West Africa – would likely make them targets.
It called on its supporters to counter CRT-directed indoctrination of their children, for legislators to be elected to recognised and were willing to act against it, and for legal action to challenge CRT-inspired policies.