On September 2, 2021, Professor William Jacobson appeared on the Todd Herman radio show. Todd has been a great friend of Legal Insurrection for many years, including frequent shout-outs to Legal Insurrection when he was a substitute host for Rush Limbaugh.
The interview was long, almost 20 minutes, and was pretty clearly broken down into two distinct segments — the prosecution of Jan. 6 defendants in comparision to Black Lives Matter riots and looting, and second, Critical Race Theory.
Professor Jacobson covered the first of those topics in my prior post, No Comparison: Non-Violent BLM Protesters Treated More Leniently Than Non-Violent Jan. 6 Protesters. In this post, I cover CRT.
PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT – PART 2 – CRITICAL RACE THEORY
(Auto-generated, may contain transcription errors. Time stamps are approximate. Hyperlinks added.)
Todd Herman, Host of the “Todd Herman Show” (09:08):
… And speaking of critical race theory, you have devoted a lot of resources at LegaiInsurrection.com to really uncovering this. And we’re going to take a traffic break here in just a couple of minutes. So, let me just start with, why did you take your estimable focus and the resources of the Legal Insurrection Foundation, which, by the way, to which you can make a donation, why did you decide to focus so heavily on critical race theory?
William A. Jacobson, Cornell Law Clinical Professor and President, Legal Insurrection Foundation (09:04):
Well, it really was an outgrowth of my experience at Cornell University, where I teach at the law school. Where last summer in July, the president of the university announced that we were going to become an anti-racist campus and delegated authority to impose mandates on various students and faculty and staff. And I didn’t really understand what that meant. So I started to read up on it.
And one of the assigned books for the summer was Ibram Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist. It was available for free to people at Cornell, so free is free. So, I read it, and I was horrified. It is an explicit call for racial discrimination. It is really a horrible, horrible book that distorts what society is. And so that’s when I began to get interested in it. I was going to write an op-ed about it, an article. We started to research it. I started to realize it was bigger than I expected.
And then we rolled out, as you know, in February a website called CriticalRace.org, which organized all of our research about what’s going on in higher ed. And at CriticalRace.org, we have an interactive map that people can use. We have a lot of resources on K-12, along with higher education. So, I got interested in it because they forced me to be interested in it, by making it a focus on the campus.
As I’ve said, when you brought us Nicole Solas who fought back in Rhode Island. You now have, what was it, the unions tried to sue her. She slapped back at ‘em. They’re trying to get out of this. You brought us to this.
They picked the wrong professor. They picked the wrong woman in Rhode Island.
Let’s continue to talk about CriticalRace.org and the resources there, and what’s actually getting done, right after we check traffic at the right way. …
Professor William Jacobson is with us, LegalInsurrection.com, CriticalRace.org. And, professor, we could, I think, agree that there are forces within the United States, powerful forces, and I’ll name them. For instance, Frances Fox Piven, I watched a recent video of hers. She’s still very, very excited about overloading the American system. She’s one of the co-authors of the Cloward-Piven strategy. She desires to see our prisons overloaded, etc.
And she speaks the language of a woman who wants to see the country toppled. We see the efforts to defund the police bearing fruits in my hometown of Seattle, where we’ve seen record level homicides for two years in a row. We had a 2000% increase in sex trafficking, property crimes. Cops now literally cannot pull over someone driving stolen vehicle. They can ask the person politely to stop, but they don’t have to. They can’t incarcerate people who are going to later go burn down buildings, as has happened twice in Seattle. So we see the fruits of all this.
I think we can agree there are people who want the country toppled. My question for you is, with CriticalRace.org, which you’re looking at these great resources, how many people in academia are actually aware that this is that critical theory, and by extension critical race theory, is, in fact, a tool of destruction versus people who just think it somehow makes sense?
I’m not really sure. I think that most people think it just sounds good. “Equality,” I’m sorry, “Equity.” That’s the word, not equality, “equity,” what’s wrong with “equity.” “Equity” sounds like “equality.” What could be wrong about that? So I think most people don’t give it a lot of thought. I think even a lot of the activists have really drank the Kool-Aid. They actually believe this is a good thing. But those who I think promote it the most, the Ibram Kendis of the world, all those sorts of people, I think they know exactly what it is. They know exactly how destructive it is. The leading theorists and practitioners know exactly what it is.
But most people just look at the words. “Equity” sounds good. “Fairness.” All those sorts of things. But you’re absolutely right. This is a tool to tear down society. That is the goal of it.
Of course, what will replace it is of course going to be worse. It always is. And so it’s a complete distortion.
It’s an attempt to institute perpetual racial conflict as the driving force in our politics. And I can’t think of anything that would be more destructive for our country than to move in that direction. What could be worse for our country than to teach kindergarteners that the single most important factor in their future is the color of their skin? That the single most important factor about their schoolmates are the color of their skin? That the country is irredeemably racist and bad?
