Letter to the editor: We must understand the social construction of race in order to grow | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: We must understand the social construction of race in order to grow

Elizabeth Adrian


Critical race theory is a tool to help us understand our society. It acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation. Critical race theory is essential, and I am proud that my children have the opportunity to attend a school district where this sort of ongoing work is being practiced in our community.

Critical race theory recognizes that racism is codified in law, embedded in structures and woven into public policy and that the systemic nature of racism is mainly responsible for reproducing racial inequality. It grew out of critical legal studies, which argued that the law was not objective or apolitical.

Many can recall images of troops escorting nine Black students to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Or Ruby Bridges being escorted into a New Orleans Elementary School by armed guards six years after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated racially segregated education in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Those moments are just snapshots of the intersection of racism, the law and the education system.

Most of our nation’s systems and structures — including the legal system — were created when people of color were denied full participation in American society. The hope in critical race theory is in its recognition that the same policies, structures and scholarship that can function to disenfranchise and oppress so many also hold the potential to emancipate and empower many.

I can only hope my children are able to experience academic realities where critical race theory is implemented. We need to understand the social construction of race in order to grow as a community and as a nation.




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