The late historian John Henrik Clarke explained the dominant subculture’s preoccupation with manipulating history.

Modern racism incubated when Europeans “began manipulating history in the 15th century to justify the slave trade,” Clarke, a pioneer in Pan-African studies, said in an interview with Tony Brown on Brown’s eponymous show in the 1970s.

Critical race theory is a catchall for the study of American history and institutions as extensions of racial injustice that influence law, the economy and culture. Its detractors embody Clarke’s explanation, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt among them.

What has needed hiding, essentially from the country’s founding until today? Much of what critical race theory opponents still want hidden. It’s gruesome, but it’s our history.

Most of us learned, for example, about slave traders and slave owners, but never about slave breakers, who employed ghastly means to break the spirits of enslaved Africans. Slave breakers tortured husbands to death in front of pregnant wives, hoping to not only break the spirit of the woman but intending to funnel fear into the unborn child. Slave breakers also sliced the unborn from their mother’s wombs and killed them in front of their fathers.

“You cannot enslave a man and say he is a human being,” Clarke said.

“The American Slave Trade,” by John R. Spears, “From Slavery to Freedom,” by John Hope Franklin, “The Negro Family in the United States,” by E. Franklin Frazier, “Antislavery,” by Dwight Lowell Dumond and “Malcolm X on Afro-American History” all reference this process.

Could a society justifying this actually grant Black people equal rights?

It hasn’t, and attacking critical race theory offers ways to justify racial wealth and health gaps and other forms of socially engineered inequality.

Slavery begat sharecropping and convict leasing, during which people who’d been systematically denied jobs were arrested for vagrancy, imprisoned, and then worked to death.

African Americans endured segregation and a period of lynching that extended deep into the 20th century. Throngs attended lynchings. Some collected the victims’ skin and teeth as souvenirs. Others made postcards of the spectacle.

The Tulsa race massacre of 1921 wasn’t an outlier. Similar incidents happened in places like Wilmingon and Springfield, Mo.

That period gave way to housing discrimination.

Our government offered loans to white families moving from urban housing projects to new homes in publicly funded suburbs. Black families were explicitly denied such loans and couldn’t escape to better schools or build wealth through home ownership as the emerging white middle class did.

Richard Rothstein’s “The Color of Law” expertly detailed these practices, explaining that current housing patterns aren’t an accident, but the result of explicit government policy.

The bipartisan Kerner Commission Report in 1968 addressed these housing patterns. “What white Americans have never fully understood — but what the Negro can never forget — is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto,” the report read. “White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”

Those housing patterns still frustrate efforts at school integration and educational equality.

Many Americans are rightfully ashamed of this history. Others who don’t know — or who don’t care to know — are the people angered by Colin Kaepernick and others pursuing critical race theory-driven discussions.

But attempts by Schmidt and others to hide this history are misguided.

How do you evade prosecution for a crime?

Silence the witnesses.

Critical race theory’s only error is its name. It isn’t a theory at all. It represents the lived Black experience. And I haven’t mentioned red-lining, environmental racism (Flint, Mich.), police terror, mass incarceration or how the government typically rammed interstate highways through Black communities.

Race remains an organizing principle in America. Any racial reckoning requires an understanding of this fundamental fact. From the Three-fifths Compromise, to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott ruling that enslaved people had “no rights the white man was bound to respect,” to today.

Yes, we’ve revised the Constitution and no, Scott is no longer precedent. But there’s much more to do and critical race theory is a part of that healing process.

We don’t arrive at truth until suffering speaks.

Critical race theory opponents — some of whom also are whitewashing the Jan. 6 insurrection — want to keep their knees on truth’s neck, hoping to silence the horrors and suffering of the past.

The maintenance of our current status quo depends on it.

Mark McCormick is the former executive director of The Kansas African American Museum and a former newspaper columnist.

(32) comments

David Collins

Slavery is alive and well today . Can’t mention that . Only slavery in the US is allowed to be touched on to any degree . Not meant to be divisive , just divisive . By accident I am sure .

noitall

Who is the most racist racist??

mpjeep

Yes, but things are changing quickly.

