Critical Race Theory, at its most basic, is a body of thought based on the notion that racism is normal and can be found in all segments of law, culture, school and business. In other words, racism must be systemic for the ideas and remedies of critical race theory to be valid. If something is systemic, it should be easily quantifiable. The problem with critical race theory is that it does not identify any attribute of any system that can be deemed racist. It simply says that the system is racist based on the economic outcomes of Black Americans. The question is, Are the economic outcomes for Black Americans based on race?
Racism Cannot Be The Cause Of Black Economic Disparity
At the end of the Civil War, Blacks were in 100% poverty. Go forward 100 years and that poverty rate was only 34% by 1968. That means that under Jim Crow, without Civil Rights, and with no programs, Blacks decreased their own poverty by 66%… at an average rate of 33% every 50 years. What is amazing is that from 1959 to 1966 the Black poverty feel from 55% to 41.8% according to the U.S. Census. That is a 13.3% drop in the heart of the Civil Rights protests! Black poverty would linger near the low 30% rate until 1995, when in the midst of an economic boom, the Black poverty rate would finally fall below 30% to 29.3%. Black poverty would stay around the mid 20% until 2015 and would not show any signficant movement until 2018 and 2019. Today, those gains have been reversed by Covid-19.
If racism was the most significant factor in Black economic outcomes. the dramatic reduction in Black poverty would have been impossible under Jim Crow and without Civil Rights. The fact that Black improvement was more robust under legal discrimination ellinates races as a deciding factor. The fact that the acquiring of Civil Rights and the ellimination of Jim Crow did not increase the rate of Black progress means that systemic racism plays no factor in Black disparity. For the foundation of critical race theory to be true, Black poverty would not have improved at a greater rate before 1968 only to slow down dramatically after Civil Rights were won. The 13.3% decrease in Black poverty certainly would have been impossible from 1959 to 1966 under legal racial discrimination.
Facts matter, and the facts point to the impossibility of the existence of systemic racism. Finally, the assertion that systemic racism is there to benefit a White power structure and that White privilege maintains a White advantage, U.S. Census data proves this is also false. White poverty rates have been flat since 1968. It has lingered at around 10% for the last 50 years. If the “system” is rigged in favor of Whites, why has White privilege failed to make any difference in White poverty rates? The White poverty rate was 10% in 1968. The White poverty rate was 9.1% in 2019. Poor Blacks have made 10 times plus improvement over poor Whites. Where is the privilege in that?