This is an attempt to undermine our society and tear us down. And they’re having some success.
Oh, they are. And if only there was a historical precedent for racial scapegoating being bad, but, alas, there is no historical precedent for that, of course. And Professor, at CriticalRace.org, you have these resources in the maps, etc., the heat maps. I want to ask you, there’s the heat map. There’s the big picture. You guys have tracked this story by story.
I get notes from people, for instance, I get notes from people in South Dakota who say, “Thank goodness this stuff isn’t here.” And you know I’m broadcasting today from north Idaho, where I’ve been living. And I think you know that. I get people saying, “Well, we’re so glad critical race theory isn’t here.” Is there a place in the country that has immunity to this? And are there places in the country where it doesn’t exist or places where the Left doesn’t want to bring it?
I don’t think there’s any place where it doesn’t exist. It depends on whether it is government-sanctioned or not, and government promoted. It is in many of the blue states. It’s not in many of the red states, Florida being one that jumps to mind. I consider Florida basically a red state or reddish state. So, it varies.
But the problem is teachers want to push it even when the school district doesn’t necessarily embrace it and when the state doesn’t want to embrace it. There have been a couple of those incidents that have been on TV the last week, where teachers have taken it upon themselves. I forget where the person was from, but there’s that Antifa guy who bragged that he had X number of months to turn these students into revolutionaries. So there are teachers who are pushing this.
And what we have found is that the teachers are some of the most aggressive proponents of this, and the teacher unions. For months and months and months, the National Education Association said, “Oh, this is a Koch brothers dark money conspiracy. Critical race is not really being taught in the schools.” And then all of a sudden, a month ago, they announced it is being taught in schools, we support it, and we want it in every of the 14,000 school districts in the country. And we’re going to put our $350 million a year budget behind it. So how quickly it went from, “It’s not real. It doesn’t exist. It’s not being taught,” to “Yes, it is. We support it, and we’re pushing it.”
Same with the American Federation of Teachers. For months and months and months, “It’s not being taught. It’s not real.” And then they come out and they say, “Well, we’re going to pay for lawyers to defend the teachers who were teaching it.” So how is it that you have to hire lawyers to defend the teachers who were doing it, but at the same time you say it’s not happening?
So it is happening everywhere. It’s being pushed by individual teachers. It’s being pushed by the unions, even if the governmental entities, the school board, the town council, the state education department, have not embraced it or are against it. And that’s why parents need to be vigilant. And that’s why I am a huge supporter, if state governments could do nothing else but pass transparency laws, of requiring the curriculum to be posted online. Require the school assignment to be accessible to parents. Give parents a right to visit classrooms and observe.
Transparency will solve a lot of this problem, because one of the big problems is that parents don’t know what’s going on in school. I heard somebody use this explanation. It used to be a generation ago, when you would bring your textbooks home, and you’d bring your written homework assignments home, if you’re a child. And your parents could see it. They could see what’s going on. That doesn’t happen anymore. It’s being done by computer, and it’s all being done online. And parents have no clue what is happening.
If they knew what is happening in our schools, there would be an uprising by parents around this country that would make what’s going on now seem like child’s play. Because in some school districts, it is truly horrible what they are doing. They are racializing absolutely everything. And when you point that out, what do they say? “Oh, well, that’s not critical race theory.”
They want you to engage in this extended discussion about that. What is critical race theory? Let me tell you something.
If they’re telling white kindergarteners, they have white privilege. If they are telling black kindergartners that they are perpetual victims and that they can never achieve success in this society. If those are the things they’re teaching, if they have privilege wheels in their kindergarten class, if they’re doing all those things, they’re doing critical race theory, whether they put a name on it or not.
You will never find a fifth grade book called “Critical Race Theory.” You will find euphemisms for it, “equity.” You will find the euphemism of “anti-racism,” which is the Kendi term, which is a completely deceptive term the way they use it. “Anti-racism” is actually the opposite of what we would think of as anti-racism.
So, it is there, I guarantee you, in your school system. The question is, are you able to find out about it? And transparency is the key.
Absolutely, this is why I’ve said, for me, my view on the schools is I don’t need to be extended an invitation to go see what my kids are being taught. I’m going to go in. I don’t need to be extended an invitation to see the curricula. I will have my kid take pictures of it and send it to me. And this is where parents are at and what we need to do.
It’s been an honor to have you. It’s CriticalRace.org. Also, Legal Insurrection. Professor William Jacobson has been with us. The Legal Insurrection Foundation does take donations and operates that very responsibly. Professor, as always, it’s an honor. Thank you for being a happy warrior and go with God’s good grace, sir.
This post was first published at Legal Insurrection on September 6, 2021 and was written by Professor William A. Jacobson.