Governments, universities, and corporations ensure that “people of color” prioritize hiring and promotion efforts. Merit, achievement, and potential are now rejected as a gauge for personnel selection. Skin color is now the primary formula of worth.

The privilege of “people of color” covered by labels such as “equity” and “social justice.”

Hate against whites is now institutionalized in America, taught in schools, and enforced in the streets by BLM and Antifa.

mpjeep

This strategy of race extremism has been adopted by the Democrat Party to establish itself as the single party exclusively controlling the United States. The ancient political strategy of “divide and conquer” may win for the Democrat Party.

mpjeep

Slavery hasn’t been around since Lincoln, and most of our families moved here well after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

Yet whites are accused of maintaining Black subjugation and preventing them from full participation in America’s wealth.

We are told that Jim Crow and ongoing discrimination hold the Black folks back, and we must be made to undo the injustice.

Many Democrat politicians have destroyed work ethics and Black families, providing many with an excuse for failure and a reason for not trying.

The doors of opportunity have been opened for all races. All a person has to do is get off their rear ends, set their goals, and go for it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and blaming someone else.

If you feel like a victim and want someone else to pay for your failures, then that is all you will ever be.

World Peace, huh, how about US Peace. Now there’s a t-shirt for you, Forest.

Staff
webeditor

Comments designed to throw shade on other commenters will not be approved.

noitall

Censorship is the word. Thought police!!! Right. This comment will never make it It's your paper. Live with it. The rest of us will continue to express our thoughts.

noitall

Shade must be controlled. No shading permitted by this paper's law.

JusticeForAll

Well done article. Only by exposing and teaching the truth will we be able to move forward with fortitude to change.

Interesting choice of words by the editor not to throw "shade." I think there are some on these post well protected, judging by the number of times (in my own experience), that posts were not allowed.

Happy Juneteenth Day! About time.

drewski

There are several possible explanations for the editing done. the editors have an interest in keeping the threads from devolving into a verbal slug fest of personal attack.

The editors own bias plays some role, ie: they simply agree with some posters views and not others.

Some posters may have a connection to the editors, family/friend/employee.

It is totally arbitrary.

Personally I found the editorial well done and accurate, and some of the initial comments to be appalling with their oft repeated reconstuction era stereotypes.

noitall

CRT seems to be about black racism only - is this racist? Many other races are not even mentioned. Blacks did own slaves in Brazil at one time. SO???? who is the mostest racist.

mpjeep

"I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public."

Booker T. Washington

drewski

Well that explains it then, there is no racism, no long history of inequality, no pattern of anything. Race baiting blacks is the real issue.

Who knew it was all so simple?

drewski

“A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ( of fox news viewers)

― Booker T. Washington

mpjeep

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while Trying to succeed.” Booker T Washington

DeadBolt

Were it not for the FACT that every bit of this subject , targeting the 'black only' community has a distinct marker, that their ANCESTORS SOLD THEM OFF IN THE BEGINNING , and is still done today in countries inside of Africa, already is a course of FACTUAL STUDY IN HISTORY WITH EXPERTS, not some poppycock fairy tale fiction of the truth which has been discredited , and even walked back by 2-3 of the perps, it may bear a glance. However it DOES NOT HOLD A TRUTH, AND HAS NO REDEEMABLE QUALITY, furthermore, American society has an obligation to NOT LIE TO OUR CHILDREN , ALL OF OUR CHILDREN , REGARDLESS OF THEIR ANCESTRY , OR THEIR FEELINGS , TO EDUCATE THEM WITH FACT, and if they want to read 'fiction' and interpret it as the truth , by way of ANY SCHOOL BOARD posing as educator, then its time to CORRECT THE LIARS NOW.

drewski

It is a serious distortion to suggest they were sold by their ancestors. the ones sold were captured prisoners from different tribes. Therefore not their ancestors. Some were sold ( by other Africans)to the slave traders, some were captured. Neither fact has any bearing on US history. i do agree children should be taught the true facts, many of them are just not pretty. perhaps thats why CRT is so threatening to some folks?

noitall

Do not forget Pres Andrew Jackson's genocide, The Seventh Cavalry. in revenge mode for Custer's failures. Sadly Indians were slaves to there own well thought out culture religion and misplaced trust in the white man. But we found a way to become part of this society. Time for the blacks to get over it. I am Pawnee so don't over react..

David Collins

You mean to say that when humanoids appeared on the African continent they just “ puff “ appeared in the form of many different tribes ? No commonality at all ? Highly doubtful , having read a bit about human history in my life . That was back when the subject was actually taught by learnedly folks , not wet behind the ears idealists looking to make a name for themselves and change the world .

But then , perhaps visitors from another world had a hand in it ? Equally doubtful . Just human evolution with common ancestors . Just like the Europeans and the rest of the world .

This subject gets sillier by the day . Leave it to the pseudo academics looking for a cause , even if they have to invent one . They have proven that they can do just that .

drewski

Well, using that logic they were sold by your ancestors.

dc

For whatever reason the writer seemingly has a need to keep the race hate going. He's right about not "theory" but actual "experience" which can't be erased. The cruelty of slavery is a fact of life. There have been lots of other cruelties among and between the various races and experiences culminating in where we find ourselves today. What is also a fact is slavery was abolished long ago and "progress" though slow coming should be recognized and praised. At least some of the "progress" has been detrimental rather than helpful. No race has been helped more by another race than the African-American (AA) race has been helped by the Anglo-European-American (AEA) race in this country. It's about time ALL Americans put the past behind us and put America first if we want the country to survive in a dangerous and unforgiving world. We need to also recognize there are other races in this country besides AA and AEA.

drewski

"the writer seemingly has a need to keep the race hate going"

I did not see any hate in the article, unless you mean some folks just hate to hear the truth? The focus on actual slavery and Jim crow as long in the past, therefore ancient history and irrelevant to today is a convienent dismissal.

mpjeep

Bill Maher, a big-time Democratic donor, said it's "a brain disorder that strikes liberals and makes them incapable of recognizing Progress. It’s like situational blindness.” "This is one of the big problems with Wokeness," that what you say doesn't have to make sense or jive with the facts or even be challenged lest the challenge is conflated with racism.”

DeadBolt

Minnesota school board meeting 9-year-old confronts district over blm posters

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkJSMT9t0J4&t=138s

mpjeep

One of the best speeches I've heard in a long time. What an articulate young lady. She took this school board to task, and they were so dumbfounded, they didn’t know how to respond.

drewski

Quoting black folks and liberals to make you points does not confer extra credibility. Lets quote a white well known commentator about what is really being said. No sense pretending is there?

Far-right talk radio host Michael Savage took conservatives’ latest moral panic to a bonkers new level during a Monday night Newsmax appearance, warning that the teaching of so-called “critical race theory” in schools is akin to “exactly what was done to the Jews in Germany” and is the “road to the death camps” for white people.

There you have it.

This is the nonsense the far right espouses.

dc

One can only guess that some are looking for never-ending revenge. Therefore, it keeps the race hate going.

mpjeep

Enough is enough. More has been done for the black population than any other segment of society. It is time for them to take responsibility for their own lives. Stay in school, learn job skills, clean up their act, and stand on their own.

mpjeep

This is the nonsense the far left espouses. (from a cartoon of the day, but a lot of truth)

Covid-19, Border Crisis, Terrorist, Drug Cartel, Human Trafficking, Kids in Cages, Disease, Fentanyl, Crime.

Biden: Hold on, guys, I have a card to read: White Supremacy is the biggest threat to America.

dc

His not so shrewd attempt of connecting dots in next to last paragraph says all you need to know about Marxist race projection beyond reality.

Staff
webeditor

This thread is now closed.

noitall

WOWEE BATMAN!! CLOSED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.

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